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A hip sprain is a type of injury where the ligaments supporting the hip joint have been stretched or torn. This stretching or tearing causes pain to the injured person and, as a result, limits his or her activity. Different types of physical therapy and exercises can help heal or prevent a hip sprain.
Hip sprains happen when a muscle that is stretched out is forced to contract in quick order. A muscle that is overstretched or one that suffers a hard blow can cause the muscle's tissue to tear. It's this tearing that results in what is known as a "hip sprain." Old age, prior injury in the area and failing to warm-up properly before exercise are some of the common circumstances that increase the risk of such a sprain. Once injured, the hip may swell and bruise.
The severity of a hip sprain varies. A first degree or minor hip sprain is usually only a light stretch. These injuries typically can heal in a few weeks with the proper rest. Second degree sprains often include a partial tear to the ligaments and can take up to two months to mend. The most serious type of hip sprain are third degree sprains, which are complete tears and may require surgery to reconnect the tissue.
It is often recommended that patients who experience pain for more than four days should consult with a health care professional. Hip pain may be the result of other problems, such as arthritis. Hip fractures, or broken bones inside the hip, are also painful and typically require an operation to realign them back together.
Depending on the type of injury, medication can be prescribed to help the pain and swelling reduce. Applying ice compresses and elevating the leg often help dealing with the pain of a hip sprain. During the healing process, health care professionals strongly advise patients not to lift heavy objects, because it may cause further damage and wearing down of the ligaments.
Injury can often be prevented through conditioning and exercise. People with strong leg muscles typically have fewer hip problems. Proper stretching can also increase the hip’s flexibility, making it more resistant to heavy strains.
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