Hip pain

Dear All,

I once enjoyed the pleasure and satisfaction of long distance running for fitness, so much I started a personal training course with the hope I could share this joy with others.

Exactly one year ago now I experienced pain in my left hip joint during a 12k run. I failed to treat the pain and that night the inflammation was so severe I could not sleep.

Over the last year the initial injury has improved, but I have constant pain in the hip area, both sides. The area of pain is always rotating form side to side and through the different muscle groups with no noticable pattern.

I have seen numerous health professionals ranging from neurophysiotherapists, podiatrists, rheumatologists and massage therapists. I have had a ultrasound guided quartizone injection into my left hamstring tendon, a MRI scan and pathology tests to rule out muscular dystrophy and common inflammatory disorders. I am still without a diagnosis.

Not only has my ability to run been striped away from me, but I have been in constant pain for a year now and I am desperate for a break through. I have read the empathic and resourceful responses of others and hope that maybe someone out there may have some advice or experience which they can offer.


  • Hips are central to movement - have a look at anatomy books or sites and you will see how closely connected the back, hip/pelvis quads and hamstrings are.

    Running especially longer distances and on hard surfaces makes a lot of demands on the body and any imbalances or weaknesses can be exacerbated.

    Find a good physio/podiatrist, get some gait analysis done, look at shoes, maybe even running style, surfaces or other reasons - like what position to you sit, sleep or even drive in (footballers have found that their cars have been contributing to injury problems) look at flexibilty and mobility - the body is a wonderful but complex thing!
  • sorry Linda that wasnt aimed at you as you have obviously had a lot of investigation - more ageneral reply to Oracles comment about hip pain!

    Hopefully you will get some more specific input from others

    good luck
  • I also have hip problems but not when running! The worst times are sitting, lying in bed and when walking after a few miles. I have not run for the last few days and it's getting a bit better. I am 41 yrs old and been running since 16yrs old. Ex sprinter as a youth then onto road running in late adult years. I find it hard to stretch and twist nowadays due to hip pains. The pains move from one side to another over a period of time. I have had x-rays but nothing shows up thats wrong. So yes I want to know whats wrong with me too.

  • My problems are exactly the same as you Dave. I am 37 and female, I was very fit when this started but have had to give up running for six weeks it got that bad. My GP said it was muscular/ligament damage....recommended anti-inflammatries and rest. Also swimming,acupuncture and maybe a physio! I think he was trying to cover everything! I went back to training yesterday and will try a good physio if I start to experience any pain.
    I hope all goes well for you.
  • I have had left sided hip pain for 10 months, it was painful when sitting and then standing again, it was also painful in bed when lying on that side. I was running about 25 miles a week at the onset but this was not an increase or change in pattern, no trauma had occurred, the pain just began when out on a normal easy run it gradually got worse whenever I tried running so I stopped. I saw an NHS physio which made no difference, they cannot dedicate the time and resources to this type of chronic injury. I went to a sports injury clinic where they diagnosed ITB syndrome, there I had intense physio, acupuncture, deep massage and interferential treatment. I do a full stretching and exercise session most days to build core strength and ease any tension. All this helped to relieve the worst discomfort and ease all the surrounding muscle tension but did not enable me to run. I have had an MRI which was normal, the sports doc tried a cortisol injection that didn't help. BUT finally I saw the chiropracter who said that my hips were out of alignment and my lower spine had one immobile area, who knows what caused it, however after the first session I could feel things were noticeably better and after a couple more I tried a 1 mile run - no pain!! I slowly built up to 6 miles, bliss I was running again. Unfortunately as warned things started to slip back so after another session with the chiro I have to keep the mileage down but the good news is that I know I can continue to be a runner but I won't be racing for a while yet! There is hope - just try everything, eventually some or all of it helps.
  • I started running (again) at the beg. of the year, increasing my distance gradually, did 2 1/2 marathons and then started to pick up a dull hip ache in my left hip.
    It starts when I've been running for about 45 mins, is worse on downhills, but I don't feel it at all walking or climing stairs.
    I've carried on running and concentrating on hip stretches and it hasn't got better, but not worse either.
    I saw a podiatrist who thought it was ITBS related and I got orthotics (which have helped the knee/shin niggles, but not hip).
    I saw a GP who wasn't interested and said I should see a sports physician.
    Now I've found a remedial sports therapist whom I'm seeing next week. She said it sounds like 'runners hip' (hip form of runners knee!) and seemed to think that she could get to the bottom of it and sort it out with massage, stretching and exercises. I'm hoping so .....
  • I am 64 and have been running for 24 years. 2 years ago I had a fall down the stairs at home causing my shin to swell to an enormous size. After this had disappeared, I re-commenced running but found I had terrific pain in the buttock area. To cut a long story short, I was eventually diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in my left hip. By this time I had been running again, the pain eased , and I started racing again for about six months doing 17 races and almost back to my form of 2 years previously, until the pain returned again. I struggled through this month's FLM about 30 mins slower than my time of 2006. It has been suggested/offered a hip replacement operation, but I do not feel ready to take such a big step if it means I have to stop running.

