A lot of athletes and non-athletes have Hip pain running and do not know why. This can be a huge issue when you are trying to increase your mileage or even just break into the sport. This article will help you identify why you are experiencing Hip pain running and what next steps you should take.
Hip Pain Running Causes
The Hip joint and surrounding body parts are extremely intricate pieces of human machinery, which is why they can be prone to injury. Although it is a relatively small area, both the Hip and Hip Flexor takes on a lot of stress, especially during running. The trickiest part when you have Hip pain running is to determine the Hip pain causes.
The first, and hopefully the cause of your Hip pain running is that your Hip is simply tight. Usually this will be noticed in pain or discomfort mainly at the start of your run and just after. If you believe this is the case it is a relatively easy fix by performing some Hip stretches. In a few weeks of consistent stretching you should see a major pain reduction, if not dissolution completely.
There are many kinds of Hip Injuries that you can read more about in our article about that topic. What I would like to touch upon here is what might cause the injuries while running and where the pain would be located.
Anterior Hip Pain Running
The anterior part of your hip is the front portion, centered at the Hip joint. If you have anterior Hip pain running, the problem is usually because of the Hip joint or one of your hip flexors. Please refer to our article on Hip Flexor injury if you think you have a muscular injury in that region. Otherwise, the Hip joint could be developing arthritis if you are over 50, or most commonly you could have a Hip labral tear.
Lateral Hip Pain Running
As many runners have experienced, the IT band can be an often source of frustration. Because of the length of the IT band, sometimes it can affect the Hip. Bursitis in either the Hip or the IT band can cause significant pain in the lateral region (side). The bursa inflammation can be triggered during movement which is why it is often a source of Hip pain while running.
Posterior Hip Pain Running
The final source of Hip pain running is in the posterior region, commonly known as the backside. The pain here is usually related to gluteal pain, the most common affliction being Piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is closely related to sciatica and is usually felt in a constant aching pain that may flare up and feel almost like a muscle pull while running. To fix Piriformis syndrome perform the following stretch: Sit down with one leg bent, then place the foot of the other leg just in front of the knee of the bent leg. Once in this position use your arm to push forward the free knee until you feel a stretch in your gluteal/Hip region.
As always, if your injury seems severe and you feel lost on what to do about it, please go see a doctor. It is much easier for him/her to perform an MRI and find out once and for all what the injury is if you are just randomly guessing and trying things out.
How to prevent Hip Pain Running
There are two main things that you can do to prevent Hip pain running. The first of which is to improve your technique. The Hip in particular is very sensitive to discrepancies between legs, so if you are inconsistent with your technique it can often lead to pain.
The second way to prevent Hip pain is to consistently perform hip strengthening. The stronger and more conditioned the surrounding muscles and tissues are, the less likely they are to get hurt from the high levels of stress during running.
Do not settle and accept Hip pain running because it will hurt your performance, and more importantly your enjoyment.