Hip Flexor Injury....

So Ive suffered a hip flexor Strain & its 2 weeks before my first half marathon.

Do I take 2 weeks off completey & race anyway?

Physio says it may not be race ready but I really wanna do this race!

Would it be completely stupid to run through pain? could i do lasting damage?

Has anyone else experiened the same injury & still run?

All thoughts very welcome, I dont know what to do for the best!


  • you could take painkillers and take it easy

    really take it easy after the run

  • Gemini84

    How bad is it? Sore walking or only when running?

    Rest usually helps tremendously and you'll be amazed how you can recover if you give your muscles a chance.
    That said - if there is a tear and you have significant pain and weakness and it is not resolving then it would be best not to run especially if you plan on continuing running - you could cause a lot more harm to the muscle and possibly other areas if you have to compensate. This could mean a significant longer period out after this further injury.

    If you are unsure about whether to run or not - you should always weigh up the NEED to do the race versus the consequence to the rest of your season.

    Let us know more about the injury.

  • Hi Greg,

    Thanks so much for coming back to me,

    I did 5 Weeks of training as per an 8 week programme , (26 – 30 miles per week + speed sessions)

    I did 8 miles, then had a day off then did 6 miles which seemed OK but had painful hips the next day so used the cross trainer for the next 3 days but then couldn’t even walk!

    So I took 7 days off completely then went back to the cross trainer for 2 weeks, it was getting better , went to the physio & he said not to run still so I carried on using the cross trainer.

    He said when I bend down , the one side of my back does’nt lift the same as the other, so the root of the problem is my back but I don’t know what excerises to do to correct it?  I have an appointment next week but its getting so close to the race …

    I got impatient yesterday so decided to try a run, did 20 minutes as I didn’t want to push it.

    During the run when the muscle was warm I felt I could carry on however Im paying for it today!

    So I’m thinking I should rest now & do some back strengthening exersises only?

    As for future runs, I do want to continue however I can sacrifice a few months off (as long as I can still cross train!) during which time I can concentrate on my  back & other areas…..

  • Gemini84

    Where is the pain when you say your hips.
    Does it hurt to hop on 1 leg?

    It sounds what your physio is describing is a fault in the pelvis/lower back specifically the SIJ (sacro-iliac joint) rather than a hip flexor problem.

    The SIJ is the joint that connects your pelvic/hip bones to your sacrum - the big wedge shaped bone at the bottom of your spine.

    For various reasons this joint (there are 2 - left and right) can "go out of alignment" and thus cause pain each time you load up on it. The pain can be local but it can also be felt in other areas of the back/hips/pelvis.

    Your physio should be able to adjust it, but more importantly be looking to what caused it to go out in the first place.

    2 of the main reasons I see it in my athletes are 1. as a result of their posture at work causing muscles on one side to tighten and 2. as a result of poor control of the lumbar pelvic region when running. There are many more reasons (I have books dedicated to just that joint area)but hopefully your physio will look into all the aspects of your lower back/ pelvis/ hips/ mechanics of movement and control.

    This may not be the only problem, again much depends on where you are feeling your pain and what the various tests your physio carries out show.

    The fact that an easy 20 mins has left you suffering today tells you that you should stick to the low impact activity for the present. As for your race - I think you have answered that for yourself with your test run.

    Let me know a bit more about the area and when you feel it.


  • Yes, hurts to hop on the injured side.

    That’s it, he said the sacro-iliac joint, but Ive not had time to discuss it much further, the 45 mins seems to fly by!

    I had read up on the internet about the symptoms & the description matched what the pain was like, pain walking, going upstairs , the lifting action.

    I had acupuncture & some massage on the thigh muscle but it felt no better after & now I think I’ve gone & made it worse!

    It is quite difficult to pin point exactly where the pain is, it feel deep within the thigh as if its too far away to touch?

    I sat down all day at work at a computer so I would not be surprised if this were the cause or part of it , I do notice I slouch & try & correct myself when I realise but Im not always thinking about I guess.

    As it starts to get better over time , does this indicate its more likely to be a strain or as its taken well over 4 weeks to get better without ever being completely better , could it be a tear?

    So do you think carry on cross training or rest? It is not painful to cross train (it’s a rotex machine that I use mostly & some cycling)

  • Is the pain in the thigh when you hop? Is there pain in the SIJ region? You can have injuries where it gives you thigh pain but it is coming from the back/SIJ.

    If the pain in your thigh is from the SIJ then I would ignore treating the thigh and concentrate initially on the SIJ, lower lumbar joints and associated muscles of the lower back and glutes.

    How much running had you done prior to this 8 week programme?
    Are you male / female?
    What body shape - very lean skinny?
    Are you eating a calorie reduced diet?
    I ask these as there is also a risk of stress fracture when thinking of thigh pain especially in the female athlete.

    If the cross trainer is not giving you any symptoms during, after and the next day then I would continue using it (or the bike), however if there is any increase in symptoms related to the exercise then you would need to rather go for a non weight bearing option.

    Sorry for more questions but that is why assessment is so vital for injuries.

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