The Guru offers in-depth advice to Helena about her Hip Pain from Running

August 11, 2014

Dear Guru,

I was wondering if you could help me. I have been running since last Autumn, mainly 3 mile runs twice a week to begin with. A couple of months ago I started to also do a long run on the weekend, starting at about 5 miles and my longest run I did was 9 miles.

To begin with I didn’t have any problems, but after a few of the longer runs I developed pain in my right hip. I’ve stopped doing the long runs but am still able to do two 3 mile runs a week without the hip pain coming on . The pain tended to come on after 4 miles or so and whilst it isn’t too bad when not running, I can feel the hip pain occasionally during the day whilst walking/going up stairs etc. I also do mountain biking (which I have never had any problems with) and I find I can still ride without getting any hip pain at all. I am not feeling the pain at this precise moment so I’m struggling to describe the pain for you.

I am supposed to be doing a half marathon in October, but at the moment I do not feel I should attempt more long runs whilst I’ve still got this hip issue. Do you have any ideas what this might be or any suggestions as to what I should do?

I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards Helena

The Guru asked for a bit more information:

Where about is the hip pain? Deep inside, can you poke it, is it around the front, can you sit crossed leg?

I think I know what’s up…just need a few more hints…and I take it you’re not 70

So Helena has responded:

Today I have been trying to determine the location of my hip pain. It seems to be mainly at the side but also around the front and a bit around the back at the top of my bottom. I can sit crossed leg and it was then that I could poke what seemed to be the main pain which was deep inside at the side of my hip/leg. I’ve attached a picture and marked in red where I think this main pain is located.

I’m 34! I would love to know what you think is up.

Thank you very much.

In order to be able to help the Guru asked:

Few more questions….

Can you lie on your hip without it bothering you? It sounds as if it’s more in your glut/top of your bum than hip?

The Guru
Six Physio

So here is Helena’s response:

I can lie on my hip without it bothering me. Yes, I think it could possible be more of what you say.

I look forward to hearing what you think it might be!

August 11, 2014

Ah ha

I think this is therefore more back related rather than hip related.

Cutting straight to the point – you need to get more movement in your mid back (thoracic spine) and less in your lumbar spine. You glut is trying to help you out when running by becoming stiffer and so trying to help you limit the movement in your wobbly(ish) lumbar spine.

So, you need to get more move upstairs and control what you’re doing downstairs – no stretching of your hip or lumbar spine regardless of much better it makes you feel.

Try this stretch (well get more movement) in the morning and night. Roll up a towel, as if your off to the beach and put it on the floor. Put a pillow at the top – the pillow should be higher than the towel (so maybe a big pillow or 2 of them) and should look like a “T” shape. Now lie on the towel. Head on the pillow, shoulders off the pillow and the towel runs from the nape of your neck down to just below your bra strap. Bend your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor – and hang out for 10 minutes. It must be pain free – or your doing it wrong!

This gives you a chance to move your thoracic spine – so make sure you keep it moving with good posture – at work and especially running.

Go to town on more glut control – lunges, single knee squat, crab walking etc to keep your mobile back under control.

So the pain is either referred from your back (doubt it) but I think it’s your glut is becoming super stiff because you don’t have enough control around your lumbar spine – because your thoracic spine it too stiff…..

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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