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Hip Pain Running

Running is a popular way to keep fit and control body weight but is associated with a significant number of musculoskeletal problems due to the jarring involved and the tendency of people to overdo things too soon or increase their distances too fast.

Hip pain running is a relatively common complaint presenting to physiotherapists for treatment for hip pain relief. Hip pain can be caused by a variety of conditions including iliotibial band syndrome, hip arthritis, hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitis, sacroiliac joint pain and lower back pain.

Iliotibial band syndrome causes knee pain in runners but can also cause hip pain where the band snaps back and forth over the bony prominence at the side of the thigh called the greater trochanter. It can be caused by running on slopes, running a lot up hill and down hill, doing lunges in the gym and rowing.

Trochanteric bursitis, also called hip bursitis, is a common diagnosis for lateral hip pain and thigh pain but scientific work has cast doubt that there is any inflammation present in these cases. Anatomical work has shown a high incidence of degeneration in the tendons of the hip muscles around the greater trochanter, raising the possibility that this pain is not due to bursitis but to tendon dysfunction.

Arthritis of the hip can present as pain on running if the changes in the hip joint are minor rather than severe enough to warrant a hip replacement. Keeping the hip mobile by stretching out its ranges of movement can maintain it in good shape so that sensible running distances can be regularly performed.

Physiotherapy can provide hip pain relief by deep friction massage, ultrasound, stretches, exercises and advice about activity modification to all the painful structures to settle to some extent. Limiting the distance run and leaving extra time between training sessions may be useful methods of limiting the stresses on the hip and its tissues.

More information about hip pain running is available at and Runner's World.

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