Experiencing hip pain after running is a common issue that can affect runners of all levels, from beginners to professional runners. This pain may range from a bit of inconvenience to situations so severe that they make everyday tasks difficult. In this blog, we will explore the common causes of hip pain after running, various treatment options, and strategies for prevention. This comprehensive blog article is designed to help you understand and manage hip pain effectively, ensuring you can continue running without discomfort.

Common Causes of Hip Pain After Running

Hip pain after running can arise from several common causes, often related to overuse or underlying medical conditions. These include:

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repeated stress on the hip joint can lead to conditions like tendinitis and bursitis, often resulting from increasing mileage or intensity too quickly without adequate rest.

Muscle Strain

A muscle strain occurs when hip muscles, such as the hip flexors or glutes, are overstretched or torn. This can happen due to sudden movements or insufficient warm-up before running.

Tendon Inflammation (Tendinitis)

Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons around the hip joint, commonly seen in runners who abruptly change their running distance or intensity, particularly affecting the iliopsoas and gluteus medius tendons.

Hip Bursitis

Bursitis involves inflammation of the tiny fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint and usually affects the outer hip in runners, leading to significant pain and discomfort.

Labral Tears

The labrum is the cartilage lining the hip socket, providing joint stability. Tears in the labrum can result from repetitive hip movements, causing a catching or clicking sensation in the hip.

Hip Impingement

Hip impingement occurs when the hip joint bones are abnormally shaped, causing them to rub against each other, leading to pain and reduced range of motion, especially during running.

Types of Hip Pain After Running

Hip pain after running can present in different ways. Recognising the type of pain can help diagnose the underlying cause and determine the appropriate treatment.

Sharp Pain

Sharp pain in the hip can indicate a more severe issue, such as a stress fracture or a hip labral tear. This type of pain is often localised and may worsen with specific movements.

Dull Ache

A persistent dull ache is commonly associated with overuse injuries such as tendinitis or bursitis. This pain may be more diffuse and can increase gradually with continued activity.

Clicking or Popping Sensation

A clicking or popping sensation in the hip, accompanied by pain, may suggest a hip labral tear or impingement. These sensations can occur during certain movements, such as twisting or squatting.


Hip stiffness, especially in the morning or after prolonged sitting, can indicate osteoarthritis or muscle tightness. This type of pain may improve with gentle movement and stretching.

Radiating Pain

Pain radiating from the hip to the thigh or groin can indicate nerve impingement or sciatica. This type of pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling sensations.

Sudden Pain

Sudden onset pain during a run could be due to an acute injury, such as a muscle strain or ligament sprain. This pain is often sharp and immediate, requiring rest and evaluation.

Hip Pain Prevention Measures

Hip pain prevention measures are recommended for proper preparation, strengthening exercises, and attention to technique to prevent hip pain after running. Here are some strategies:

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routines

Performing a comprehensive warm-up before running and a cool-down afterwards is essential. A proper warm-up should include dynamic stretches to prepare the muscles, while a cool-down should focus on static stretches to aid in recovery and prevent stiffness.

Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Building strength in the hip muscles, core, and lower body helps support the hip joint and absorb the impact of running. Incorporate exercises like leg raises, bridges, and resistance band workouts into your routine.

Flexibility Training

Maintaining flexibility through regular stretching can prevent muscle tightness and improve hip joint mobility. Focus on stretching the hip flexors, hamstrings, and iliotibial (IT) band.

Selecting the Right Footwear

Choosing appropriate running shoes that provide proper support and cushioning can help reduce the impact on the hip joints. Select running shoes that match your foot type and running style.

Treatment Options

If you experience hip pain after running, it’s important to address it promptly to prevent further injury. Here are some treatment options recommended by an orthopaedic specialist:

Surgical Treatments

The following procedures can effectively address the underlying causes of hip pain, allowing runners to return to their activities:


This minimally invasive surgical procedure diagnoses and treats hip joint problems. A small camera is inserted into the hip joint, allowing the orthopaedic specialist to view and repair damage such as labral tears or remove bone spurs causing hip impingement.


Osteotomy involves cutting and reshaping the bones around the hip joint to relieve pressure and improve alignment. This procedure is often used to treat hip impingement or other structural abnormalities.

Labral Repair or Debridement

Labral repair is a specific surgical intervention to address tears in the labrum, the cartilage that lines the hip socket. The torn labrum is reattached to the hip socket, restoring stability and reducing pain.

Hip Replacement

In severe cases where hip pain is due to extensive joint damage or arthritis, hip replacement surgery might be recommended. This procedure involves replacing the damaged hip joint with an artificial implant, significantly reducing pain and improving function.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Addressing hip pain promptly with appropriate non-surgical treatment options can help runners return to their activities without discomfort. These options include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a significant role in treating hip pain. A tailored stretching, strengthening, and mobility exercise program can help improve hip function, reduce pain, and prevent a recurrence.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. These medications are typically used on a short-term basis to manage acute symptoms.


In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These injections are beneficial for conditions such as bursitis or tendinitis.

When to Seek Professional Help

While some hip pain can be managed with self-care, it’s important to seek a doctor if you experience:

  • Severe or persistent pain that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Swelling, redness, or warmth around the hip joint
  • Difficulty bearing weight or walking
  • A popping or snapping sensation in the hip

An orthopaedic specialist can perform a thorough evaluation, including imaging studies if necessary, to diagnose the underlying cause of your hip pain and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.


Preventing hip pain is important for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. You can reduce the risk of injury by following proper warm-up routines, engaging in strength and flexibility exercises, and using appropriate running techniques. Proactive measures are key to preventing hip pain and other related issues. Contact us for a consultation and specific help on your fitness journey. Our orthopaedic specialist provides thorough care for sports injuries and insightful guidance on avoiding recurrences.