Why do I have hip pain when i run?
As a runner it is very rare to be completely niggle-free when going for a run, whether it be a tight calf or hamstring from that track session you did the other day or a sore hip that won’t settle. The last thing you want to be told is to ‘have a week off’ or ‘take it easy’ and hope it goes away on it’s own!
Hip pain is one of the most common struggles in runners and is often caused by some form of muscle/strength imbalance. However it is easily preventable through adding appropriate strength and conditioning to your training routine, whether you are an elite competitor or a weekend warrior!
The 3 most common causes of hip pain during/after a run are:
Muscle imbalance (e.g reduced strength of gluteus medius/poor core control)
Overuse (often associated with some weakness as the muscles cannot cope with the stress they are being put through!)
Tightness of your ITB (this is also often associated with muscle imbalance/overuse)
How can i overcome these problems?
The best way of overcoming and preventing hip pain is to keep the muscles that control your hip, pelvis and lower back well conditioned. It can be difficult to find time to run AND go to the gym, especially when you work full time and don’t want to lose valuable outdoor running time to the sweaty indoor gym. However, there are some very effective exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to keep those hips conditioned for running!
Side lying hip abduction with internal rotation
Glute bridge off step
Dead bug (and progressions)
Adductor side bridge
Aim to complete each exercise for a total of 2 minutes- that’s 16 minutes of your day if you do the exercises on each side- to keep your hips and core strong and minimise your chances of injury!
Ruth Jones BSc (hons) MSCP HCPC