    My question is, is there anyone out there who has had a hip replacement and is running again and indeed racing over distances up to marathon?

  • it all depends what hip replacement they're offering you.

     If its a "resurfacing" - go for it. 

    Theres plenty of competitive and even some world class athletes who have hip resurfacings.  They're designed for young and active patients.  It's bone conserving, so if it all goes wrong you've got a total hip replacement (THR) to fall back on.  A resurfacing shouldn't stop you doing anything at all, and its a really quick recovery from surgery.  If they want to give you a total hip replacement theres alot more things that could affect your running, and thats something you should look at more carefully. (I work for a hip replacement company analysing all the hips that have failed).

     I've recently started getting hip pain when sitting or laying in bed.  I get cracking when I flex or extend my hips.  Including doing situps.  They're not ususally painful whilst doing exerise - mostly at night or when I've stopped doing something.  Got really really terrible pain if an area at the side/back of my hips/bum if its even gently poked.  I think that might be some sort of bursitis?

  • i have been running for over a year and recently developed a hip problem,, it has started to happen more frequenlty because of the weather i have been running on treadmill,, ive checked out my trainers,, and found that for the last 2 months the ones i were running in were completely flat sole so maybe that has done it..

    i would like to know if it treatable ,, it feels like it is popping or like its gonna give way on my left hip ?? any ideas ??



  • Louise,
    Thanks for your comments, I have been told recently that 're-surfacing' is the preferred initial treatment. I have not run since early November which proved to be extremely painful for over 60 minutes. Since then I have re-started cycling ,(which had been my sport up until I started running) which is extremely non-painful in the hip area. I will have to see my GP again to see if I can be referred to a consultant who will approve a re-surfacing operation.

    Thanks for your interest
  • I've mentioned this to a few people that have complained of hip problems like yours.

    Have anyone mentioned the possibility that you may have a labrum tear (damaged cartliage inside the hip joint)?

    I saw 2 physios, a doctor, 2 consultants, had 2 Xrays and an MRI scan. The full details of the problem were only really bottomed out when I had a hip arthroscopy.

    Its pretty difficult to diagnose as it's hard to pinpoint the pain. Sometimes it's just tightness at the front of the hip, sometimes pain inside, sometimes groin or outer hip. Running is painful even when its just very light.

  • I am due to have a hip arthroscopy for a labral tear which has taken about two years to diagnose - I think it is a fairly new and difficult to diagnose injury where other possibilities such as muscle tears and hernias have to be ruled out first and have similar symptoms.. I am really apprehensive about it as I am desperate to get back to running, having been out for the majority of the last two years and finding swimming just not satisfying!  .. I wondered if anyone has had a hip arthroscopy ( I am 31) and whether they've been able to get back to competitive running/what the recovery period is..? 

     Can anyone help..?

  • I had a hip arthroscopy performed last July and I was initially happy with the results.

    Can I run competively at the moment - no, I've just had injury after injury since. Mainly its ITBS and I think it's due to either an imbalance or weakness in the right hip (obviously difficult to tell).

    I have not been able to do a great deal of running miles since the operation so have kept in shape with cycling. The problem is, I was not a bad runner for a 44 year old (37 min 10k region) and I'm now a pretty ordinary cyclist.

    I was on crutches for 2 days, cycling in 2 weeks and running in about 6 weeks (tentatively).

    Where are you having the operation performed? 

  • I'm reading this thread with interest as my hip pain (on one side) has come back now that I'm resuming training after the enforced snow break.

    In my case, it originally came on, out of the blue as a severe case of inflammation (I was so hot I couldn't sleep!) after a very hilly training run. I was recovering from ITB on the same side at the time and assumed it was related, but the physio I consulted said that my sacro-iliac joint was very tight on that side, due to sitting down (work and commute related!) and it was most likely referred pain.

    I think I shall be going back to the physio to see if that's still the diagnosis. I do lots of stretching and lots of core work via some very focussed Pilates which is supposed to be helping me avoid getting ITB again...but this is a frustrating niggle I don't seem to be getting rid of long term.

    It actually doesn't stop me from running or particularly hurt when running, it's after running that I feel sore. Ho hum. If only I could stop having to sit down. It did pretty much disappear over Christmas - but then I was neither sedentary nor running so it's hard to tell which change had the effect.

