Dealing With Running Hip Pain

Hip injuries can be tricky: the symptoms of different injuries can be very similar. Here are the hip issues that strike runners most.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

YOU FEEL: A pain on the front of your hip that travels to your groin, back, or leg

IT MAY BE: A stress fracture. A fracture occurs when the bone can’t handle the forces placed on it or if it’s weak from lack of calcium or poor bone density.

HOW TO FIX IT: Three months of rest and physical therapy. Pool running and swimming are the best cross-training options.

 

YOU FEEL: A stab near your leg crease while running and it hurts if you lie down and pull your knee to your chest

IT MAY BE: a hip flexor strain. The hip flexors lift your thigh when you run. A tear in the muscle (strain) or an inflamed tendon (tendinitis) is often from an abrupt increase in mileage or speedwork.

HOW TO FIX IT: At the first sign of pain, rest and ice for a week. When symptoms are gone, stretch the hip flexors (see “Knee Lean“), and gradually rebuild your mileage.

 

YOU FEEL: An ache in the front of your hip or near your groin. It worsens postrun.

IT MAY BE: femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). FAI occurs when the ball of the hip joint doesn’t fit into the socket; the grinding tears the cartilage lining the socket.

HOW TO FIX IT: FAI usually requires eight weeks of physical therapy; sometimes surgery is necessary.

 

YOU FEEL: An achy, burning sensation on the side of your hip during or after a run

IT MAY BE: Bursitis. This occurs when the liquid-filled sac (bursa) that separates your hip bone from the iliotibial band is inflamed. It’s confused with ITB syndrome, but ITB’s main symptom is knee pain.

HOW TO FIX IT: Ice and strengthen the gluteus medius (see “Hip Hike“) and hip abductors (see “Leg Raise“).

 

YOU FEEL: A sharp pain in your buttocks during a run and it lingers afterward

IT MAY BE: piriformis syndrome. When the piriformis – a muscle deep in the hip – is tight, it rubs against the sciatic nerve. The result is pain deep in the buttocks, or radiating pain down the leg or back.

HOW TO FIX IT: Rest for two weeks, and ice the area. After the first week, get deep-tissue massage to help relieve tightness, or do self-massage by sitting on a tennis ball. When the pain lessens, stretch the muscle regularly (see “Yoga Pigeon“). If this doesn’t help, a strain may have occurred, which will require more rest and physical therapy.

Try these stretches to alleviate running hip pain.

Got something to say?

One Response to “Dealing With Running Hip Pain”

  1. Fran Diesel says:

    Has anyone suffered from tensor fascia lata syndrome? any advice please?

Leave a Reply