Can issues with my hip flexors be related to glute and/or quad weakness and injury?

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I have been dealing with a hip flexor issue, which began eight months ago. I presented with a tight and painful front of the hip and barely had range of motion. The physical therapist I saw said it was due to my having weak glutes. I got a steroid injection to help with the pain so we could actually work on strengthening exercises. We worked on glute strength and moved on to work on strengthening my hip flexors. Recently we noticed a big dent in my quad. Now I have been getting a tingly sensation in the quad and sometimes a sharp pain. I know it’s hard to determine without exams and assessment, but could the hip and quad injuries be related? And what is the possible issue with my quad causing a dent and tingly sensations?

Disclaimer: Please note, this reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.

Things to Know

  • Hip pain can be related to weakness in the glute muscles.
  • Pain in the lower body can also be influenced by the lumbar spine and pelvis.
  • Even in the absence of low back pain, it is important to consider nerve-related conditions.

Thank you for your question. Without doing an examination, we are not able to comment on your specific condition, however, we can offer you some general advice that is often helpful in similar situations.

It is possible that your hip and quad symptoms are related and that insufficient strength in your glutes factors into your pain as well.

While glute strength and the mechanics of how we move can be related to hip pain, it is also important to assess the joints above and below the site of pain. The lumbar spine and pelvis can commonly influence and transfer pain into the hip and leg.

Even in the absence of low back pain, this body region can be a significant contributor to pain in the lower body, including the hip flexors and quadriceps. Additionally, an injury or condition present in the low back can cause leg muscles to shrink in size over time (atrophy). This could be what you are seeing with what you refer to as a dent in your quad. Furthermore, the hip flexors attach to the vertebral bodies of the lumbar spine and can become restricted when there is not a strong base of support to operate from.

Signs and symptoms of nerve-related low back pain can include one or more of the following:

  • Numbness/tingling in the leg, hip, or buttock
  • Sharp or electric pain in the leg, hip, buttock, and/or back
  • Weakening, shrinking, and reduced muscle size in the leg

We highly recommend you get a re-evaluation by your physical therapist or consider consulting with another provider for a second opinion with further examination of your symptoms.

While unlikely, if you are experiencing or developing any symptoms such as changes in bowel or bladder function or progressive weakness, you should go to urgent care for evaluation, as that can be a red flag for more serious neurological conditions.

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