A tear in the muscle fibers caused by either a fall or direct blow to the muscle, overstretching and overuse injury is called a strain. Muscle strains often occur in the hip region whenever a muscle contracts all of a sudden from its stretched position. It can be mild, moderate or severe and depends on the level of injury. The chances of having a hip muscle strain becomes high if you have had a previous injury in the area or if there is no warm-up before exercising. The most common symptom of hip strain is pain and swelling in the area of injury. Pain may worsen on using the injured muscle and also the strength in the muscle may also decrease.
Apart from physical examination of your hip and leg, your doctor may order an X-ray to rule out a stress fracture of the hip and confirm the diagnosis. Initial treatment aims at relieving pain and swelling. RICE protocol should be followed for mild to moderate strains. It includes:
- R-Rest: Avoid bearing excess weight on your hip. You should use crutches for the first 1-2 days after injury.
- I- Ice: Gently rub the area with ice. This decreases the swelling.
- C-Compression: Wrap a bandage over the area to help decrease the swelling.
- E-Elevation: Elevate the injured area above heart level.
Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to reduce swelling and pain. In the initial two days, your doctor may recommend application of heat to the area using hot soaks or heating pads. It is beneficial to be away from activities that causes the strain for 2 weeks. During this period, simple stretching and strengthening exercises can be done to regain muscle strength.
Preventing hip strains
You can practice certain techniques to avoid straining the muscles around your hip. Stretching your muscles before starting any exercise or sport activity significantly reduces your risk. Also, remember to stretch the muscles slowly and hold the stretch for some time instead of making large number of rapid stretches. Warm up every time before you stretch. Participate in conditioning program to keep your muscles flexible and fit always. Use protective gear that is appropriate for the sports activity you are involved.
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Dr. Patel has been a great Doctor for me. When I was referred to after discussion we decided to do injections in my back. The first two did not work so did two more in a different section of my back. These injections worked great. I’m now able to sleep at night and the numbness in my foot is almost gone. The tingling in my foot & leg is gone and I am very happy about that. I am extremely happy that Dr. Patel is my Doctor. She has been a good listener when I tell her where I hurt and talks to me about what she feels should be done. The final decision is always mine.
On Nov. 22, 2017, I had a spinal injection in my lower back and it was an instant miracle in my life! For the first time in 4 intolerable months of pain, I was finally pain free, and I am now getting a second chance to live again! I am so grateful to Dr. Patel for my new life, and to God for guiding me to her! Thank you so very much Dr. Patel – you are God’s gift to me, thank you for being so awesome at what you do.
Dr. Patel is one of the best Doctors I have ever had. She is pretty good at her job. She makes it plain and simple. She is also very thoughtful. I was very glad to have met her. In other words she is pretty good.
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful. I have complete confidence in her medical judgement & advice. She will administer second injection in June.
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Thank you for the opportunity to express how pleased I am with the excellent care of Stacy A. Bacon, M.D. I have confidence in her ability to care for me as she successfully partially replaced a broken hip 10 years ago, 2007. I also want to compliment Cheryl who set up the appointment. She represents Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine very well.