I have hip pain, what should I do?
If you begin to experience hip pain while running, it's critical to take immediate action. We would advise taking a break from running to avoid making things worse. If you are experiencing pain with all activity then rest is best, but if you are able to cross train without pain, then switch your run sessions to non-impact forms of exercise.
If the pain does not get better with rest, we would advise seeking advice from a doctor or physical therapist. A health professional will have the knowledge needed to correctly identify the source of your pain and provide a tailored treatment programme to help you get back to 100%. It is important to note that the following suggestions should only be considered as advice and it is important to get in touch with a professional if your hip pain persists or is stopping you from moving normally without pain.
The importance of running form
Hip pain is sometimes linked to running form. You might be loading your hips incorrectly or experiencing referred pain from another area due to poor form. It is worth having your form evaluated by a physiotherapist or biomechanics expert who can provide advice and exercises to help improve your form. Check out our guide on improving running form.
Strength and Flexibility
Muscle imbalances and weaknesses are common causes of hip discomfort. Include strength training exercises that target important hip muscles like the glutes, hip flexors, and adductors in your fitness routine to reduce discomfort. Training these areas provides stability by strengthening the supporting tissues surrounding the hips. Combine this with consistent mobility and stretching exercises to improve hip flexibility and reduce strain. This strategy not only reduces the possibility of hip pain but also improves general hip function, enabling you to run more comfortably and effectively.
Gradual Training Progression
Hip pain is frequently brought on by rapid mileage increases. Avoid this by progressively increasing pace, distance and intensity into your training regimen. Factor in enough rest and recuperation time too. This lets your body heal, adapt and reduce the chance of overuse injuries. Be flexible with your training, listen to your body's needs and follow a well-rounded training schedule.
Wearing appropriate running shoes that are suited to your foot type and running style is key. If you are someone that requires a more supportive shoe, then it is important you get the right pair. Hip discomfort can be exacerbated by uncomfortable or worn-out shoes, so track how many miles you have run in them, upgrade them if the soles are wearing thin or if they are not providing the same support.
Injuries are frustrating, and you are probably reading this article as you've got hip pain and are at a loose end. Be patient, take your time coming back to avoid the injury recurring, focus on getting strong and doing the things you can control.