What exactly is causing your Hip Bursitis from Running?
My name is Jimmy, and running has been a big part of my life and my families life for years. My mom and dad, even used to run mini marathons back in their 30’s and 40’s.
Even some of my uncles (mom’s side) and cousins run. It’s definitely something in our genetics and as a family, we often joke about this when we’re all together.
I remember as a teen, waking up, and I don’t know what it is, but all I wanted to do, is just run. Maybe I was simply destined to do so.
My mom said, as a kid, it’s all I ever did. Never academic, but in an athletic sense, I excelled.
I was not motivated to seek Olympic fame. As I mentioned in the beginning, I just loved to run.
Then one day, my world came crashing down. One morning for no apparent physical reason, my lower back started to ache something terrible.
I got out of bed, dot on 4.30am as I started running at 5.00am, and had done for the past 10 years, then ouch, I would grab at my lower back and kinda scream!
I was in excruciating pain. Stabbing pain, like little metal daggers piercing the insides of my lower back area.
It truly was something, I would rather forget!
I was too young for this at 35, for the type of pain I was experiencing and I felt frustrated.
But over the following weeks and a few doctors, chiropractors visits later, I was told I was experiencing and suffering from “Hip Bursitis!”
I didn’t even know what this was, except from the fact, it was stopping me from doing something I LOVE! Running.
And so the journey to healing and fixing my hip problem and pain from it, began!
I took some serious amount of time off work, I had to.
I had good health insurance so it gave me security and time to really learn about what had happened to me and why.
I now want to share this with you, today!
So, about you?
Obviously you are suffering some kind of hip pain when you’re running? Or someone close to you might be?
Well, I really want to help you here. That’s what I’m about.
Below I’ve described I hope in a friendly tone, what exactly Hip Bursitis is when you’re running, or as a consequence to running, and what you can do about it.
What I mean here is what you can avoid in terms of preventable measures you can take so you would not experience, what I did.
Also what you can do in terms of pain relief because let’s face it, pain in the hip is no party!
I had to learn all about my injury because well, there was no way in the world, that I was ever going to stop running!
What is Hip Bursitis?
Hip bursitis is quite a common ailment especially for people who exercise regularly including of course, running.
The condition “Hip Bursitis” arises when the fluid-filled sacs in your hips known as bursas become inflamed.
The inflammation is the body’s way of trying to minimize the friction in the hips. When you exercise a lot, heavy weights, running or simply perform movements that strain the hips, you stand a chance of developing the condition.
Runners are more likely to develop hip bursitis because of the repetitive pounding that the hips receive when one is running.
The motion of running can cause wear and tear of the hips and joints if the right exercises are not utilized.
The most common cases of bursitis are ones associated with hip strains, osteoarthritis and stress fractures.
Other less common ones include; Tendinitis which afflicts the psoas muscle and occurs when someone pulls or overuses a tendon that is attached to the iliac bone, it is associated with activities such as hill work, speed work, or long-distance walks or runs.
Others include strains and pull caused by the foot slips backward.
In regards to hip bursitis, the affected areas are the hip flexors; they are a group of muscles responsible for the forward and up movements of the thighs.
If you experience hip pain after running emanating from the outer area of the hip, it could be due to the greater trochanteric bursitis; this the area of the skeleton that connects the ball to the femur and is the place that handles hip stress.
In the protrusion where the thigh bone sticks-outward around the neck, there is the bursa or lubricating sac that ensures that the muscles around the area do not directly rubon the bone.
From the explanation, you can derive how bursitis occurs: if there is an increase in stress of the hip that leads to the friction of the muscles and the bone an inflammation grows.
Another cause of the hip flexor pain from running could be due to the tension applied on the adductor muscles.
Adductors muscles are located in the inner thigh and pull the leg inwards hence the forward motion.
Therefore, the faster the one moves, the higher the adduction achieved; a human walking motion is single file and not side-by-side.
