Weird pain in hip area

While running in a 5 mile race last week, I started to feel what I thought was a stitch coming on. Realised it was lower down than a normal stitch but still that was the overall feeling. I kept going, finished the race, went home, and it's been bloody sore ever since. But I'm not sure exactly what it is that's sore. I can't tell if it's a pulled muscle or joint pain or deeper in the bone. Hoping someone might be able to help.

So... It's not sore when I'm sitting, but when I stand, straightening up is very painful. The pain is on my side, pretty much where my hip bone sticks out. Once I'm standing I can lift my leg in front of me, behind me or out to the side without any pain at all. If I try to run, I get a sharp stabbing pain that feels like it's inside my hip, and if I prod about, actually pushing on my hip bone hurts. Also feels like the muscle just below it and slightly to the rear is sore, but like I say, I'm not sure...

It doesn't feel like any pulled muscle I've had before, which is worrying me a bit. Also, looking at anatomy diagrams, I can't even figure out what muscle it could be. I've got a physio appointment later this week, but till then, does anyone have any idea what I've done to myself?


  • Hip bursitis (greater trochanteric bursitis)?

  • *quick google*

    A-ha! That looks VERY likely. Thank you Debra. image

  • So as well as my private physio appointment this week (already booked pre injury for deep tissue massage etc) I phoned to make an appointment with my doctor, thinking that if I may need a referral for a cortisone injection etc I might as well get in there as soon as possible.

    Doctor listened to my description of pain and asked what painkillers I was taking for it. I said none yet. She said 'Oh, so it's not very sore then.' I said 'It's actually been bloody agony but I don't like taking painkillers to mask pain withough knowing for sure what the problem is.' There was a long pause, then she said 'So... what exactly do you want US to do about it for you then?'

    Um, how about try to give me a proper diagnosis and some form of helpful treatment rather than just chuck me a pile of painkillers I could have gone and bought for myself. Gah!


  • You're welcome. I've had piriformis & gluteal & hamstring origin problems recently and I came across hip bursitis while looking up stuff on those. There's a useful starter-article on all of them at although I don't think it's the best to help you locate where bursitis pain would manifest.

    I found, and in combination useful for pinpointing WHERE the pain would be with this. The last of those three probably gives the most treatment advice, including links to strngthening exercises.

  • Re. GP's response, sympathies. That's why runners end up going to physios at great expense instead, or self-diagnosing from information gleaned from the internet etc.

    GPs are NOT set up to deal properly with athletes - which is what we are (amateur athletes, but certainly athletes). For most GPs, the answer to "it hurts when I do this" is "well, stop doing that, then". Which makes sense for the majority of short-term muscular strains etc. in the averagely-inactive member of the population. If we're honest, resting for three days and taking ibuprofen, or, for more serious problems, resting for 4-6 weeks (sometimes less) actually would cure the majority of the problems we get as well - but we really don't want to take that sort of time out from training, which is why we need advice from qualified persons who think of us as athletes who want to keep training - and for whom prolonged rest is a treatment of last resort.

    Note: I'm not doing down GPs - I think they do a good job for much of the general population, much of the time. But really we fall outside their remit. And it may be hard for them to admit this and say, for example "look, a proper diagnosis is going to take referal to a specialist for further examination, and probably expensive imaging as well. My budget doesn't stretch to that when I've got to cover X cancer patients, Y heart patients, Z patients with asthma etc. etc. If you want a proper diagnosis you're going to have to go privately to see a sports injury specialist."


  • Eurgh. That's so typical od most of the GPs I know of, as do many fellow runners. I wish they could just be ever so slightly more understanding and more keen to recommend runners to a physio. Totally with Debra on this one.

    I thought maybe a problem with tight hip flexors, maybe if the pain was radiating.


  • Yeah. I guess most doctors have more important things to deal with than self-important runners who don't want to listen to sensible advice to rest their self-inflicted injuries, but it's frustrating to think of months of training going down the toilet. I'm supposed to be doing the Lakeland trails marathon in 3 weeks time and a 40 mile ultra 3 weeks after that. Oh dear...

    And thanks for the idea about hip flexors but I seriously doubt it's tight anything, as apart from rubbish calves the rest of me is extremely bendy and I do a lot of stretching to maintain flexibility. I think Debra was bang on with bursitis, as I've now looked through various descriptions of it and they all pretty much exactly describe my own symptoms.

    It's actually improved a lot since last Wednesday, so I'm hopeful it might calm down quite quickly, but there's still no way I can run on it yet. Yowch!

  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭
    I thought hip flexor too, as what you describe is what I've had and physio said soleus muscle strain. You said you have a physio appointment booked? Get it checked out.

    Mine happened because of doing a marathon undertrained. It was hideously painful walking. Then just aches. Pain moved from outside the hip to deep inside by my groin and is now outside my hip again, but is now achy. Hurt to prod initially, so I prodded it a lot to start with.

    Hope whatever you have it heals up. Mine has been 7 weeks and is only just getting better.
  • Hmmm. Another possibility then... And 7 weeks? That must be annoying as well as painful. How are you keeping your fitness up in the emantime? I've been doing a lot more swimming than usual but it's not as satisfying as a good run.

    And yes, I'm seeing my usual physio on Wednesday so hopefully she'll be able to clear up what exactly the problem is.

  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭
    Fitness? Eh? I'm drinking more alcohol than ever, eating biscuits and keeping up with my fitness knowledge by coming on here! image

    I'm hoping I can run next week. If I haven't turned morbidly obese by then.

    Good luck with physio's.
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