  • Johnny T's comments have struck a chord with me. Even with the arthritis in my hip, I was able to run and compete reasonably successfully in my age group. Late February last year things changed after a very hilly 10k in West Yorkshire. My 'hip' pain seemed to move to my groin/abdomen area. I assumed that this was a movement of the arthritis pain and I continued running, completing another four races before the pain in my stomach became unbearable at even the slowest pace. Having researched 'hip labral tear', I realise that I have the symptoms of this ailment. I tried to explain this to my GP a few months ago without success. I hope that now,armed with this information, I may be able to convey the complete story to my GP and be able to progress with treatment.

    johnny, thanks for your help.
  • No problem Colin, I really hope that it speeds up the process for you. I was so frustrated that I simply could not find out what on earth was wrong.

  • Johnny, I read your notes and feel sad! It sounds like you've been stopped in your tracks by injury.. I wondered whether although you have had ITBS, the actual repair of the labral tear was a success and if it wasn't for the ITBS you'd be ok running? Being a 1.21 half marathoner, I'm desperate to get back out there but actually just running will be enough, not too worried about the races right now.. How is cycling? Is that ok? And, have you tried swimming?

    Wondering whether to turn myself into a pro-cyclist (!!!!!) or at least a cyclist!

    Thanks heaps

    Colin - just do go and get it looked at as soon as possible, mine is nearing the two year mark just because GPs do not know much about the injuries and referrals have to rule out all sorts (hernias etc..) before they'll go for a hip arthroscopy.. good luck..

  • I know exactly what you mean about just wanting to get out running. I would have settled for doing the club 10k handicaps but bailed yet again last night after failing to do an 8k trial run two days earlier.

    The cycling is a really good release though and I go with the local tri club on Saturday mornings (which is around 50 miles) Although I'm not up there with the group 1 riders, I do feel that I've been making good progress and the hip and ITB are fine.

    Swimming is also progressing well but it's pretty boring to be honest.

    There is no substitite for the running in my opinion but cycling is coming close and is keeping me in shape so if (and its a big if) I get my injuries sorted then I should have a good base to move on from.


  • can anyone help me??? HIP PAIN??


    i cant run at mo and resorted to the gym but it not the same and miss running.


  • Your pubic bone is out of alignment.

    Go and see an Osteomyologist and he/she can re-align your pubic bone painlessly in seconds. You'll be able to runn again pain free in after a bout a week.

  • What are the consequences of the public bone being out of alignmen?

    The reason I ask is that I have awful ITBS following my hip operation and no amount of stretching, strengthening, foam rollers and strats make the slightest bit of difference.

    I am convinced that having had the hip dislocated in order to perform the operation there is some biomechanical issue that is causing me to overpronate and suffer in the ITB

  • just my take on it i have recently bought a road bike and been out a few times doin between 25 and 35 miles i have never had a problems with my hip until recently,the hip doesnt hurt when i am cycling but hurts when i am running and it hurts more when running up hill i have put it down to the cycling,i have started treating it as itbs.
  • One thing not mentioned here is diet and supplements. I've recently been getting light hip discomfort, so been looking into this side of things. Coenzyme q10 is meant to be good for joints, and chondroitin and glucosamine have possible benefits for lubricating joints and rebuilding cartilage.

    Make sure though that you do your own research before trying these things though - they're pretty pricey!

    It's amazing how the body will repair itself when given the right tools.

    Also I try to stick to footpaths rather than tarmac - and have a good pair of trainers. The shock of running on tarmac with bad shoes should never be under estimated, particularly for the hips. Anything that can soften the blow (eg othopedics etc) is a good thing.


  • I found this thread very interesting 

    I too have struggle with hip pain in my Left hip and havent ran for 4 months. it started as a sharp pain ( when I did taekwondo, kicking with that hip) initially it didn't affect my running.

    However over the last 12 months its got worse, and i seam to have it all the time. I also have leg pain and pins and needles in my foot. I have had MRI and X-rays and seen a hip specialist and was told i may need a Hip Arthroscopy, but couldnt explain the leg and foot symptoms. I dont think I have got to the bottom of my problem as the Hip and leg pain are definitely connected, they are all mild or severe at the same time. I also get some lower back pai at times.

