Hip abductors

If you have hip pain to the side of your lower back or the pain spreads from the lower back, it is probably that you have an injury to the abductors. Whenever you use your legs in sport, whether kicking a football or swimming, your hip abductors are working to enable you to do so, keeping you balanced and giving your legs movement.

cause of hip abductor injury

Overuse or overstretching can cause the hip abductors to be strained. The pain can come on gradually as with long-distance running. Another cause can be if the leg suffers a blow from behind, or for example in kick boxing if a kick is blocked unexpectedly.


There is pain in the hip over the injured muscles and it feels to spread from the lower back. Whichever way you try to move your leg you will feel pain.


Avoid any movements that cause pain in the injured area. Applying ice may help but due to the position of the injury the ice may not penetrate fully to give much relief. If after 24 hours pain has subsided you should start gentle stretching exercises and gradually build up to more strengthening exercises until there is no discomfort.

hip abductor exercises

  • Lie on your back with a cushion under your head. Pull your knee onto your stomach helping with you hands. Ease the leg across towards the opposite shoulder and you will feel the stretch. Hold for a count of ten and relax. Repeat several times a day.
  • Stand on your good leg and pull your other knee up towards the opposite shoulder. You will feel the stretch and again hold for ten seconds. Repeat several times a day.
  • Lie on your back and keeping the knee of your injured leg straight, point your leg over your other (healthy) leg and point it up towards your opposite shoulder. Hold for a count of ten. Repeat several times a day.
  • After 4 to 5 days stand on your good leg and keeping your back straight, move your injured leg out to the side and gently backwards ensuring your knee is straight at all times..
  • Standing on your injured leg, lift you other leg straight out sideways and then bend it sideways over you injured leg. Hold for a count of three and then slowly straighten your leg.

If there is no discomfort after these exercises jogging for short distances can be started, striding sideways and hopping sideways. When this is managed without discomfort you should be fit to resume your sport.