6 common causes of hip pain
The most common culprits of discomfort include hip flexor strains or hip flexor tendonitis, stress fractures and osteoarthritis. Less commonly, labral tears (cartilage), bursitis and hip shock can cause pain.
- Muscle strains and tendinopathy
This accounts for about a third of all hip pain in runners. Disturbances or lacerations usually occur in the upper tendons of the thigh, iliopsoas, rectus femoris and adductors, while the gluteal tendons are the main targets of chronic damage and inflammation. Both are usually a function of muscle imbalances, which are usually caused by a lack of lateral training. “If [these muscles] are weak, they constantly make a tug of war, under load, as they contract,” said American Physical Therapy Association spokesman Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT. This pull is exacerbated by large leaps in training volume or intensity.
Spot It: Muscle tensions and tendinopathy cause moderately acute localized pain, swelling, weakness and stiffness, says Janet Hamilton, CSCS, exercise physiologist with Running Strong in Atlanta. Normally, they develop slowly, but if you stumble on the trail, ruptures in muscles and tendons can occur in a second, causing strong stitches and bruising. Branded Shoes
Treat it: put on ice for 10 minutes, several times a day, and limit your activity until the symptoms disappear, then reduce your runs to the normal distance. Mild muscle tensions can take three to six weeks to heal completely, tendons can take six weeks to several months. Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) if possible, as inflammation really stimulates healing, says Hamilton. Significant tears require surgery.
Avoid: strength training at least twice a week with an emphasis on eccentric lower body exercises (such as slowing down the squat lowering phase to three or four seconds) to improve the ability of muscles and tendons to stretch under tension without separating.
2. Impact of the hip
The femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is an incompatibility in the shape of the femur (ball) and acetabulum (alveoli), which causes the protective cartilage of the joint (lip) to hit and, over time, contributes to degenerative osteoarthritis. FAI is a major cause of hip pain in athletes aged 20 to 30 years. Shoes And Sneakers
Individual: start with the FADIR test: lie on your back, bring your knee towards your chest, gently press your knee against your body and rotate your foot as far as possible. A pinch on the front of the hip is a sign of possible impact, but you will need an orthopedic MRI to confirm. Best Sneakers
Treat: Correcting muscle weakness and abnormal movement patterns through physical therapy can reduce discomfort. The PT can also determine a safe range of motion to avoid compressed positions during running or cross training. In some cases, surgery is necessary.
Prevent it: FAI is believed to be partially genetic. But core and hip strength works like a monstrous walk, deadlift with one leg and dead insects will give your body more control and strength to protect the hip and help prevent injury.
Wear arthritis is less common in active marathon runners than in the general population, according to research by the Rothman Orthopedic Institute (carrying the joint can improve your health by strengthening the muscles around you). But in runners with structural hip abnormalities like FAI, osteoarthritis of the hip can manifest itself at age 40, says Peter Moley, MD, a physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Kacamata Rayban
Spot It: joint stiffness; poor range of motion; and at least three months of deep, aching pain after sitting or running or at the end of the day are common symptoms, says Scott Paluska, MD, a sports medicine specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. X-rays can confirm the suspicion of arthritis.
Treat it: most outbreaks subside with RICE. In the long run, low-impact strength training and moving to softer running surfaces (treadmill, grass, sand, track, pool) can strengthen the supporting muscles without overloading the joint and causing pain and further damage to the joints, says Paul Sorace, MS, CSCS, a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. A softer cushioning insole can also help.