What should I do about sharp pain in my hip when I run or stretch?

Hip pain during running can be caused by overuse or strain to muscles/tendons, inflammation of a bursa, radiating pain from nerves in the back or problems with the hip joint itself. True hip joint pain is often felt in the groin, whereas muscle or tendon pain is in front of the joint or on the side. For muscles and tendons, 2 to 4 weeks of rest, stretching, ice and anti-inflammatories is often sufficient for healing. True hip joint pain may take much longer and need a doctor's help to get better. If you can cross train on a bike, in a pool or even on an elliptical without pain, it usually is safe to do so while you're treating your running pain.

You should not experience hip pain during exercise. This is an indication that an underlying issue exists or that you may be performing exercise improperly,. Be sure to seek physician consultation to ensure there are no underlying issues with the hip.

Many individuals will develop altered biomechanics and movement compensations that lead to musculoskeletal pain. Most commonly they will develop tightness in the hip flexors muscles that pull on the lower back and change hip mechanics. With these muscles chronically overactive, the gluteal muscles become underactive and have an inability to control the femur. The NASM Corrective Exercise protocol suggests to inhibit and lengthen the hip flexors followed by strengthening of the gluteal muscles. Before doing so you should see a physician to determine exactly what is wrong with your hip.

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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.