There are more than enough things to try and keep on top of when training for a race or even just running for fun without having to deal with injuries holding you back.
Hip pain in runners is one of the most common complaints. Left untreated hip pain can lead on to some serious long-term health issues, and at best it’s going to cause you discomfort and hinder your progress.
The hip itself is the largest ball-and-socket joint in our bodies. Simply explained, it’s held in place by tendons, muscles, and ligaments, and there are sacs of fluid to keep the joint lubricated and aid smooth movement.
There are a lot of reasons you may be experiencing hip pain if you’re a runner. Obviously, you should be consulting the advice of a physician if you’re in this position. However, I can help you out by narrowing down some of the reasons, treatments, and ways to prevent hip pain while running.
Ways to Prevent Hip Pain from Running
The old adage, ‘prevention is the best cure’ is no truer than with injuries. Whether you’ve started to feel some pain in your hips or you’re being proactive, here are some tips to help you prevent hip pain worsening:
Warm up and Cool down Before and After Each Run
Cooling down after running is just as important as warming up before heading out. This gives your muscles and joints chance to stretch out and get some blood and oxygen flowing. Greatly reducing injury.
Target the Hip Muscle with Strengthening Exercises
A lot of runners overlook strength and conditioning in favor of putting in extra miles on the road. By adding a day or two of strength training you can reduce the chance of injury, as well as improving your times.
Easier said than done, I know. But eating lots of fruits and vegetables will ensure you’re body is getting all the good nutrients and nutrition it needs. It’s a win-win as you will recover from runs faster and stronger and see better results.
Work on Your Flexibility
Hip flexor stretches strengthen and allow more flexibility from your hips. Runners often suffer from stiff hips due to the constant repetitive motion of running so adding these exercises into your routine will be a massive help.
Reduce Hip Strain When You’re Not Running
Be more aware of how you’re treating your hips when you’re not running. Sitting down for long periods is very bad for your hips. As is standing for long periods or maintaining bad posture.
Wear Good Running Shoes
I’m sure you’ve seen various posts around what makes good footwear for running. Footwear is important not just for comfort or reducing injuries in your feet and ankles, but your hips too. So shell out a little extra and pick up the best you can afford.
Iron out Any Bad Running Habits
I’m sure you’re working on your running technique, and if you have good form you shouldn’t have any hip issues. But if you are experiencing pain then look at your form and see if you need to make any improvements.
This is something a lot of beginners are guilty of. It’s fun and addictive running, but overtraining ends up doing more bad than good. Follow a training plan and listen to your body, train, eat well, and rest.
Causes of Hip Pain in Runners
Stress fractures in the hip aren’t as obvious as a fracture in a bone in your arm or leg. The pain usually feels like a groin strain, and for a lot of people will only hurt when lifting or running. It’s a common occurrence from overtraining and not resting up when you’re feeling tired and achy.
As mentioned above, the hip has bursae sacs which are fluid sacs that cushion the joints, muscles, and tendons. Overtraining can cause inflammation in the bursae. It’s fairly obvious to the eye when there is swelling, and it’s tender and painful to touch.
As mentioned above, warming up properly and cooling down after a workout is important to avoid pulling, tearing, and straining muscles. A pulled muscle will keep you out of action for weeks at a time and can be incredibly painful.
Ways to Treat Hip Pain
If you’re suffering from the early stages of hip pain then there is no better time than now to do something about it. Unless directed otherwise by a physician, here are some treatment techniques that can provide some much-needed pain relief and help resolve the issue:
Massage – Who doesn’t enjoy a good massage. Massage therapy helps stimulate blood flow, repair muscles, and soft tissues, and speed up recovery.
Heat – Heat packs, muscle rubs, and other forms of heat therapy are effective at helping to penetrate deeper into muscles to work out aches, knots, and pains.
Anti-inflammatory medicines – If you have inflamed muscles, tendons, or bursae sacs then anti-inflammatory medicines can provide relief.
Rest – Rest is always an important aspect to recovering from an injury. Obviously, our hips are pivotal to us getting around daily so it’s easier said than done in most instances, but resting up will pay off.
Hip Pain in Runners: In Summary
When training in any form of physical exercise it’s important to listen to your body. Sure, you’re supposed to be tired, your muscles will ache, you’ll pick up the odd injury, but whenever you develop aches and pains you need to nurse yourself back to full health asap.
By mixing up your running training with stretching, strength, and conditioning, and running smarter, not harder, you will see rapid gains in your times without developing hip pain.
As always, the information in this post is only intended help from an informational standpoint. Always consult a health professional if you are experiencing hip pain to fully address the problem and stop it worsening.