Hip Pain After Running - IMPACT Physical Therapy

Hip Pain After Running: Causes & Treatment 

Running is a popular exercise that allows people around Chicago to increase their cardiovascular endurance, strength, and core muscles. “But why does my hip hurt after running?” you might wonder. Though experiencing some soreness from running is normal, if you experience hip pain that causes limping, altered gait or worsening pain after running, it could indicate that you have injured yourself. Hip pain can be caused by several factors, such as muscle, bone, or tendon injury. Learn more about the causes of hip pain after running and how you can return to running after a hip injury. Contact our clinicians at IMPACT Physical Therapy and Sports Recovery for more information. 

Causes of Hip Pain After Running 

Instead of an endorphin rush or limber feeling after a good run, you may be experiencing a source of pain radiating from your hips. Unfortunately, hip pain after running is a common occurrence. It can be caused by weakness in your hip and core muscles, tightness throughout your legs, or even just overuse from a variety of activities. Here are some common conditions that can cause pain on your runs around Champaign: 

  • Muscle Strain: Active people are familiar with “pulled” muscles. This type of hip pain commonly comes from tiny tears that develop in the muscles of the hips when individuals are training to much or pushing faster and longer on their runs than normal.
  • Tendonitis: Inflammation at the attachment of the muscles can present as tendonitis. This inflammation often causes pain and tightness along the hip flexors, adductors, and hamstrings muscles of the lower leg. Not allowing your muscles proper recovery between runs often contributes to the onset of tendonitis.
  • Bursitis: The bursa sacs on the outside of your hips are fluid-filled cushions between the tendons and bone. When muscles are too tight along the outside of the hip, it causes rubbing or friction at the bursa, which can lead to tenderness and pain in that area.  
  • Labral Tears: The labrum is a ring of cartilage that runs around the edge of the ball-and-socket joint of your hip. Tears in this area are commonly caused by wear and tear from repetitive activities and can feel like your hip is locking up.  
  • Stress Fractures: A more serious injury that you should not push through is a stress fracture. This condition typically presents as cracks in the ball of your hip joint rather than the socket. Stress fractures require rest to heal, and often cause more sharp pain if you continue to train.  

If any type of pain is preventing you from taking your runs along the lake or in the Oak Lawn- area, request an appointment with our clinician to get you on the road to recovery.  

Treatments for Hip Pain After Running

With proper training and exercise, you can get back to the activity you love. While there are many ways to treat a hip injury from running, the basic principles include strengthening the surrounding muscle and improving mobility to keep the joint limber and strong.  

Mild strains and pains can be treated with active recovery utilizing ice, massage therapy and compression therapy to relieve inflammation and help your body recover. If your hip continues to hurt after running, it’s also a good idea to consult a physical therapist or physician to determine the cause of your symptoms and come up with a plan of care to get you back to running.

Exercise for a Hip Injury After Running 

Be sure to consult a medical professional before starting any exercise after an injury. When you’re ready to build strength and mobility, here are a few exercises that help alleviate pain and general tightness: 

  • Hamstring stretch: Start by lying on your back with both knees extended. Next, bend one leg and place the bottom of your foot against the mid-thigh or knee region of the other straight leg. Reach towards the foot of the straight leg with your hands until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold this stretch for 60 seconds, and then repeat the process three times on each side. This exercise helps improve flexibility and mobility in the legs. 
  • Bridge: Start by lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles and slowly lift your buttocks off the ground by pressing your heels down into the floor. Continue lifting your hips until your body forms a straight line with your knees, hips, and back. Hold this position for three seconds, then slowly lower back down. Repeat this movement for 10 to 15 repetitions to strengthen your core and glutes. 
  • Monster Walks: Place a resistance band loop around your ankles. Stand with both knees extended, engaging your abdominal muscles. Take slow steps sideways and ensure that you maintain tension on the resistance band throughout the exercise with controlled movements. Repeat this sideways stepping motion 15 times in one direction before doing the same in the opposite direction. This exercise targets and strengthens the gluteus medius muscles located on the sides of your hips. 

Explore more exercises for an unstable hip.  

Return to Your Everyday Activities with IMPACT Physical Therapy and Sports Recovery 

Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been running for years, hip pain is a common occurrence. Our team at IMPACT Physical Therapy and Sports Recovery is dedicated to helping you return to activity without discomfort. Learn what to expect from your first visit to our office near Hinsdale.