How to Avoid Hip Pain When Running

May 02, 2023

How to Avoid Hip Pain When Running

If you love to run, but pain is keeping you from enjoying your workout, it’s time to find out what’s causing your hip pain and how to avoid it.

Hip pain while running can make you feel like every stride is an agonizing task. Understanding what causes hip pain in runners and how to relieve it, then avoid future episodes, are key to literally getting back on your feet.

At Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (AOSM), with locations in Union City and Dyersburg, Tennessee, Dr. Michael Calfee, Paxton Sisson PA-C, and the rest of our skilled team can help you figure out what’s causing hip pain when you run, and come up with long-term solutions to prevent recurrences.  

Common causes of hip pain

Many people think that chronic hip pain is something that only happens to older adults, and that it’s primarily due to arthritis. This is certainly a common complaint for seniors as their bones age and become porous, and cartilage protecting the hip joints begins to fail.

However, athletes — including runners — can also experience severe hip pain that prevents them from doing what they love. Some of the more common causes of hip pain in younger people who run include:   

  • Overuse that strains the iliotibial band that runs from the hip down to the shin 
  • Inflammation of the sacs of fluid around the hip joint, leading to muscle and tendon bursitis   
  • Referred strain and pain from lower back (lumbar spine) injuries 
  • Damage to the tissue holding the ball-and-socket joint together (a labral tear

Any of these conditions can cause you to experience pain, stiffness, clicking or locking of the hip, or even sudden weakness and collapse of the hip joint when running

Avoiding hip pain while running

The key to preventing hip pain when running is to create a plan that includes pre-care and post-care, and following it religiously. 

  • Always warm up properly and stretch well before running
  • Make sure you’re wearing the correct footwear for the terrain you’re running on
  • Select terrain carefully: a trip or slip can cause damage to your hip joint
  • Plan your run so you won’t get stuck far away from home if you have to stop
  • Stop if you experience pain while running: don’t push through it
  • Use ice, heat, and rest after your run to address any soreness or aching
  • Stagger your runs to give your body time off to recover between intense workouts
  • Consider strength training and yoga to improve endurance and flexibility

Is your hip pain getting worse and ruining your enjoyment of running? To get in touch, call the AOSM location closest to you, or book an appointment online.