Sunday, August 31, 2008
This sure sounds like what's happening. I'm of course NOT a doctor.
Pain at the side of the hip
Pain in the side of your hip, usually at the joint of your hip and thigh but sometimes a bit higher toward the hip bone.
A basic overuse injury. You've inflamed the fascia in your hips, the flexible fibers in the joint. The specific reasons for this pain vary for different runners. The culprit may be weak back muscles, the type of surface on which you run, the shoes you wear, or the length of your running stride. One of the remedies below will likely work for you, but it's difficult to predict which it will be. However, if you have pain in only one of your hips, you probably have either an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths. See the section above on lower back pain for details on treating this.
As mentioned, hip pain can come about for a variety of reasons. Try these remedies; one of them (or a combination) should get rid of the pain, albeit with a bit of persistence. Try shortening your stride when you run. Try switching running surfaces (if you've been running on a hard surface, try a softer one or vice versa). Reconsider your running shoes; your feet may demand a different style or fit. Finally, try some abdominal and lower back exercises to strengthen those muscles.
For immediate relief, cut back on the mileage and try some damp heat: hot baths or the steam room. Heating pads and heat rubs may help somewhat, but wet heat seems to work better than dry.
If your doctor confirms that you have an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths, the solution will likely be to try to correct the problem with a heel lift on the short side. This may be as simple as putting a piece of 1/2" foam rubber into your running shoe; a makeup sponge would probably be just right. If you don't get any relief at all within a week, go ahead and take the sponge out. If it does no good, it's better just not to wear one; your body may have adjusted to different leg lengths, and "fixing" it may cause more discomfort. Whatever the case, make sure that the remedy matches the problem; do not use a heel lift if your doctor does not confirm that you have an uneven pelvis or unequal leg lengths, or you may only make your problems worse.
In most cases of lower back pain, you will benefit from exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.