Running is a wonderful form of exercise, but can lead to injury if you do not take care of your body. Except minor pain after running a marathon, I have been able to avoid injury while running. In order to avoid injury it is important to strength train! For more about the importance of strength training, read THIS!
Hip pain is very common for people who are trying to incorporate more distance into their weekly mileage. Fortunately, hip pain is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.
Hip bursitis is the most common type of hip pain. Hip bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that lubricate your joints, and is mostly caused by tight hamstrings, over-use, adding too much milage too soon, weak muscles, or iliotibial band problems. You may feel a dull ache, burning, rubbing, or popping sensation on the outside of your hip.
- Thoroughly stretching after a run will significantly help relax your tight hamstrings. Read THIS! for tips on how to properly warm up and stretch.
- Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine will help to alleviate hip pain by strengthening your hamstrings, quadriceps, and iliotibial band.
- Slowly increasing mileage is also important. You do not want to “shock” your body too much. Yes, it is good to change things up, but you need to add milage slowly. If you are running 20 miles per week, try adding 3-5 miles the next week by adding 0.5-1 miles onto different runs throughout the week.
- It would also be a great idea to R.I.C.E. your hip (or sore area) following each run. Hopefully within 1-2 weeks of incorporating more stretching, strength training and adding R.I.C.E. after your runs, your hip pain will subside.
Here is a helpful diagram that may help to pinpoint if you are suffering from hip bursitis.
If this type of pain is not what you are experiencing, you may be suffering from a stress fracture. A sports physician will be able to diagnose a stress fracture and prescribe forms of treatment (usually 6-8 weeks).