Running puts the body through a lot. The pounding of feet on the ground can cause injury. Specifically, thigh and hip pain are the most common running injuries. Sometimes, there is more than one condition. This makes it difficult to diagnose the injury’s location.
It’s important to note the following:
- Pain of location
- Pattern if symptoms
- When the pain occurs
- What relieves the pain, if anything
This can help a doctor to diagnose the injury more accurately.
Greater Trochanteric Bursitis:
Also known as hip bursitis, this causes pain to the outer hip. Pain can also radiate down the thigh or into the buttock and lower back. The greater trochanter is a bony protrusion on the femur.
The greater trochanter is cushioned by the trochanteric bursa. This fluid-filled sac also lubricates the IT (iliotibial) band. Furthermore, the IT band is connective tissue joining the thigh and shin bones. And running can cause minor trauma to the trochanteric bursa. However, this causes inflammation and painful symptoms. And this can be exacerbated by a tight IT band.
Traumatic bone breaks often occur with one-time injuries. A stress fracture can occur after repetitive strain. And running is one such example of repetitive strain. Also, it can cause small cracks in the femoral head in your hip. And individuals that have osteoporosis have a risk for hip pain.
Stress fractures cause pain to gradually increase. It can also become more pronounced with time. The pain will be noticeable during the activity. However, after resting, pain can subside. Pressing down on the hip can also aggravate the condition and cause pain.
Stress fractures need to be confirmed by a doctor. Advanced imaging may be necessary for diagnosis. But, these running injuries can be treated with non-surgical treatment immediately.
Hip and Thigh Muscle Running Injuries
Mild strains can make you feel stiff. But, you can typically still walk or run. These strains are defined by small tears in the muscle. Overuse and lack of conditioning can cause this injury. And a typical recovery is within a week or two.
On the other hand, severe muscle strains are different. They are defined by the full rupture of a muscle. This can occur suddenly and can also be very painful. You will notice swelling and bruising right away. Additionally, severe strains prevent walking and can take months to recover from.
There are several muscles that runners are more likely to injure.
Gluteus medius muscle: This is one of the most common running injuries. The gluteus medius runs over the outside of the hip. It is caused by overuse and affects the hip and buttock. Pain can be dull and achy. Additionally, it may be uncomfortable to lie down on that one side. Inflammation here can also affect the trochanteric bursa and IT band. All of these are in the same general area.
Hamstring muscles: These are located at the back of the thighs. Runners who sprint frequently injure these muscles. Pushing off quickly too quickly from the ground can cause a tear or strain by too much force being applied. When severe, there will be a sharp pain that can force you to stop running. It’s common for a mild hamstring strain to not be noticed right away, though.
Also, see Signs of a Hamstring Injury.
Quadriceps: These muscles are at the front of the thigh. And are easily strained from overuse. However, by not conditioning properly, injury is common. And when it occurs suddenly, it can also happen from sudden accelerations and stops.
Groin muscles: Muscles inside the thigh are called adductor or groin muscles. These are most commonly injured during sprints and fast turns. Most mild to moderate strains can be self-diagnosed and treated. Persistent groin pain will require medical attention. Several other conditions have similar symptoms. So, your doctor will need to rule out hernia and pinched nerves.
Pulled muscles can be treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. As symptoms ease, runners can ease back into exercise. They will need to incorporate stretching and strength training too. This will prevent the risk of further injury.
If you experience running injuries, call us at 888-409-8006. Our specialists can help!