I pulled my hip flexer muscle a few weeks ago doing yoga and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I was just wondering if anyone out there has ever had this happen and how long it took to heal. I have rested it and stretched it and it hasn’t gotten any better. It’s seriously limiting my practice and I find it frustrating. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks.
Hi - I pulled my hip flexer muscle back in December and am experiencing the same issues as you. I’d love to get advice on what can be done to improve this.
A ‘pulled’ muscle occurs when muscle fibres are damaged. Muscle fibres take 4-6 weeks to heal/repair. The important thing to remember is that pain resolves before fibre healing is complete – so it is at that time - i.e. when pain is initially resolved – that likelihood of re-pull is greatest. The best way to help the muscle heal is NOT to stretch it. The fibres need to knit together. So what you need to do it to avoid hip flexor stretching initially. Placing a strip of stretchy tape like kinesiotape or something similar over your hip when you are standing up can be helpful as this alerts the body to potential hip stretching. That is, if you place the tape lengthwise over the area of discomfort, parallel with the thigh, you will notice that as you take your leg behind you (into a hip flexor stretch), the tape starts to pull on the skin and alerts you to this (follow the manufacturers guidelines for application). However, healing is best achieved by maintaining gentle range of movement. In other words, don’t keep your hip in the neutral position all the time, but gradually move it within your pain-free zone. Muscles are highly vascularized (they have a lot of blood in them), which is excellent news because vascularized tissues heal very well. I know it’s frustrating, but I would recommend performing yoga that does not stretch the hip flexor for around at least 4 weeks. But do keep the hip moving and have massage to the quadriceps to facilitate healing and increased bloodflow. Hope that helps. If in any doubt, try to get an appointment with a physiotherapist in your region (I’m a musculoskeletal physiotherapist).
Thank you so much for your input, your advice is greatly appreciated! I will give it some time!