The most common running hip injuries include hip bursitis, snapping tendons in the hips, tendinitis — particularly in the IT band that runs on the outside of the hips — or injuries such as muscle strains or fractures. A stress fracture can occur when a bone endures more force than it is intended to, and a small crack or fracture develops in the bone. This injury is more common in the lower legs in runners, but it can occur as one of the many running hip injuries as well. In many cases, a doctor's visit may be necessary to correctly diagnose running hip injuries.
Hip bursitis occurs when the bursae that are present in each hip become inflamed. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that acts as a smooth gliding surface between tissues or bones. Bursae allow the joints to move smoothly without causing excess friction. They can become inflamed if the joint is not moving properly, making it one of the more common running hip injuries. Rest, stretching, and possibly even a gait analysis can help relieve the pain associated with hip bursitis, and in more severe instances, a doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone injections to treat the injury.
Tendinitis is a very common condition in runners, and it can become present in several locations throughout the leg. Tendons attach muscles to bones, and when these tendons are used frequently, they may become inflamed and irritated. The RICE treatment is effective for treatment of tendinitis. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. As is the case with other tissue injuries, a doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication as well to keep swelling down, thereby alleviating pain. Proper conditioning can help prevent tendinitis, and stretching properly before and after exercise can help ensure the condition won't recur. One of the most common running hip injuries in relation to tendons is inflammation of the Iliotibial (IT) band, tendon on the outsides of the hips.
A snapping hip can also occur as one of the many running hip injuries. This injury manifests itself as a snapping pain that may be accompanied by an audible clicking sound. This happens when a tendon gets caught on bone as it moves through the regular running motion. It can lead to a host of other painful conditions, including hip bursitis. It is important to see a doctor if the runner experiences this pain to properly diagnose it and stop it before it causes other hip issues.