Hip Pain


Experience From - Unknown , Larry Phillips , Linda , Ray Zirblis ,


Andy Williams wrote:

"Has anyone who has experienced hip pain encountered a good therapy? I noticed a pain in my right hip the last 10 miles of the Arkansas Traveler last October. A little sore the following month but after finishing Pine Mountain it actually felt much better. Two weeks after Pine Mountain I twisted my leg and then really noticed the hip. Seemed to limp a bit after that -- thought it might be hamstring or sciatic nerve but was able to rule out sciatic nerve. After two more weeks I was running again (probably shouldn't have) and was able to run with very little discomfort."
The past month and a half I've been averaging 50 - 60 miles per week and had no problem with a 22 mile run one week. Then I went out of town for a week and started having trouble running while I was away. When I got back I could barely do ten miles.

I've tried laying off running for several days but it doesn't seem to help.

The pain seems to be at the joint between the thigh and the hip with some pain on the outside but mostly up under the hip. There seems to be full range of motion but it gets sore in the upper back area when the leg is extended.

I guess after 17 years this is my first real running injury.

Sounds like trochanteric bursitis (inflammation of the bursal sac of the greater trochanter of the femur.) Often caused by an imbalance in the muscle strength of the quads in relation to the hamstrings or just plain old tight hamstrings. Very common in runners who do a lot of hill running or cycling (both of which favor the quads over the hamstrings) The treatment is stretching exercises for the hamstrings, hip rotators and iliotibial band. The condition often does not improve even with long periods of rest but does respond very rapidly to steroid injection of the bursa. I would advise evaluation by a good orthopedic specialist. Of course it is difficult to diagnose a patient I can not see, but this is my tentative diagnosis based on your description. My credentials (seeing as that has been an issue lately with some of the posts on this server) are: ER doc and runner.

Larry Phillips

Last year I had hip pain that came and went and then I heard about compression shorts. Going to the doctor or massages did not help but after I started wearing the compression shorts things cleared right up. Now I do not run without them . Any kind of spandex shorts or tights seem to do the same thing. Can't say or not if they will work for you but I feel they are worth a try.


You are the second one in 3 months who has asked this identical question. I should file my response so I can share it with others!

I had acute groin pain, just to the left of the pubis, in 1992. It felt like I had been shot through the groin there and the bullet was stuck. Is that what you mean by hip pain? If so, continue, if not delete.

Although various experts told me it was pubic stress fracture, uterine fibroids, tendinitis (I forget of what), and lots of other stuff, in fact I never learned for sure what it was. It was acute for over a year. The experts recommended all kinds of shots and surgery and things, most of which I did not undergo! Over a period of years I have figured out some strategies that have helped me keep running, and it never revisits me now. Here they are in case you ever need them:

  1. my body is assymetrical and monthly massage helps re-align it (DEEP tissue. Rolfing would probably be good but I have always been too chicken and too cheap to try it).

  2. never run two days in a row; run soft surfaces as much as you can; avoid road marathons.

  3. keep mileage reasonable (this of course is anathema to ultrarunners)

  4. stretch everything after you run, and forget the nonsense about how racehorses never stretch.

  5. have a really good PT evaluate muscle imbalances. I had several, and strengthening the right spots has been helpful.

  6. cross-train to make up for the "lost" mileage; swim; bike; deep water run (boring as heck but really great for endurance and overall body workout: you will sleep like a baby after one hour of this stuff. Do it with a friend you can argue with to make the time go by). Donna Perkins used DWR the year she got a stress fracture and couldn't impact-train until late for the Worlds in Europe. It worked.

Ray Zirblis

Andy, I have something that is perhaps similar to your problem. It came on early and slowly at the VT100 last year and maybe about mile 55 I was having pain on the up hills, but by mile 82 it was excruciating and I DNFed. Anyway, I have tried various things, but often get a telltale ache or slight "presence" in even a 5 to 10 miler.

One doctor tells me that I have always streched my hip front to back, but not enough in all directions--It is a ball joint, of course, not a "hinge" joint. SO I am doing thorough (for me) streches of that area. At the Orlander 24 hour last Fall, it came on again and I got a quick massage at mile 40 or 45, this gal dug her fist into my hip and butt real hard for maybe 5 minutes. The pain completely disappeared and I was able to keep going, no problem.

I am trying to pay lots of attention to slow streching of the hip. Trying to strenthen the muscles (weight machines, etc.), also I do notice that compression shorts seem to make a difference. Am also taking asperin or nuprin before runs.

A chiropractor told me that my problem is muscular, not the hip joint itself, which he says is good, that is a muscle can repair and be worked with. Right now I live with it, baby it, and hope some of this works. I hope you can get past it. Let me know or post it if you find the "silver bullet."