During runner, you are causing a given degree of adduction. An, as a result, long-distance running or walking can cause a strain to the adductor muscles.
Hip flexor pain from running can also be caused by other conditions such as sport hernias, osteitis pubis, stress fractures, or infections.
Symptoms Of Bursitus
The characteristic symptom of hip bursitis is joint pain and tenderness. In some cases, you may notice some swelling and warm sensations around the affected area.
In its initial stages, the hip flexor pain from running could be sharp, and as time passes, the area can become achy and dull.
You will face challenges with simple day to day activities such as getting out of bed or a chair, getting into your car, walking from room to room.
It is also possible to feel some pain when you lay down or sit on the affected hip side.
In ordinary most cases, chronic bursitis once treated is likely not to occur again.
However, acute bursitis caused by trauma such as injury can be annoyingly persistent.
In such instances, the recurrence causes the bursa to become thick, and the swelling can become worse.
People suffering from acute bursitis may have limited movement and atrophy (weakening of muscles)
For regular or chronic cases of hip bursitis, physicians recommend resting of the joint as much as possible.
For treatment of inflammation, one can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.
The medicine can also help in relieving any possible hip flexor pain from running.
You can also use an ice pack on the area to aid any swelling and lessen pain. After you first notice or feel the pain, you must try to avoid activities that may cause further damage.
After the pain subsides, you can begin exercises for treatment courses. Exercising after developing the symptoms is crucial to prevent muscle atrophy.
My advice is that you seek assistance from a professional before embarking on any further exercising.
Having a physician look into your situation will enable you to learn its seriousness. Sometimes you may need simple physical therapy while sometimes you have to undergo a simple surgery of bursa removal.
You may also need steroid shots for the pain and swelling. It has been found the steroid shots are very effective in the treatment of bursitis. The amount of steroids will depend on the extent of the damage and can be given at monthly intervals.
Surgery is usually the last resort if other treatments fail. In fact, the bursa fluid removal surgery is minimally invasive. Patients, therefore, do not have to spend a lot of time in the hospital. And not to worry, the hip can function normally without the bursa.
Even other procedures like the ones mentioned above, checkups are essentially necessary.
You need to undergo aspects such as x-rays and MRI to ascertain if your condition is healing or not.
With injuries, the absence of hip flexor pain from running does not necessarily infer good health. If you find that your hips are not regaining flexibility or strength, it may mean that you need further treatment.
Doctors are always cautious to clear patients of bursitis for exercising. They may suggest, decrease in straining and only do simple exercises for stretching and strengthening.
The exercises can either be increased or lowered depending on the severity of symptoms.
Speed or strain is, however, highly discouraged in the treatment during the treatment process.
Learning to Live with Bursitis
As mentioned above, chronic bursitis is treatable; it is only acute bursitis that can take more time to heal.
For people who have developed acute bursitis, the best way to cope is by avoiding strain on the hips. You may have to stop intense exercises and activities and take a rest for the sake of your hip recovery.
If you are overweight, you will have to shed some weight in order to reduce the pressure on your joints and hips.
Living with bursitis requires a lot of carefulness especially if you wish to heal your condition within the shortest possible time.
You should strive to build strength in your hips cautiously. It is crucial that you only use workout routines that have been approved by your physician.
The routines will be defined with respect to the extent of the hip damages.
Throughout your treatment process, what you will be working on is the gluteal muscles, the hip adductors, and the IT band.
Recovering individuals are often asked to avoid running on inclined surfaces. After the prescribed exercises, you can apply ice on the affected area for at least 15 minutes.
Some of the exercises that are safe for the healing process are for example the side lunges, hip raises, and leg raises.
For tendinitis and strains, you can use similar exercises as ones used for hip flex problems.
If you had received a steroid or a cortisone injection and the pain continues to persist, then you might have to seek medical assistance.
Worsening hip pain after running treatment could mean that the fracture was extensive and you may require more corrective procedures.
Some people go for the deep tissue massages as this has been found to benefit all types of bursitis.
