What Causes Hip Pain After Running and How to Deal With It?
Hip pain after running is rather common issue for athletes. It usually isn’t something serious, and just a temporary problem. However, a major reason it can get quite challenging to deal with is because it’s often very confusing, as symptoms of many related conditions tend to be quite similar. The problems that lead to pain in the hips during or after running are usually termed as hip alignment issues. As mentioned above, although they may not be very serious, if left untreated, they may surely lead to more severe conditions and injuries.
Common specific conditions
Below we give examples for some common conditions runners with hip pain could face.
Bursitis is quite a common illness linked to hip pain after running. Hip bursitis symptoms include tightening of leg muscles, dull ache on the outside of your hip, and knee pain. It leads to inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs, which are responsible for lubricating your body’s joints. You may fall prey to this condition if more pressure is put on your iliotibial band (that runs along the outside of your thigh) than it can handle. Usually, you would get a burning or popping feeling on the outside of your hips while dealing with this problem. You would also feel pain in your hips during or after running, as the tightened leg muscles would feel the pressure. Some effective measures you can take against it include reducing the mileage and stretching your hamstrings after completing the run. However, if none of these bring about a considerable change, you may want to go for anti-inflammatories as a final resort (of course after consultation of a professional).
This is a relatively uncommon condition, but can be much more challenging to deal with. If you tend to run on concrete or asphalt for a long time without stopping much, and start feeling a throbbing pain in the inside part of your hips, chances are that you may be dealing with a stress fracture. There’s little you can do yourself to treat this condition, and may have to visit a doctor or even a sports medicine specialist. You may have to rest for at least 3-4 weeks, depending on the severity of the fracture. While suffering from this condition, you will find that the pain in your hips gets worse as you keep running. In fact, if not taken care of immediately, you may find it difficult to even do your daily activities, as the pain in your hips may eventually force you to limp around. Even after you are cleared, however, you may not be allowed to run in the same intense way as before. Instead, for a couple of months or so, you may have to settle for low-impact exercises, including walking, exercising on a low-resistance stationery bike, and doing other such mild exercises, which don’t put much pressure on your hips, or any of your lower body parts for that matter.
If you have recently fallen on your hips while running or ended up with a twisted hip, and have now started getting a “clicking” feeling in your hip, you may have a cartilage tear. You would usually end up having a cartilage tear when a problem occurs between your ball and socket joint. If you suspect you may have got this condition, the first thing you need to do is stop running and visit a doctor. The treatment process may be quite similar to the above mentioned condition, but depending on how severe the problem is, you wouldn’t be recommended to start running again for quite some time.
Iliotibial band syndrome
This condition is usually a result of running in an intense way on roads or tracks for an extended period of time. It’s caused when the ligament that runs down from the outside of your thigh all the way to your shin ends up in an irritated state, probably because it was stressed to much while jogging or running. Although it isn’t a very serious problem, it may force you into a resting state for quite a few weeks if not taken care of in time. However, if you manage to catch it in time, you may be able to get rid of it in just around a week or so. A few things you can do to make the irritated ligament get back into its normal state include avoiding tight shoes (using tight and old shoes for too long is believed to be a cause of iliotibial band syndrome), changing directions and tracks, stretching your legs after running.
It also needs to be mentioned that sometimes, your old injuries may result in hip ailment issues as well. Usually, if you feel hip flexor pain after running, and have suffered injuries in the past, then there may be a connection between the two. Some injuries lead to inflammation of the tendon that connects to a bone. This tends to result in pain in the part around your knee and sometimes even hips after running, as the hip flexor may be dealing with some problems due to inflammation of the tendon. Hip flexor is the muscle that helps lift your knee, and hence it makes sense that any problems with this muscle may lead to problems with your knee and hip during and after running.
Hip Pain Relief
Regardless of the condition you are dealing with or even if you just feel hip pain after running, there are quite a few things you can do to avoid falling prey to more problematic conditions or hip injuries. They are:
- Avoiding tight shoes, as they may put pressure on a few joints in the lower part of your body, leading to injuries and pain
- Warming up a bit before starting the run, and not running more than your body can take it
- Stretching your legs and hamstrings after completing the run, and taking a bit of rest
- Getting yourself checked for any injuries or other problems before starting on a running schedule