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What are some causes of hip pain during jogging?

Hugh S. West Jr., MD
Orthopedic Surgery

While there are many causes of hip pain, from bursitis to arthritis, a new cause of hip pain coming to the forefront in the medical field is a condition called femoral acetabular impingement (FAI).  This condition affects young to middle aged adults who lead active lifestyles and experience groin pain.  FAI is often a precursor to osteoarthritis.  Unfortunately, younger patients are often told to just live with their discomfort until a hip replacement becomes a viable option for them. 

Hip arthroscopic surgery is a fairly new surgical procedure, and it is arguably the most rapidly growing surgical practice in the field of orthopedics.  Hip arthroscopic surgery is highly successful in relieving pain and allowing individuals to resume activities that previously had been too painful for them to participate in.

The pain you are feeling probably has something to do with your gait pattern. Most of us do not have biomechanically perfect form and the body lets us know in different ways. I would be sure to stretch daily (I recommend a foam roller) and pay attention to the pain and adjust your form accordingly. Suck it up is not the right answer. Move with caution!

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

Hip pain during jogging could be due to several factors. However one of the most common problems I see is that the gait pattern is not activating the gluteal muscles correctly. The gluteal muscles are important because, in addition to propelling you forward and controlling internal rotation at the knee, they track the head of the femur in the hip socket. 

Teaching runners new gait patterns to activate the gluteal muscles correctly, usually eliminates hip pain. As always, though, it's important to rule out more serious issues by visiting your doctor.

Pain in the hip can be caused by a variety of different issues, including tight muscles, inflamed cartilage or a problem with the ball and socket joint. Often time pain or discomfort in the hip is caused by excessively tight hip flexor muscles and weakened glute muscles. By stretching your hip flexors and strengthening your glutes many people can see a dramatic improvement in pain while jogging. If you have poor running mechanics, or are jogging in worn shoes this can alter your foot landing, which can place stress on the hip because your foot and leg aren’t moving properly. Experts recommend replacing your foot wear every 3-6 months if you jog regularly.  If stretching and replacing foot wear does not decrease your hip pain while running stop running and consult a physician to make sure there is not some underlying issue causing the hip pain. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.