Of the joints in the leg that are commonly injured in runners, hip pain often poses the most difficult diagnosis. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, there are simply too many possible causes of hip pain, and a second, less obvious reason, relates to the frequency of these injuries. The bony anatomy of the hip is actually quite straightforward. The head of the femur ends in a ball that articulates with a pocket in the pelvic bone, the acetabulum. This forms the classic ball-in-socket joint. Yet, because of the extreme forces that this joint is subjected to, especially when running, and because of the very complicated supporting structures that help make it among one of the strongest and most stable joints in the body, many potential sources of hip pain are possible. Because the hip plays such an important role in weight bearing and locomotion, it is of the utmost importance to identify these injuries as early as possible, and treat them before they result in joint damage.
Hip pain from running – do we all have it and is it normal?
It is not on mandatory for all people, who run, to feel hip pain from running. Plus – some people feel pain during running, while others will be in discomfort afterwords. The difference can be explained with the different sources of the pain, the different explanations why we have it. So here are the top common causes of the hip pain from running:
- Fracture or stress
A stress fracture can occur in the neck of the femur (femoral neck) as a result of overtraining, or as a result of incorrect training, using inappropriate footwear. A stress fracture is a break in the bone and it can be a partial break or complete break. It can be felt as groin pain when performing any weight-bearing activity.
- Inflammation process
First of all, know that the hip joint can be suffering from two types of inflammation processes. At one hand, we have iliotibial band inflammation. And on the other hand – the so-called inflammation of the bursae. The bursae act as cushions, reducing friction and allowing muscles and tendons to glide more easily over bones. The bursae can become inflamed as a result of overtraining (or also as a result of minor trauma to the area) and symptoms can include pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness and redness. Trochanteric bursitis is inflammation of the Greater Trochanteric Bursa which sits between the greater trochanter (bony prominence on the femur) and the muscles and tendons covering it. The iliotibial band is a tendon running from the hip, down the outside part of the thigh, to the knee. A tight band can cause hip pain or knee pain or both, and the band can also become inflamed.
- Snapping hip syndrome
It happens when the muscles of the hip come into contact with the thigh bone or the pelvis. Snapping hip can occur externally or internally in runners; the former usually involves the glutes, while the latter involves the hip flexors. If the hip flexors are affected then this condition tends to cause significant pain, as well as an audible snapping or clicking sound while running.
- Gout or arthritis
If you have chronic join diseases like arthritis and gout, knee will eventually worsen – especially if you run on a regular basis and you do it the wrong way or with the wrong shoes. Conduct your physical activity with a specialist to be 100% sure that you do not harm your joints.
- Labral tear
A labral tear occurs when the cartilaginous lining of the hip socket becomes abraded due to repetitive stress or trauma. Other than pain the symptoms of a labral tear include stiffness, reduced range of motion in the hip and locking of the hip joint. Labral tears are serious injuries and typically require surgery.
Prevent any hip pain from running by having an orthopaedic advisor or person, who will follow your physical activity, if you are a beginner in the gym. Proper clothes and shoes are also essential, as well as putting yourself on a healthy diet and taking food supplements, if needed.