Is your hip pain keeping your from running?

Is your hip pain keeping your from running?

May 23, 2019

Are you having buttock pain while running? When you try to start running or increase your miles are you stopped by some sort of pain down the back or side of your leg? Does it linger making your limp the rest of the day making you irritable or less productive or both? I want to explain some potential causes of your symptoms so that you don’t have to wonder if you need to see a physician, learn some stretches, or get together with a PT to help address your symptoms of radiating pain.

Let’s talk Lumbopelvic!

Your lumbopelvic region is the area of your low back that is so closely related and can cause symptoms similar to what you were experiencing. The pelvis is made up of 2 ilia and a sacrum. At the bottom of the sacrum is your coccyx (i.e. tailbone). The pelvis should have some slight give to it in order to allow your legs to swing forward/backward/sideways and to twist without giving your hips or back too much fuss. Our lumbar spine sits on top of the pelvis and supports the rest of your upper body. These joints are surrounded by muscles and ligaments, which can create abnormal motion or lack thereof for protection if it is over stressed or injured. When these joints don’t move well enough we will experience discomfort and potentially what is called referred pain.

How could this area be overstressed?

Well for example, in runners, if they do not properly support their hip/pelvis it will put a lot of sheer force on your pelvic joints and potentially a lot of compression on one side of your lumbar spine. When you are not supporting your pelvis, it creates something called hip drop when the side that is not planted drops due to weakness of the side that is planted on the ground. This hip drop will put a lot of stress on the same side of your back as the weak side as well as potentially over stress the muscles trying to keep the hip up (gluteus medius).

Pain can travel through nerve passages

When the pelvis/back/glute med become over stressed, a person can experience referral symptoms due to the fact that our brain gets confused as to what is painful and just sends pain signals where it thinks it should go. Referral symptoms for the spine typically presents in the patterns illustrated above As you can see by the lines depicted as L5 and S1 (meaning 5th lumbar nerve from below the 5th lumbar vertebrae and 1st sacral nerve), they present as symptoms into the buttock and down the side or back of the leg. If you are having symptoms like this that happen during your daily activities that means either something is stuck or you have seriously pissed something off in this region.

Strengthen Your Glutes

One simple way to address these symptoms would be to strengthening your glute muscles by performing single leg balance exercises and focusing on keeping your hip from dropping while walking/running. I would also look your ability to keep a neutral spine while extend your hip which is important for running. If you are still having trouble I would recommend getting it looked at by a physical therapist. If your leg ever starts to lose sensation or strength definitely consult with a therapist and if they feel it is something they are unable to effect with conservative therapy techniques they will send you to the right physician to help you further. If you are want to make sure you are moving well while running or having back of the hip pain and want to communicate with a physical therapist please contact us for a Free Body Diagnostic Visit here.

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