“The repetitive action of running can cause bursitis, especially in the hips,” says Stewart Sanders, physical therapist and director of Sharp Rees-Stealy’s Running Clinic. “Iliotibial band tightness and hip muscle weakness are underlying factors as well.”
Common symptoms of hip bursitis:
- Localized sharp pain on the outside of your hip
- Tenderness on the outside of the hip when touched
- Pain when lying on the affected side
- Strengthen hip abductor and external rotator muscles (glutes)
- Reduce the number or length of runs to manage symptoms
- Rest and ice the outside of your hip
- If side sleeping, lie on the non-painful side with a pillow between your knees
Can you continue to run with hip bursitis?
Yes. Use a walk/jog interval program to manage symptoms and reduce pain. You can also change your running mechanics a bit by increasing your cadence (steps/distance) and run with a softer, quieter foot strike. This will reduce the amount of shock-absorbing stress that the hip and core muscles have to manage.
Swimming is a great cross-training activity to maintain cardiovascular fitness to offset any loss of running activity.
“You might need some fine-tuning of muscle strength and flexibility to help keep you running efficiently,” says Sanders. “A good rehab professional can help guide you and get you back on track.”