Hip Pain Running | Hip Pain After Running | Front Hip Pain Running
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Hip Pain Running

Hip injuries are relatively uncommon in runners. In fact, the overall prevalence is only 10% as opposed to 50% for knee injuries. However, hip injuries can be related to several factors and should be diagnosed promptly for effective management. Lets take a look at different conditions that can lead to hip pain running.

Hip Pain after running?

Sudden onset of hip pain during a run is relatively uncommon. Hip issues generally have an insidious onset and occur after running due to an overload. This is often a result of an increase in training load, as in the mileage, the speed or the intensity of training. It is worth mentioning that load is not only physical: in fact, stress, lack of sleep, and other psychological factors may contribute to the development of symptoms.

Front Hip Pain Running

FAI: Femoral-Acetabular Impingement

This is a common cause of hip pain in young active individuals, particularly in adolescence. Symptoms are due to the head of the femur “pinching” on the acetabular cavity (or viceversa) due to an excessive bony protuberance. Research suggests that many individuals are can be pain-free despite having this condition.

However, for some, the discomfort may be severe and debilitating, with a direct impact on physical activity. Pain is generally quite sharp and localised deep inside the joint. Some aggravating factors include sitting with crossed legs or in a “meditating” posture.

Conservative management involves increasing pain-free joint range of motion, deep hip muscle, external rotators, gluteus Maximus strengthening, increasing trunk strength, and improving balance activities. Should this fail to address symptoms, a surgical opinion may be considered.

Labral Injury

The presence of an FAI may in the long run lead to the development of a labral injury. This is a fibrocartilage structure that helps to increase the congruence and stability of the hip joint. Although in runners labral tears are rare compared to other multidirectional sports such as football or tennis, it is still worth keeping in mind.

Symptoms may involve a sharp deep pain associated with deep joint clicking or clunking. In these cases, conservative treatment generally involves reducing the provoking positions that may irritate the labrum. A progressive loading regimen should be started as soon as possible alongside anti-inflammatory medication. Surgical management should be the next stage if symptoms fail to resolve.

Hip Labrum Tear

Hip Osteoarthritis

This is a condition that is more prevalent in the older running population. Both conditions previously explained may ultimately lead to Hip OA. A deep and vague hip pain that is aggravated by running is the most commonly reported symptom. Some morning stiffness may also be part of the picture.

Evidence supports conservative management based on exercise therapy and activity modification, along with weight loss if relevant. Hip replacement surgery is generally the last resource when the pain becomes disabling and affects not only sport but also day-to-day activities.

Hip Impingement

This is an umbrella term to indicate all the different forms of hip pain that may affect tendons and muscles within the hip. Hip flexor tendinopathy may be responsible for the symptoms when pain is at the front of the hip and aggravated by resisted activation of the Ilio-psoas muscle (the main hip flexor muscle).

Adductor tendinopathy (groin pain) tends to be less of a problem for runners given it is the main issue in multi-directional sports (football and tennis). As with every tendinopathy, symptoms are a result of overload and should be treated with activity modification at first followed by targeted strength training. Addressing faulty biomechanics in running may also prove useful.

FAI | Hip Impingement

Hip Stress Fracture

Hip Stress Fractures can result from an excessive overload of the bone, which ultimately tends to fracture under the exceeded demand placed on it. Stress fractures tend to be more common in women and those with a vitamin-D deficiency, osteopenia, or osteoporosis.

Hip pain in this case is quite sharp and related to impact (pain during each running step). Common sites of a stress fracture within the hip joint are the neck of the femur and the pubic ramus. The latter tends to cause more of groin-related pain.

Rest and partial weight-bearing are key to allow resolution of a stress fracture, generally 6-8 weeks. Cross-training should be normally fine, along with simple non-weight-bearing exercise.

Outside Hip Pain After Running

Gluteal Tendinopathy

This is an extremely common form of hip pain, especially for runners. We have dedicated a whole article to the symptoms, causes, and treatment of this condition here.

Physiotherapy At Flawless Physio

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