How to Wrap a Hip Flexor Strain With an Ace Bandage

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Seven different muscles play a role in hip flexion and adduction. Flexion is lifting your leg like you're going to step up onto a box. Adduction is bringing your leg closer the the centerline of your body. Together, they allow you to lift your leg up and in. When one or several of these become strained from overuse, fatigue, imbalance or trauma, the symptoms include tenderness, swelling, bruising, loss of strength, pain with hip movements and a possible snapping sound heard at the time of injury. If it is a low-level muscle strain, a hip flexor wrap can help provide some support, while the muscles heal.

Things You'll Need

  • Small step (block of wood or another roll of tape)
  • 1 6-inch wide Ace bandage
  • 1 roll of 1.5 inch tape

Wrap The Hip Flexor

Have the patient rest his heel on the block of wood or roll of tape, so he is not bearing weight on the injured leg. Have the patient slightly turn the hip outward, and instruct him to relax the leg.

Start the Ace bandage on the front of the thigh, about 2/3 of the way up. Wrap outward and around the back of the thigh and between the legs. Pull the wrap with light and consistent tension at all times. Overlap on the starting point by half with the Ace wrap.

Fold the exposed half over and wrap around the thigh once more, half the width of the bandage higher than the first wrap. Cover the folded-over starting point, and continue around the back of the thigh one more time.

Come up around the front of the abdomen with the wrap, staying below the belly-button. Wrap the Ace bandage around the small of the patient's back and around the opposite hip.

Pull downward and across the lower abdomen, making a crisscross with the bandage just below the ASIS (bump on front of hip). Wrap around the back of the thigh, and come up again towards the hip. Complete the same loop with the Ace wrap, one-half the width higher than the first loop.

Continue this pattern until you run out of Ace wrap. Secure the end of the Ace bandage to the body with two small strips of tape. Start in the same location with the tape as you did with the Ace wrap. Pulling slight tension on the tape, follow the same pattern as the Ace wrap for two full loops. End the tape six inches past the point where the Ace wrap ended.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't wrap the Ace bandage too tightly, or you can restrict blood flow and actually make normal hip movements difficult for the patient.
  • If the hip flexor strain is severe, this wrap may not be effective in reducing pain or improving movement.
  • See a doctor if the pain is severe or lasts for more than a week.
  • This wrap is only meant to provide slight support to the hip. It shouldn't be used as a replacement for a brace and should be accompanied with some other treatment and/or rehab.

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References

  • "Arnheim's Prinicples of Athletic Training;" William E. Prentice, Ph.D.; 2006
  • "Signs and Symptoms of Athletic Injuries;" James B Gallaspy M. Ed. and J. Douglas May M.A.; 1996
  • "Atlas of Skeletal Muscles;" Robert J. Stone and Judith A. Stone; 2003
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