  • I also have found this thread interesting. I have been pleasure running for two years and last October decided to enter a half marathon, along with some friends. We run three times a week, Sunday a long run which increases by half a mile a week, Tuesdays a 6 - 8 mile run and a nice slow run on a Friday usually about 5 - 6 miles. However last Sunday we got to 9 miles of our 11 mile run and I felt a strange ache/pain in my left hip. Having never experienced an injury before this was new to me. I was able to run through it and completed my stretches when I returned home. But I was in a lot of pain and during the night it was impossible to lay on my left side as the pressure on my hip was very uncomfortable. Monday morning I couldn't really walk without limping but as the day progressed the pain seemed to subside. I thought at this point I would go to my local sports shop and enquire whether my trainers perhaps needed replacing, even though they had only done about 200 miles. So I had my gait analysed and was told I have been put in the wrong type of shoe and should have been put in a neutral running shoe, so perhaps this may have been a factor in my hip pain. By Tuesday the pain had vanished so yes I went for a run, managed 61/2 miles but could run no further as the pain had returned. So plenty of stretches and now realised I had a few more days of rest. By Friday the pain had gone so I went for a short run and experienced no pain. So the long Sunday run I would only manage 91/4 miles as the pain has returned, I was gutted that I couldn't manage our target of 11 1/2miles, ended up limping home and the pain occured whilst my leg was load bearing. I have now resigned myself to no running until perhaps Friday when I will do a short gentle run to see if I will be able to run next Sunday. As I go through today the pain is definitely wearing off, I have walked the dog and generally been up and about but I am at a loss to know what has caused this, i am also concerned about being ready for our half marathon on the 11 March. Im no speed runner my average mile is 9.10 mins and am 38 years old. Any ideas or thoughts would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks Karen
  • I suffered with hip discomfort for around 4 months, just running through the pain and resting for a day or so when it got really bad. Then one day I was out for a run, after running downhill I was suddenly in crippling pain and couldn't walk never mind run. I hobbled home, rested for a week and started over. The pain kept coming back, this time worse and much quicker than it had previously,plus it started going to my knee.

     A friend of mine recommended an osteopath, who after about 30 mins of questions, examinations etc told me I had been overdoing it, the muscles supporting my hip were knackered and couldn't support my leg when I ran, so my pelvis was rotating to compensate causing my leg to bow and the pain in my leg. 

     Another half hour of treatment later to realign my muscles correctly, loosen everything up - and he worked all the way from my back down to my foot as apparently it is all linked - I was given five sets of stretches to perform 3 times a day. And no running! 

     A week later and apparently it was much better, I was allowed to do two 15-min runs that week on grass only,  on the flat. And I had to do two sets of 15 lunges once a day to strenthen my hip muscles. Just done the first run and hurrah - no pain!! Apparentlyit should only take a few more sessions.

     I am sticking to the orders very strictly, as a friend of mine had a similar injury and didn't rest it, and now cannot run at all - don't want to end up like that.

     I would NOT recommend running through the discomfort, as it will soon turn to pain. See a professional - by recommendation if poss - and an osteopath is often the best way as instead of just concentrating on the site of pain, they work through the back to the foot etc to resolve the problem. I pay £35 for a session, but for 4 to 5 sessions it is worth it. You'd spend £100+ on a good pair of trainers, but if you can't run then they're no use. 

     Forget doctors, NHS doesn't want to know or pay for your physio. GO SEE A SPECIALIST!!

     Hope that helps some of you...

  • I have been seeing a Chiropractor since October (3 1/2 months now), and he is still convinced he can get me right. I'm loosing confidence. I still cannot run and cannot put any weight on the hip. the pins and needles in my foot and leg come and go, but the hip pain is pretty much there all the time. I have had x-rays and I don't have Arthritis.

     I stick to the exercises he gives me, and do them all through the week, and am now keeping a diary of each day.

    Surely the fact that I'm not running or in fact doing any sport at the moment should easy the pain.  the last thing i want is surgery but should i consider it. the chiropractor advised me not to have any surgery.

    I haven't ran since October. its driving me mad.  how long do i give the Chiropractor?


  • Thank you Mel for your comments and Pamela I do hope you soon get this sorted out, I havent had any experience with Chiropractors so cannot give an opinion on that but perhaps it might be worth going back to your GP and getting a second opinion?

    Today ended up going to see my GP as my hip pain was very uncomfortable last night. I'm very fortunate to have an extremely good doctor who diagnosed my problem straight away she also referred me straight away to a private sports physio as she knew I wouldn't get in very quickly at our NHS physio. I have just got back from my appointment, I was given a thorough examination, luckily the physio is also a keen runner so could understand my eagerness to get back running as quickly as possible without missing too much training for my half marathon in 7 weeks. She is pretty certain that it is due to weak glutes muscles and then affects the piriformis muscle. Because of the weakness it causes the hips to drop etc. So now I have lots of strengthening exercises to do to support the whole area. I was very relived that it was not anything really serious and my running doesn't have to stop. I would have been devastated if I would of had to pull out from this marathon after all the hard work. Fingers crossed this will help!


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