If you’re a runner, you’ve likely had some type of running-related injury (RRIs). You among 80% of runners experience some type of injury with 80% of these revolving around overuse or ‘training errors’ around the hip and thigh being around 13% collectively1,2. Various areas of the hip, regarding pain, can mean different things. If you’ve done the research for an injury before you know how many opinions, diagnoses, and suggestions are out there and how scary that can be. That is to say, we’re here to help clear the air and show you how working with a non-traditional chiropractor for hip pain from running can help. This can be done not only in a clinic space but also through an online consultation. Let’s talk about the areas of the hip that can be popular injury spots, how they become aggravated, and how we work through them together.
Hip Pain – Show Me Where It Hurts
At our Denver clinic, we see a few different areas of hip pain with running. If we have this pain on the front side, we call this anterior hip pain. This ranges from hip flexors straining or the groin muscles possibly being the issue as well. Pain on the side of the hip is called lateral hip pain ranging from tensor fascia lata/iliotibial band strain or glute medius tendinopathy/strain.
On the backside is called posterior hip pain ranging from proximal hamstring tendinopathy to sciatic nerve irritation or sacroiliac pain. We must rule out any bone stress injury; this typically can come into play at the front and back of the hips more predominantly. This commonly gets worse with activity and takes a long time to calm down compared to tendinopathy. Bone stress injuries commonly get worse with an activity where with tendinopathy, it may hurt at first and ease up a bit. It may possibly hurt worse again later if we overuse the area.
How Does Hip Pain Happen? – Not Bones Being ‘Out of Place’
Many chiropractors claim that bones get misaligned, affecting your mechanics and nervous system. We have no evidence to prove this concept, as well as we know that no one on earth is built symmetrically and the body adapts accordingly. What a chiropractor for hip pain from running does know is your body, for this purpose, your hips have a certain amount of capacity to the loads applied from running (2.5-3x your bodyweight to be specific) that they are able to tolerate.
In addition, you want to look for a movement therapist who can put you through specific tests. These tests would be movement-based and applicable to the biomechanics of running. The easy way to think of this is “if they’re just pressing, they’re guessing” with pressing meaning checking for “bones being out of place” or even “muscles to be tight”. Strength and proper education on running will ultimately get you back to running your normal volume. Seek out a Chiropractor who practices like this.
What’s a Runner to Do with Hip Pain? – How Does a Chiropractor for Hip Pain from Running Help
Most running injuries revolve around two types of tissues: bone and tendon with each joint involved with running needing two concepts: mobility and stability. Any great chiropractor is going to assess your movement by doing functional movement testing and checking out your running gait. Through this, they can see what areas are doing well with these and which need a bit of work. At Modern Movement Clinic, we like to use video analysis to capture this so both you and the clinician can go over what’s going on and why it’s important to address. You may receive some passive care that may be joint manipulation, therapeutic dry needling, or manual soft tissue like A.R.T.
The real solution however is we must load the tissues involved to make them stronger. This is to tolerate the loads of running (remember 2.5-3x your body weight). This is where you can separate some Chiropractors from others very quickly. Certainly, no adjustment in the world is going to make your hips stronger or understand your running gait pattern. Finding a good movement therapist or chiropractor is a great tool to have as the miles increase. For example, take it from Des Linden, an Olympic Marathoner and amazing female endurance runner. Linden had suffered a stress fracture in the 2012 Olympics. She says, “Now more than ever, my strengthening exercises, chiro appointments, gym work, sleep will be the contributing factors to my ultimate success”. To find out more about this problem with runners, check out the video below and get a few ways to start intervening now.
To conclude, you can find out more about this and what to do about it by checking out our Youtube presentation here.
Taunton JE, Ryan MB, Clement DB, et al
A prospective study of running injuries: the Vancouver Sun Run “In Training” clinics
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2003;37:239-244.
Sports Med, 51(5):1011-1039, 12 Jan 2021