If you are new to running, you may experience discomfort and pain and even sustain injuries. A common place to experience pain after your run is the hips.
Runners often experience discomfort in the hips due to tight hip flexors which can drastically increase your risk of injury as you train.
In this article, we delve deeper into why your hips hurt after a run, what causes the discomfort, and how to begin alleviating the hip pain during and after your runs.
Let’s get into why we might get sore hips and hip flexor pain when running!
The Hip Joint Explained
The largest ball and socket joint in your body, the hip joint supports your weight and keeps you upright by carrying the weight of your body.
The acetabulum, a cup-shaped socket in your pelvis, and the top of your thigh bone, or femoral head, come together to form the joint.
Your hip muscles, including the hip flexors, extensors, adductors, abductors, internal rotators, and external rotators, as well as ligaments and tendons that connect bone to bone, stabilize the joint.
Your hip joint cannot dislocate or overextend thanks to your ligaments.
Along with the lubricating fluid in your joint (synovial fluid), your hip joint also has multiple fluid-filled sacs called bursae that serve as cushions and aid in the smooth movement of your hip joint.
Causes Of Hip Pain When Running
Whether you run, walk, or lift weights, any form of exercise puts strain on the hip joint. However, there are a few reasons why this strain may be becoming painful.
1. Muscle Strain & Tendonitis
Hip tendons can become inflamed and injured by tendonitis, which results from overusing your hip joints, which can also strain your hip muscles.
- When you run or move your hip, you may have a burning feeling, an aching, pain, and stiffness in your hip.
- Additionally, you can experience rubbing or popping on the outside of your hip.
Treat: Rest and the use of an ice pack many times each day for up to 20 minutes at a time can be used to treat tendinitis and strained muscles.
For up to a week, you can also treat pain and inflammation using over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).
In more serious cases, physiotherapy might also be required.
The bursae in your hip joint may experience excessive pressure from overuse, leading to bursitis, in which the bursae swell and become inflamed.
Hip pain, erythema, edema, and tenderness may result from this.
The two main types of hip bursitis are:
- Iliopsoas Bursitis: Inflammation of the iliopsoas bursa, which is located at the front of your hip, results in pain that travels down the front of your leg to your knee. Your groin area may also become sore.
- Trochanteric Bursitis: Pain on the outside of the hip is caused by inflammation of the greater trochanteric bursa, which is located between the muscles and tendons that cover the greater trochanter on your femur.
Treat: To treat bursitis, get plenty of rest and use an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
You can use a hot pack to relieve pain once the swelling has decreased. If your hip is not sensitive to touch, a little massage can increase blood flow and help with pain management.
3. Strength Imbalance
Your hips’ strength imbalances can also be problematic. It’s completely common to have one leg that is a little bit longer than the other.
Unfortunately, if you’re running vast distances, it can really show itself. It might also be the outcome of a previous injury.
If the imbalance is the problem, a professional should be able to identify it and provide assistance.
One leg can benefit greatly from either massage to loosen and relax it or activities to strengthen it.
A physical therapist (PT) can determine whether a heel lift or an orthotic in running shoes would be useful to balance out a noticeable leg length discrepancy.
Treat: The quickest course of treatment is to consult a specialist, but simply concentrating on it and maintaining proper posture can also be beneficial.
Yoga is an excellent low-impact workout to complement jogging, which has a significant impact.
4. Cartilage Tears
It also requires time for a hip cartilage tear, often known as a labral tear, to mend properly.
- Running with a clicking or catching sensation is the most visible indicator of this injury, especially if it is present occasionally along with pain.
- If you recently fell or hurt your hip, this is considerably more likely to happen.
Treat: Since the severity of the tear will greatly influence the course of treatment, this type of damage necessitates medical advice.
While more serious tears could necessitate surgery, other patients can recover with a little rest and physical therapy. Do not take this lightly; get medical advice and pay attention to it.
5. Stress Fractures
If you frequently run on hard surfaces like the road and you find that the pain is coming more from the inside of your hip, it may be a stress fracture.
Running will undoubtedly make your condition worse if this is what you have.
Treat: Don’t wait until you become physically incapable of running and can only shuffle around the home with a limp. Visit a physician to be certain.
Running is not allowed during the six to eight weeks it takes to heal from a fractured bone. If your doctor gives the all-clear first, you might be able to go swimming or easy biking.
The hip pain after a run may seem like the end of the world. But most causes can be fixed with some rest, an ice pack, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
If the pain continues to get worse, seek medical help immediately. Untreated hip pain could lead to something much more serious, such as a lateral tear that can take weeks to heal.
Prevent hip pain by stretching the hip, and strengthening the hip flexors, abductors, and adductors through light conditioning exercises.
You will be pounding the pavement harder than ever after you fix your sore hip flexors!