Hip Pain After Running
Hip Pain after Running: What It’s from and What to do about It
Whether you are just a beginner or you are a well seasoned marathon runner, hip pain after running is a frequent complaint among those who feel the need for speed. In many cases, cause for concern isn’t usually necessary, but in some instances hip pain may be a sign of more serious health issues. To get to the bottom of what really causes hip pain, we will first examine what the hip is, why it’s so important, and what common conditions can aggravate soreness and irritation within the hip after running.
What is the hip and why is it important?
The hip is a spectacular combination bones, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and joint that makes walking, running, standing, and sitting achievable activities. Without the hip, a human body would be rendered incapable of supporting its own weight. Construction of the hip is fascinating as its structure requires the fusion of 3 bones, the ileum, ischium, and pubis to form part of the pelvis and create a bowl like socket. This socket, otherwise known as the acetabulum, acts as a cartilage lubricated cup to hold the rounded end or ball of the femur or leg bone. Movement of the joint is made possible through a combination of muscles and ligaments.
What happens when there are issues with the hip?
Because the hip is such an integral part of everyday functioning, even the smallest problem can lead to major discomfort or dysfunction. Below is a list of the most common reasoning for hip pain:
Fracture: While most fractures occur in the elderly, many runners can incur a fracture through the repetitive impact of running.
- Displacement: This is somewhat rare, but not unheard of. In instances where serious trauma such as an automobile accident, sports injury, or sudden fall, the femoral ball can become dislodged from the acetabulum.
- Arthritis: This is the most common cause for pain in most joints and the hip is certainly no exception. Aging and overuse often contribute to the wearing away of protective lubricative cartilage within the hip joint leaving only the bones to rub together.
- Pulled muscles: In running, injury to the muscles surrounding the hip, buttocks, and legs can often become hyper extended or torn. It is important to stretch well before any type of physical activity to limit this type of hip pain.
- Back pain: People who suffer from sciatica or ruptured discs of the spine often report intense pain and burning in the hip area.
- Inflammation: Apart from arthritic inflammation, many runners may also experience hip pain due to inflammation from bursitis or tendonitis.
What can be done about hip pain?
Obviously, speaking with your physician about any discomfort you may feel after running is always important. He or she will be able to pin-point your area of concern and give you a better idea on how to treat symptoms and prevent further irritation. Once an evaluation has been done to diagnose what is causing your hip pain, your doctor will likely suggest one or more of the following treatment options:
- Surgery: Most often issued in cases where extreme arthritic deterioration has occurred and in cases where the bones of the hip have been either displaced or broken.
- Therapy: Common after any traumatic injury to the hip. General steps towards rebuilding strength and mobility are taken during weekly sessions of assisted exercise.
- Rest: In many cases of hip pain, injury may be minor and will clear up on its own within a couple of days. During this time of rest, your doctor may suggest that you use a cold or hot pack to minimize discomfort due to swelling or inflammation.
- Medication: For patients who have chronic hip pain due to arthritis, physicians will often prescribe an anti inflammatory medication in combination with a prescription pain reliever.
- Prevention: For persons who have suffered serious injury to the hip, running is not recommended. For others who have experienced over use injuries or wish to continue to run after recovery from injury, stretching is a great way to prevent muscle strain and ligament tearing.
It is important to understand that seeking the advice of a professional is always advisable and that bone and joint pain may be more serious than you might think. Taking preventative action and maintaining a good relationship with your physician is the best way to ensure that small problems don’t lead to lifelong injury or debility.