With the fall weather and cooler temperatures here, running has become a more popular form of exercise. With increased running also commonly comes an increase in injuries, specifically hip pain. Hip pain can have a variety of causes, and it can be structural, overuse, weakness, etc. Most commonly in runners, hip pain is caused by increasing mileage too quickly and muscular imbalances/weaknesses. Hip pain can be prevented in runners by increasing mileage at an appropriate rate, performing a dynamic warm-up and cool-down, and performing hip strengthening exercises. Below you will find strategies to help prevent hip pain while running.
Research shows increasing mileage by 10-15% at a time is safe, but most importantly, listening to your body regarding the mileage increase1. Understanding how much to increase your mileage is important, but also how frequently to increase your mileage. Increasing your mileage over 3 weeks with a week’s rest before increasing again is recommended to prevent overuse injuries1. This strategy may be delayed if an injury is involved. Utilizing a researched-based return to run program after an injury is essential to help prevent re-aggravation or overuse injuries.
Ensuring that you are utilizing a proper warm-up and cool-down is essential for injury prevention. A warm-up should consist of a series of dynamic exercises that help with specific muscle activation and mobility for the activity to come. A cool-down should consist of a static stretching program that minimizes tightness of the muscles utilized in the workout. To avoid hip pain following running, stretch your hip flexors and hamstrings.
Hip-specific strengthening exercises can help to provide stability and shock absorption during running. These exercises should include single-leg and double-leg strengthening to ensure the most support with the high impact associated with running. It is also important that the hip is strong through its full range of motion and able to maintain a level pelvis during high-impact activity.
Performing different kinds of exercise activities to increase endurance and strength helps to prevent overuse injuries of the hip. With running, the hip takes on a high load from the ground allowing ease with wear and tear injuries. Performing other activities such as weightlifting, cycling, and swimming help to prevent overuse injuries and improve longevity for a runner.
Preventing injury with proper technique and different training methods is an effective and efficient way to improve physical fitness and prevent injuries for runners. Building an all-inclusive program is the key to success for runners. Seek professional advice from one of Athletico’s endurance or hip preservation team members regarding your current running program.
Athletico offers free assessments via telehealth or in-clinic. If you notice abnormal soreness, aches, or pains with a cross-training routine or during your running, contact Athletico. Our team will assess your pain and provide recommendations for a treatment plan.
*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.