Hip Flexor Strain Test

Access our Hip Flexor Strain Test template, designed for healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage hip flexor strains, complete with a detailed guide.

By Nate Lacson on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

Use Template

What are hip flexor muscles?

The hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles located in the front of the hip and thigh. Their primary function is to facilitate the flexion of the hip joint, allowing for movements such as lifting the knee towards the chest or bending forward at the waist. The main hip flexor muscles include the iliopsoas (composed of the iliacus and psoas major muscles), the rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps muscle group), and the sartorius.

These muscles are crucial in everyday activities such as walking, running, and climbing stairs. They are also important for maintaining proper posture and stability in the pelvis and lower back. When the hip flexor muscles are strong and flexible, they support a wide range of motion and help prevent injuries in the hip and lower back areas. However, when these muscles become tight or strained, it can lead to discomfort and limited mobility, impacting overall physical performance and quality of life.

Symptoms of hip flexor strains

Hip flexor strains can vary in severity, with symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and immobility. Common symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain in the front of the hip or groin area, especially when lifting the knee towards the chest or during activities such as running or jumping.
  • Swelling or bruising in the affected area.
  • Tenderness to the touch along the hip flexor muscles.
  • Muscle spasms in the hip or thigh.
  • Reduced range of motion in the hip joint.
  • Weakness in the hip flexor muscles, making it difficult to lift the leg or perform certain movements.
  • A feeling of tightness or stiffness in the hip area.

Hip flexor tears or strains causes

Hip flexor strains or tears are often caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Overuse: Repetitive movements, such as running or kicking, can put excessive strain on the hip flexor muscles, leading to tears or strains.
  • Sudden movements: Quick, explosive movements, such as sprinting or changing direction rapidly, can cause the hip flexor muscles to stretch or tear.
  • Lack of flexibility: Tight hip flexor muscles are more susceptible to injury, as they may not be able to handle the stress of certain activities.
  • Weakness: Weak hip flexor muscles may not be able to support the demands of certain movements, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Poor posture or biomechanics: Imbalances in the body, such as an anterior pelvic tilt or leg length discrepancy, can place additional stress on the hip flexor muscles.
  • Trauma: A direct blow to the hip or a fall can cause a tear or strain in the hip flexor muscles.

It's important for healthcare professionals to consider these factors when evaluating a patient with hip flexor pain and to provide appropriate treatment and preventive measures to reduce the risk of further injury.

Printable Hip Flexor Strain Test

Download this Hip Flexor Strain Test for health professionals to diagnose strain or injury in the hip flexor muscles.

What is a Hip Flexor Strain Test?

A Hip Flexor Strain Test is a comprehensive assessment used by health professionals to diagnose strain or injury in the hip flexor muscles. The test involves a series of physical examinations and imaging tests to evaluate the condition of the hip flexors and identify the presence and severity of a strain.

Here's how the test is typically conducted:

  1. Inspection: The hip and thigh area is visually inspected for signs of swelling, bruising, or asymmetry, which may indicate a strain or injury.
  2. Palpation: The health professional will gently palpate along the hip flexor muscles, particularly the iliopsoas and rectus femoris, to identify areas of tenderness or pain.
  3. Resisted hip flexion: The patient is asked to flex the hip against resistance to assess the strength and pain response of the hip flexor muscles.
  4. Optional - Thomas test: This test can be performed to assess the flexibility of the hip flexors. The patient lies on their back and pulls one knee to the chest while the other leg is extended. If the extended leg cannot remain flat on the table, it may indicate tightness in the hip flexors.
  5. X-ray: An X-ray may be performed to rule out any bone abnormalities or fractures.
  6. MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide detailed images of the soft tissues, including the hip flexor muscles, and help identify the extent of the strain or any associated injuries.
  7. X-ray: An X-ray may be performed to rule out any bone abnormalities or fractures.
  8. MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide detailed images of the soft tissues, including the hip flexor muscles, and help identify the extent of the strain or any associated injuries.

The results of the Hip Flexor Strain Test are interpreted based on the findings from the physical examination and imaging tests. A diagnosis of hip flexor strain is made when there is evidence of muscle damage, tenderness, and reduced function. The severity of the strain is typically graded based on the extent of muscle fiber damage.

Hip Flexor Strain Test example (sample)

Carepatron has developed a sample Hip Flexor Strain Test template to assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing and managing hip flexor strains. This template includes fields for patient information, physical examination findings, imaging test results, and additional notes. It is designed to guide healthcare professionals through a systematic assessment of hip flexor injuries, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation.

Download our free Hip Flexor Strain Test template example here.

Hip Flexor Strain Test example (sample)

What are the benefits of conducting this test?

Conducting a Hip Flexor Strain Test offers several benefits for healthcare professionals and their patients:

Early detection and accurate diagnosis

The test helps in the early detection of hip flexor strains, allowing for prompt and accurate diagnosis. This is crucial for initiating appropriate treatment and preventing further complications.

Guiding treatment plans

The results of the test provide valuable information that guides the development of personalized treatment plans. Healthcare professionals can tailor rehabilitation exercises and other interventions based on the severity and specific characteristics of the strain.

Monitoring progress

Repeating the test at regular intervals during the recovery process can help monitor a patient's progress, especially after hip- or thigh-related injuries. It allows healthcare professionals to adjust treatment plans as needed and track improvements in hip flexor function.

Reducing risk of recurrence

By identifying underlying factors contributing to the strain, such as tightness or weakness in specific muscle groups, the test can help address these issues and reduce the risk of future injuries.

Enhancing patient education

The test provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to educate patients about their condition, the importance of proper rehabilitation, and strategies for preventing future strains. This empowers patients to take an active role in their recovery and long-term health.

How is hip flexor strain treated?

Treating a hip flexor strain involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and, in some cases, medication. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent future injuries. Here are some common approaches to treating hip flexor strains:

Rest and ice

It's crucial to rest the affected muscle to prevent further injury. Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain, especially those that involve hip flexion. Applying ice packs to the injured area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling and pain.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in recovery and rehabilitation:

  • Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the hip flexor muscles.
  • Strengthening: Strengthening exercises for the hip flexors and surrounding muscles can aid in restoring function and preventing future strains.
  • Manual therapy: Techniques such as massage or soft tissue mobilization can alleviate pain and enhance mobility.


Medications can offer relief from pain and inflammation:

  • Pain relievers: Utilize over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage pain effectively.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: In certain cases, doctors may prescribe NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and facilitate healing.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. In severe cases involving a complete muscle tear, surgery may be necessary, although this is rare.

How do you know if you strained your hip flexor?
How do you know if you strained your hip flexor?

Commonly asked questions

How do you know if you strained your hip flexor?

You may have strained your hip flexor if you experience sharp pain in the front of your hip or groin, especially when lifting your knee towards your chest or during activities like running or jumping.

How do you test for hip flexor injury?

A hip flexor injury can be tested through a physical examination, including the Thomas test, palpation for tenderness, and assessing the strength and pain during hip flexion. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI may be used for a more detailed assessment.

What can be mistaken for hip flexor pain?

Hip flexor pain can be mistaken for conditions such as groin strains, inguinal hernia, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), or even lower back issues, as they can cause similar symptoms in the hip region.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work