T Nation

Hip Injury - Extremely Frustrated


Fairly long read...

It'll be two years ago in February that I somehow injured something in my hip/frontal upper thigh region warming up on back squats.

Background of what happened: After squatting a warmup of 365x5 (a weight I had done hundreds of times prior), I racked the bar and my hip flexor region instantly felt like it had a blow torch up against the skin and produced a searing-hot burning sensation that doubled me over and wouldn't allow me to straighten my leg fully for about 12 hours. I iced it that day and rested it etc. It seemed to get some very very light bruising (was hard to tell, but seemed off) in the days after the incident, but quickly went away. Later on I (guessed) attributed the injury root to a very tight piriformis that caused overload on the hip flexor (Note: I was actively foam rolling, doing extensive warmups similar to what Cressey suggests and light stretching before my workouts to loosen everything up as I sit most of the day in class and get tight quickly).

Fast forward to today and I still cannot squat without very bad hip pain. I've worked around it by doing extremely narrow stance hack squats (but those bothered my patella after awhile and now I'm dealing with that too...ugh), and narrow stance leg presses. I can sometimes do back squats with minimal pain if I keep the volume and reps per set VERY low (talking 1 or 2 sets of singles and I have to stop). Other lower body work such as deadlifts, and single leg work do not hurt, and front squats didn't for awhile either.....now they do.

I've tried getting deep tissue, chiro work, extensive foam / softball rolling key areas, extensive warmups, taking extensive time off squats (4-6 months at a time), epsom salt baths for recovery, icing after training, single leg training and targeting the glutes etc to insure proper strength balance in the surrounding muscles, activation work, technique adjustments.....pretty much everything under the sun and this problem is still here and hasn't gotten ANY better. I recently asked my doctor yet again for an MRI but he denied the request brushing it off and telling me to just stop lifting heavy weights.

I'm pretty much out of ideas at this point and would love to be able to squat again one day as it was one of my stronger lifts that I enjoyed. My next plan would be to possibly see a physical therapist but I don't know if that's the right move. I would appreciate any help or guidance anyone has to offer as I feel like this is pretty much hopeless at this point and I'm stuck with working around it for the rest of my training days.



I hate it when docs brush things off. Get a different doc, one that is more interested in sport injuries.

Does the hip hurt when you lunge? Is there any other activity that makes the pain worse? Does it feel like a strained muscle?



I'll look around for a doc.

It does not hurt to lunge unless I lunge too far with the opposite leg (causing the injured one to go into a very deep hip flexor/quad stretch). Sprinting or jogging will aggravate it sometimes. It definitely feels like a soft tissue injury as opposed to bone or joint. It's a very sharp stinging sensation on the front of the upper thigh (right where the hip flexor/TFL is) when it flares up.

edit: Just got back from the gym and apparently ab wheel rollouts irritate it as well after awhile.



Any locking/popping in the hip/groin? Pain bringing your hip into flexion/adduction/internal rotation?

If you are looking for a PT in your region I would suggest www.AAOMPT.org. Member resources and find-a-fellow.


Thanks for the site! I'll check it out.

No locking/popping in the groin. A lot of tightness I have to foam roll and stretch quite a bit to break up though. Pain only in hip flexion. Adduction/internal rotation is fine. During flexion the sharp burning muscle pain at the top of the thigh occurs.


Maybe you have a "sportmans hernia".

Your situation sounds complicated. I would find a doc that is interested in helping you. Might cost you some $$$, but it would be good to get to the bottom of this problem.



Definitely find a different doctor and get an MRI for a definitive diagnosis.


Will do guys. Thanks.