Relieve Hip Pain (for runners) with these 5 MOVES in 7 DAYS!
For most avid runners, hip pain is truly common, and the pain usually can occur in the front, on the sides, or at the back of the hips.
The hip, being the largest ball-and-socket joint in the body, consists of the top of the thigh bone, which sits inside a socket within the pelvis (known as the acetabulum). This ball-n-socket joint allows us to bear body weight on the legs while allowing mobility and stability at the same time.
Surrounding the hip joints are various muscles, such as the hip flexors, extensors, adductors, abductors, internal rotators, and external rotators. With several fluid-filled sacs (bursae) to cushion and lubricate the hip joint, the muscles and tendons are able to move smoothly, without any friction.
What are the CAUSES?
There are many causes of hip pain for runners, and the most common few are –
- Reduced range of Hips motion – When a hip loses rotation in any direction, there will always be an overcompensation elsewhere and thus leading to a muscle imbalance. With a muscle imbalance, the risk of injury increases.
- Overuse of Hips muscles – A majority of running injuries result from overuse of hips muscle as running indeed put a lot of stress on the hips. Therefore, incorporating Yoga, cycling, swimming, weight lifting, and high-intensity interval training can help to minimize overuse injuries and improve the strength of the muscles and range of motion.
- Lack of core strength – When the core is weak, the low back and pelvis become not well-supported, which can lead to pinching inside the joint, leading to wear and tear on the larger hip and buttock muscles.
- Damaged tissues – Tissues injuries in the hips are fairly common due to the fact that tissues are soft and get damaged easily. Symptoms may include pain, tenderness, bruising, or swelling in the affected area. One may also experience weakness or limited range of motion in the hips as well.
- Hip impingement syndrome – This is caused when the thigh bone (femur) and the hip socket (acetabulum) produce too much friction in the hip joint and result in pressing on a nerve that runs through between the joints. Runners with hypermobile hip joints may be more at risk.
What are the SYMPTOMS?
The most obvious symptom of hip pain is the PAIN itself. Pain can come about from structures within the hip joint itself or from structures surrounding the hip joint. It may be felt in front of the hip as groin pain, on the outside of the hip, or at the back in the buttock.
The running motion trains the hip flexors and extensors through a very narrow range of motion. This can lead to instability when you are forced to bring a knee up beyond its typical range of motion or thrust the hips forward in a way you are not used to, leading to imbalances in the hip and thus unbalanced running gait.
One common form of hip imbalance leads to a condition called a hip drop. This occurs when the muscles of the outer hips are not sufficiently strong to keep the thighs vertical but are angled in toward one another, leading to an increased risk of injury over time.
There is also a weakness in the hip abductor muscles, often the gluteus medius, which connects to the top of the pelvis, and the gluteus minimus, which is the smallest of the gluteal muscles and sits below the other muscles.
To prevent or manage injuries, hip balancing poses/exercises are extremely important. One can include some hip stretches and hip-strengthening exercises in the running regime to prevent or manage hip drop and possibly correct the hip alignment. And such a workout will have to include the 6 hip actions – hip flexion, adduction, internal rotation, external rotation, abduction, and extension.
Therefore, with these 5 simple Yoga Moves, we will focus on moving through the 6 hip actions and alleviating all the symptoms once and for all.
And NOW, let us present to you our 5 YOGA MOVES, done 15 mins/ day for the next 7 days, and we PROMISE the PAIN will be GREATLY MINIMISED.
MOVE #1 (Chair Pose)
Stand with the feet at a hip distance and parallel to each other. Inhale and exhale, slightly bend the knees, with the thighs hugging in towards each other. Hold the pose for 10 counts. Repeat the pose.
MOVE #2 (Low Lunge Pose)
Come onto the fours and step the left foot towards the front, between both palms. With the palms on the mat, gently slide the right knee back. Next, slowly lift the hands off the floor and place them on the hips. With an inhale, draw the shoulders back and as you exhale, try to slowly trust the right hip towards the floor. Hold the pose for 10 counts. Repeat on the right side.
MOVE #3 (Hamstring Stretch Variation)
Come onto the fours and step the left foot towards the front, between both palms. With the palms on the mat, gently slide the right knee back. Next, slowly lift the hands off the floor and place them on the hips. With the next inhale and exhale, using the support of the palms placed beside the foot, slowly shift the body weight towards the back and try to straighten out the legs. Adjust the palms accordingly as you sit back more and straighten out the legs further to feel a deeper stretch. Hold the pose for 10 counts. Repeat on the left leg.
MOVE #4 (Butterfly Stretch)
Sit up tall with the spine erected and bend the knees so that the soles of the feet touch one another. If the hips are tight for a start, one could use a block on each side to support the thighs. (Photo on the left) As one improves, remove the blocks and try to drop the thighs closer to the mat. (Photo on the right)
MOVE #5 (Runner’s Stretch)
Lie down on the back with both knees bent. Cross the left leg horizontally over the right thighs. With an inhale and exhale, hold the right knee with both hands and gently draw the right knee towards yourself. You will feel a good stretch on the left outer glutes and the thighs. Hold the stretch for 10 counts. Repeat on the right leg.
Well, indeed the fastest way to alleviate hip pains is to take a break from running for a period of time. However, once you start to feel better, you can gradually reintroduce the activity back into your routine and make sure that after each run, you cool down the muscles and the joints by practicing the exercises mentioned above. If the pain does persist, one can apply an ice pack, heat pack, or hot water bottle on the affected area to soothe the pain, after each run.
We understand that whenever there is pain or discomfort, the last thing we want to do is to move for the worry of causing more pain. With the practice of mindful breathing and synchronization of the breath with these movements, WE ASSURE YOU that you will feel relief soon.
GO ON and try these 5 YOGA MOVES for 7 CONSECUTIVE DAYS and feel free to share your experience with US! Tag us in a Facebook/ Instagram post or share this article with more friends and family who are going through similar pain.
We look forward to walking alongside you as you gradually resume the routines of your life WITHOUT ANY PAIN OR DISCOMFORT!