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Recurring Hip Flexor Pain

About 10 months ago, I attempted the Smolov squat program. A couple weeks in, my left hip flexor region was really giving me trouble and forced me to drop the program. For the following few months, I was in a lot of pain (even from walking or lying down with hips slightly flexed) and my left hip popped all the time.

At the time, I also had really poor glute activation, bad hip mobility, and significant anterior pelvic tilt. It seemed likely that the cause of my problems was femoral anterior glide (although I never had a real diagnosis).

After taking some time off, I focused on strengthening my glutes and hamstrings, doing lots of hip mobility, static stretching my tight hip flexors and quads, and soft tissue work. Maybe five or six months after the injury, I felt like I was completely fine.

However, starting about a week ago, my hip started to bother me pretty significantly again - it’s been popping all the time in various planes, and it hurts even in unweighted hip flexion positions (not quite as bad as original injury).

The thing that’s puzzling is that I was taking a deload week when my hip started really bothering me. I hadn’t squatted in about a week or deadlifted in about five days.

I think some of the possible factors include the fact that I’ve been nursing a back injury which I made worse with light deadlifts the previous week, and the fact that I was under an unusually high level of stress.

It seemed like taking time off, doing lots of soft tissue work, hip mobility drills, strengthening my glutes and hamstrings, and static stretching my hip flexors and rectus femoris really did the trick the first time I injured my hip.

However, it doesn’t really seem like any of those are an issue right now, but my hip is bothering me nonetheless. Do any of you guys have any advice or even experience with recurring injuries that come back unexpectedly?

My hip flexors constantly bothered me. They seem to get activated greatly when squatting although they aren’t a prime mover in the squat. I also suffered from painful hip joints as well.

What has worked for me and seemed to work well but I needed to do it on a daily basis:
thorough warm ups (on lower body days)
hip mobility drills
static stretching on a daily basis. Funny thing is, I stretch everything but the hip flexors statically (unless warming up) and they seem better stretching them aggravated them)
lots of foam rolling and soft tissue work with a baseball

About 2 months ago, I added in these supplements and they made a noticable difference:
glucosamine and chondroitin (triple strength version)
Vit D (5000ius a day)
lots of fish oil (6-12grams a day)
After starting the supplements, I don’t feel as bad if I miss a stretching session. It seems there is something going on in my actual joint and the supps alleviate it.

My hips feel 100% than they used to and there is an occasional flare up of pain but nothing like it used to be. I don’t feel like someone beat me about the pelvis with a baseball bat when I wake up anymore.

You did too much volume, which probably gave you a slight case of tendinitus. Rest, massage the crap out of the area, ice after. If you can, still work on you mobility and flexibility. Keep doing the glute activation exercises and stretch out the entire hip region(piriformis, it band, hip flexors, adductors) multiple times per day.

I dealt with a similar issue, and its all about fixing imbalances. Once you do, keep everything balanced when you train as far as volume and sets go.

[quote]blake b wrote:
My hip flexors constantly bothered me. They seem to get activated greatly when squatting although they aren’t a prime mover in the squat. I also suffered from painful hip joints as well.

What has worked for me and seemed to work well but I needed to do it on a daily basis:
thorough warm ups (on lower body days)
hip mobility drills
static stretching on a daily basis. Funny thing is, I stretch everything but the hip flexors statically (unless warming up) and they seem better stretching them aggravated them)
lots of foam rolling and soft tissue work with a baseball

About 2 months ago, I added in these supplements and they made a noticable difference:
glucosamine and chondroitin (triple strength version)
Vit D (5000ius a day)
lots of fish oil (6-12grams a day)
After starting the supplements, I don’t feel as bad if I miss a stretching session. It seems there is something going on in my actual joint and the supps alleviate it.

My hips feel 100% than they used to and there is an occasional flare up of pain but nothing like it used to be. I don’t feel like someone beat me about the pelvis with a baseball bat when I wake up anymore.[/quote]

Squatting is also probably the cause of hip issues for me as well. I have a tendency to think that the pain is not related to the hip flexor muscle itself since it’s not really contracting at all in the squat, except maybe to stabilize the bottom position.
I think having tight hip flexors and the anterior hip pain are two totally different things. The tight hip flexors come from spending too much time with hips flexed. The hip pain - I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but it might be a ligament issue.

I’ve been inconsistent on my supplementation since my training has been in the dumps, but I’ll try upping my fish oil dosage and look into vitamin D and glucosamine.

[quote]deadlift425 wrote:
You did too much volume, which probably gave you a slight case of tendinitus. Rest, massage the crap out of the area, ice after. If you can, still work on you mobility and flexibility. Keep doing the glute activation exercises and stretch out the entire hip region(piriformis, it band, hip flexors, adductors) multiple times per day.

I dealt with a similar issue, and its all about fixing imbalances. Once you do, keep everything balanced when you train as far as volume and sets go. [/quote]

The interesting thing about my issue is the fact that I’ve been training specifically to fix these imbalances for several months, and my recent “flare-up” of my injury seemed to come out of nowhere as I’ve been deloading and not training at all.

Either way, I will definitely try icing it, and I will do more soft tissue work as well (I usually do some at least once a day). As for the stretching, my adductors are a little tight and I should stretch them more. Stretching the flexors with this type of injury might not be a good idea - every time I stretch them, it’s a bit painful. My hip flexors aren’t overly tight and I can keep them loose enough with dynamic mobility work. The thing I’m most curious about is stretching the IT Band - I’ve never heard of any way to stretch the IT Band. Did you just mean doing soft tissue work on it, or do you mean actual stretching? If so, how is that done?