What To Do For a Pulled Hip Muscle
Things Worth Knowing About A Pulled Muscle
The term Pulled Muscle is a bit of a misnomer in the sense that the actual damage to a muscle is a tear. The tear, however, is most often the result of pulling or stretching a muscle beyond its capacity and causing it damage in the process. A pulled muscle also occurs most often when a muscle is undergoing rather rapid expansions and contractions, with the injury normally happening during expansion.
We have over 300 muscles in our body, though most of them are protected at least somewhat from injury, as they are not usually subjected to extreme motion or tensions. A pulled muscle most often happens in a leg or arm, but also is somewhat common in the area of the hips, ribs or in the back.
What To Do With a Pulled Hip Muscle
The Hip usually refers to the whole region around the pelvis. Almost all of the muscles in this area belong to the Hip Flexor. When people feel they have a Pulled Hip Muscle it’s usually one of the hip flexor muscles that are located right on top of the pelvis. Take a look at our page on hip flexor muscles and see if you can identify the muscle that is located where the pain hurts.
Distraction And Compression Ruptures
There are two different types of a pulled muscle and three general levels of injury. The type we experience most often is the distraction rupture when a muscle is pulled beyond its innate strength or capacity, and tears in the muscle occur. An impact, such as with a blunt object, can result in a compression rupture, where the muscle is torn as it is being compressed. Being kicked in the hamstring and suffering a Charley horse as the result is one example of a compression rupture. Either type of pull has the same effect, tearing of muscle tissue, often accompanied by bleeding, bruising or swelling.
Normal Tearing and First Degree Tears
Every time we stretch a muscle a bit too far, for example when working out, microscopic tears occur in the muscle tissues. This is a normal occurrence, and the tissues soon heal. Bodybuilders and weight lifters usually do not repeat the same exercise two days in a row, giving these tiny tears a chance to completely heal. If we extend the muscle too far, though, or if we have not allowed the muscle top warm up and naturally stretch out, a first-degree tear may result. This is a partial tear that while painful, will usually heal itself in a day or two, or may even take a few days. Low-level pain may linger on for a few days, but we generally are not incapacitated, but rather feel the need to “back off” from the activity we were engaged in for awhile.
Second And Third Degree Tears
A second-degree tear causes not only significantly more pain but is often accompanied by swelling and bruising due to internal bleeding. When we are actively using our muscles, they contain 4 to 5 times more blood than is present when the muscle is at rest. When a pulled muscle occurs, and it is a second-degree tear, bleeding can be significant. A second degree tear may require a week or two, and sometimes more, to completely heal. If an arm or leg is involved, we can still use the limb, but will usually feel pain whenever the damaged muscle is contracted. A wrap or bandage around the muscle can provide a means of stabilizing and protecting the muscle and will help the healing process along. A third degree tear is a complete tearing of the muscle such that two parts of the muscle separate or the muscle is torn away from the tendon. This level of a pulled muscle is obviously very painful and if a limb is involved that limb cannot be used until it has healed, which most often will require surgery.
Looking at it from a different perspective, if you are a bowler and suffer a level one tear or pulled muscle in your bowling arm, you’re probably done for that evening but should be perfectly fine when the next bowling night rolls around. A level two tear could put you out of action for up to a month, and a level three tear would end the season, plus your arm may never recover to its full strength. It’s the same way with runners, where a level three tear in a hamstring or quadriceps can put a runner on the shelf for 6 months or so, and a sprinter may never again regain his or her previous form or speed.
What Is a Pulled Hip Muscle?
A pulled muscle in the hip is just like any other hip flexor strain. There are 3 main classes of strains that describe the severity of the injury. The pull can range from a small tear of a few strands of the muscle that will heal very quickly to a complete tear that will take a lot of time and effort to heal.
Causes of Pulled Hip Muscles
Strains and pulled muscles are usually caused by some sort of explosive action that puts your muscle out of its typical range of motion. If it started hurting while playing a sport of some sort of activity than that’s the most likely cause of it.
Pulled Hip Muscle Treatment
Luckily there has been a lot of research into pulled muscles and their treatment. You can start with our article about hip flexor treatment which is a 4 part series that will guide you from injury to recovery.
Ice And Rest
For minor pulls, applying ice packs to the affected area followed by a period of rest is the best treatment. Second or third degree pulls require the attention of your care provider, not only to relieve pain and help the healing process to get underway, but to do what is needed to prevent formation of excessive scar tissue .Bleeding in the muscle causes scar tissue to form, and scar tissue makes a muscle less flexible and weaker than before, even after healing is complete.
The best approach to take is to do those things which prevent a pulled muscle from happening the first place. Go easy if using muscles that aren’t called into play very often. Always warm up and do some stretches to get the muscles warm and flexible. Finally, back off when muscles appear to be getting fatigued, as that is when they are most prone to being injured.
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