However, I would point out that unfortunately, dealing and healing bursitis could take a long time.
What you will be doing while living with hip bursitis is trying to reinstate the muscular foundation of your hips and the inner thighs. By working on strengthening muscular base to support your hips you are re-establishing the working capacity of your hips.
If you keep up with the work-outs, after some time, you may be able to perform the movements you could before without developing any complications.
Recovery from bursitis means that your muscles can absorb more pressure. Regular exercising will help recruit muscles that can stabilize your hips and prevent the jarring motion that leads to the achy complications.
This, strength training is the best way to recover from hip flexor pain from running.
For people dealing with chronic bursitis, the Mayo Clinic recommends that in order to reduce flare-ups, you should stretch every day to increase the range of motion.
You will also have to stop engaging in activities that could result in hip pain.
The clinic strongly discourages repetitive motion actions since they add to the complications of bursitis. If you are a person who experiences flare-ups on a regular basis, you are asked to make sure that you rest your hip.
If you do not have enough rest, you stand the risk of having delayed healing. Below are more exercises that can help you deal with hip problems.
Hip Pain Relief Exercises
This is a good exercise as it engages your glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings. All these exercises are beneficial to the development of hip strength.
Equipment needed: only your yoga mat
Muscles worked: glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, lower back, and hamstrings.
1. Lie down on your back with your feet straight on the ground
2. While still on the floor, raise your feet and bend them by the knees.
3. After attaining the above position, begin an up and down motion while raising your lower back. You need to apply pressure on your heels, hips, and lower back.
4. Continue the exercises for at least 15 to 20 up and down motions. You should be able to feel pressure on your lower back and hips. You can perform the exercise fast or slow as long as you can feel the pressure on the mentioned areas of the body.
On your first sessions, do not push yourself too much, but if you can do 10-15 motions, you can increase to 20 after some more sessions.
It is important that you maintain the position described above when performing the exercise in order to achieve desired results. You can divide the exercise into five sets, do the sets until you reach muscle failure.
Lying Leg Circles
This exercise is aimed at working on your strength and flexibility. It targets the small muscles that assist in leg and hip rotation.
Equipment needed: again, bring along your yoga mat
Muscles worked: gluteal muscles and hip flexors
1. Lay down on your back with your legs straight on the ground
2. Elevate your left leg to about 3 inches off of the ground, and then make small circles, keeping your whole leg straight and in line.
3. You can start with either your left or right leg; lift it up about three inches off the ground. Use the like to draw small circles in the air. Make 3-5 sets of rotations while keeping your leg straight.
4. Rest for about thirty seconds
5. Repeat the same with the other foot.
Lying Lateral Leg Raises
This exercise targets your iliotibial (IT) band and seeks to develop and strengthen it. Given that the vascular band is partially responsible for the side-to-side leg motion, the lateral movement will exercise it.
Sometimes the input of these muscles can be neglected; the fact is that they actually play a crucial role in the enhancement of strength and stability.
Equipment needed: the yoga mat
Muscles worked: gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, obliques, and hamstrings,
1. Lie down own you back.
2. Turn on your right side and stretch out the right hand for balance
3. Lift your leg up as far as you can extend it, trying to achieve the greatest range of motion possible.
4. While in the above position, lift your left leg and try to achieve the greatest range of motion possible. Repeat the leg-lift-ups at least 15 times.
5. Rest for about thirty seconds.
6. Turn to your left side and repeat step 4.
As stated above, you may have to deal with bursitis for an extended period before you can heal it. The good thing is you actually can treat it.
You only need to be careful not to attract more harm than good. Although you ought to practice on a regular basis in order to get back your strength, it is imperative that you protect yourself from permanent damage.
Therefore, please stick to the recommendations by your doctor or chiropractor, or any other health professional and report any further persistent hip pain after running.
I hope that these tips above, have been truly useful to you, and that you repair any damage done, to live a very pain free hips life!