Hip pain often occurs when running. While it’s normal to have some degree of soreness after exercising, pain can also mean you’ve been injured. Butt pain can be caused by damage to the muscles, bones, tendons, or other structures in the buttocks.
This article discusses the most common causes of hip pain after running, what causes these injuries, what the typical symptoms are, and how to treat these injuries.
Common causes of hip pain after running
Hip pain after running can be caused by a variety of conditions, some more severe than others.
Running can cause muscle strains or “strains” of muscles. This injury occurs when your muscles develop tiny tears in your muscles from too much training or from running farther or faster than you’re used to.
E.g. A strain on the gluteus medius (located below the gluteus maximus) can cause hip pain. You will most likely feel this pain on the outside of your hip and/or back. This muscle is important for absorbing shock when your foot hits the ground while running.
Gluteal medius injuries can also cause pain during other daily activities, such as climbing stairs, jumping, and sitting for long periods of time.
Other muscles that move your hips can be strained by running, but they may not cause hip pain. Muscle strains usually affect the widest part of these muscles, causing pain in the front or back of the thigh.
Tendonitis is one of the conditions that can cause hip pain after running. This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons – the structures that connect muscles to bones. This usually happens if you’re running longer distances than usual, or if you don’t have enough rest days to allow your muscles to fully recover between workouts.
Tendinitis can affect several different tendons in the hip, including:
- Hip flexors: These muscles move your legs forward and are used a lot while running. When you go uphill or sprint, these muscles have to work harder. Hip flexor tendinitis usually causes pain in the front of the hip joint.
- Adductors: These muscles move your legs toward your body. They help stabilize your pelvis and thighbone (femur) as you run. The adductors are more active when you go uphill or downhill or sprint. Adductor tendinitis can cause pain in the groin and inner thigh.
- Hamstrings: The hamstrings are three muscle groups in the back of the thigh. These muscles come together and connect at a tendon to your ischial tuberosity — the bone on which you sit. A running-related hamstring injury usually occurs when you are off the ground or when you suddenly stop while running. Pain can also occur with prolonged sitting, squats, and lunges.
Bursae are fluid-filled cushions that surround joints throughout the body. These structures can become inflamed from repeated pressure or friction, leading to a condition called bursitis. Having two bursae after running can cause hip pain.
This iliopsoas muscle The bursa is located on the front of the buttocks, near the groin.This big rotor The bursa is located behind the hip bone point, near the top of the thigh, and can be felt under the pelvis.
Trochanteric bursitis can cause pain in its place (the buttocks). After prolonged sitting, the condition can cause pain when running, climbing stairs, squatting, and getting up from chairs. However, the pain from trochanteric bursitis is usually worse at night — especially when you roll over the affected buttocks.
Iliopsoas bursitis is less common and can cause pain in the groin area.
Hip pain may be iliopsoas syndrome
Your hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball on top of the femur fits into the socket on the pelvis. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that runs around the edge of the socket to help stabilize your joint.
Labral tears can occur due to wear and tear during repetitive activities, such as running. These injuries often cause severe pain in the front of the hip near the groin. Other symptoms may include difficulty moving the hip, a feeling that the hip is about to force, a clicking sound in the hip, or a feeling that the hip is locked.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that occurs when the cartilage or the lining between the bone and the joint gradually wears down. Eventually, your bones rub against each other, causing severe pain.
OA develops over time and is more common with age. It also tends to run in the home. You’re also more likely to have OA in your hip if you have other hip injuries, including a torn labrum.
Early on, you may not notice pain until after weight-bearing activities such as running. Your hips may be stiff after sitting for a while or when you first wake up in the morning. Ultimately, pain occurs even when you are inactive.
A hip stress fracture is a crack in the bone caused by repetitive stress, such as running. Most commonly, these occur near the ball at the top of your femur, not in your hip socket.
Symptoms of a hip stress fracture include pain in the front of the hip and groin. This pain gets worse with walking or running but improves with rest. However, severe stress fractures can cause pain all the time.
How is a hip injury caused by running treated?
There are various treatments for hip pain after running. Treatment depends on the extent of your injury and how long you have had symptoms.
Many injuries that cause hip pain after running can be treated conservatively, especially if you address your symptoms early. Treatment includes:
- Ice and rest: Mild muscle strains and tendonitis usually improve if you avoid running for a week or two. You can ice your buttocks for 15-20 minutes every one to two hours to help reduce pain and inflammation. Gentle range of motion exercises can also reduce the stiffness that occurs in these conditions.
- Maintain weight loss: Stress fractures take longer to heal—about six to eight weeks. During this time, you will have to use crutches to lighten your legs.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy is a common treatment for hip pain after running. A physical therapist will treat your symptoms, but will also analyze your running skills to see if there are weaknesses in other parts of your body that are causing hip problems.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers: Medications can also help relieve hip inflammation and pain after running. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aleve (naproxen), Advil (ibuprofen), and Bayer (aspirin), are available without a prescription. Tylenol (acetaminophen) can also help reduce pain.
- Prescription medications: In some cases, prescription-strength pain relievers or oral steroid medications may also be used to treat hip injuries.
If oral medication doesn’t work, your healthcare provider may choose to inject the medication directly into your buttocks. corticosteroids It is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that is often injected to treat conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, and osteoarthritis.
Usually, these drugs start to work two or three days after the injection. However, they are not always effective and can only be performed two or three times in the same area. Overuse of steroids can actually cause further damage to your tissues.
Hip osteoarthritis can also be treated Hyaluronic acid Acid Injection. This substance helps lubricate the hip joint and reduces the stiffness that often occurs in this condition.
Severe hip injuries may require surgery. Significant muscle or tendon tears need to be repaired to restore full function. Labral tears that don’t respond to conservative treatment may require surgery to smooth the worn edges that cause joint problems.
Advanced osteoarthritis of the hip is usually treated with surgery, such as debridement (to clear rough edges) or total hip replacement.
How to prevent hip injuries?
While there is no foolproof way to prevent hip injuries, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including:
- Warm up: Do 5 to 10 minutes of low-intensity activity before you start running to increase blood flow to your muscles.
- Stretching: Do leg stretches after running (when your muscles are already warmed up) to improve flexibility.
- Add some strength training: Do resistance training exercises twice a week to strengthen the muscles you use when running to help prevent fatigue-related injuries.
- Follow a training plan: Vary your distance and speed in your weekly running workouts and schedule regular rest days to allow your muscles to recover properly.
Hip pain after running can be caused by many different conditions, such as muscle strains, tendonitis, bursitis, labral tears, and osteoarthritis. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Symptoms can sometimes be managed with activity modification, medication, and physical therapy. More serious injuries or conditions may require surgery. With proper warm-ups, stretches, strength training, and proper training, the risk of hip injuries can be reduced.
If you experience hip pain after running, don’t ignore your symptoms and hope they go away. A “no pain, no gain” attitude can lead to serious harm. If your symptoms do not resolve after rest and other conservative measures, consult your healthcare provider or physical therapist. Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe pain, difficulty moving your leg, or inability to bear weight on your leg.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should hip pain last after treatment?
Hip pain should begin to improve within a week or two of treatment. If your symptoms do not get better, talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist.
Can I run with sore hip flexors?
Muscle soreness usually improves with activity. However, if your hip soreness worsens while running, stop. This could be a sign of injury.
Does running make your hips tight?
Running doesn’t particularly cause hip tightness. Tightness often occurs when your muscles are in a shortened position for an extended period of time, such as sitting at a desk all day.