Can You Run With Hip Bursitis
A common source of hip pain is trochanteric bursitis, which is inflammation of the bursae on the outside of the hip. A band of tissue called the iliotibial band runs on the outside of the hip to the knee. When the IT band gets tight, usually due to overuse, it rubs against the bone and irritates the bursae.
The human body has over 150 bursae – small, fluid-filled, sacs that lubricate the motion of tendons and joints during activity. When subjected to excessive stress, a bursa can become aggravated, resulting in bursitis. The three types of bursitis that affect runners most are hip, knee, and heel, with Hip Bursitis being the most common. Runners can also have bursitis in the shoulder or elbow if they have a jerky or inconsistent arm swing. Bursitis symptoms include pain, swelling and redness at the joint, initial sharp or stabbing pain, followed by a duller, aching pain, increased discomfort after the joint has been stationary for a period of time, and reduced range of motion.
Bursitis can be caused by acute injury—falling and landing on your hip, for example—but most cases of bursitis are overuse injuries due to biomechanical abnormalities. If you overpronate then you are more susceptible to this injury as the knee falls inwards which increases the angle at the hip. Weakness in the hip abductors, especially gluteus medius has a similar effect. Tight muscles surrounding the hip such as the iliotibial band, hip flexors and hamstrings can contribute to bursitis. A bone spur which is a small excess growth of bone which can also aggravate the bursa.
Bursitis can become chronic and last for months or years if not treated properly. The bursa endures constant and continuous stress and aggravation, which causes inflammation and irritation. Chronic bursitis can also be caused by pre-existing conditions like arthritis, gout, or diabetes. The most common causes are overpronation of the feet, weak hip abductors and tight muscles particularly buttock muscles.
In addition to overuse and overtraining, other risk factors can contribute to injury. Mechanical and degenerative issues affect older runners. Younger athletes develop bursitis due to underdeveloped muscle groups that pull on the joint. Being overweight puts greater force and strain on the hip, knee, and heel. For those begin running to lose weight, bursitis may be an initial condition that alleviates itself as pounds are shed. Runners with different length legs are predisposed to develop bursitis, as the longer leg absorbs more shock and more pull in every stride. Structural imbalance also puts more stress on one side of the body.
Bursitis can be difficult to pinpoint because the symptoms are very similar to many other running injuries such as Runner’s Knee, IT Band Syndrome, and Achilles Tendonitis. Therefore it is crucial that you get a proper diagnosis from a qualified sports injury specialist.
Hip bursitis does not mean an end to your running. With the proper treatment plan you can get rid of it, and help prevent future recurrence. NSAIDs will help with the immediate pain, and over time will target and decrease the swelling and irritation of the bursa sac. Combined with icing the swelling and pain should subside. Resting the aggravated joint is the simplest way to heal the bursa. You don’t have to stop training completely but it does mean dialing back your mileage and intensity, sticking to flat, even surfaces and adding low-impact alternatives such as swimming and biking workouts. Continued training at the same level of intensity will only increase the inflammation and prevent the bursitis from healing. If alternate and reduced training doesn’t heal the tissue quickly enough, you may want to consider low level laser therapy. Low level laser therapy, known as Cold Laser, effectively reduces inflammation by using laser light to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Cold Laser stimulates the mitochondria in the cells which increases the blood supply to the area to encourage healing.
A chiropractic sports injury specialist will not only treat the injury but will also find the initial cause, which often is further down the kinetic chain, as well as any muscle imbalance that may be contributing to the condition. A proper treatment plan will include a personal history to devise an individualized regimen of stretching to increase flexibility and strength work for the surrounding muscles that will heal the bursitis quickly and effectively and prevent future injury.
Pain in the side of your hip often results from muscle tightness, tendonitis or IT Band Syndrome. If gluteal muscles in the buttocks and IT band are too tight, they pull at the thigh bone where they attach, causing pain on the side. Muscle imbalance can cause inflammation of the tendons that connect the gluteal muscles in your buttocks to the hip bone. A tight IT band, which serves as a connection between the major hip muscles and the knee, causes friction at the top of your hip, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Inflammation of the IT band occurs from overuse and is most often seen in marathoners and long-distance runners. ITBS is often brought on by a sudden increase in training mileage or even a single very long workout, but can also be caused by a change in footwear or running surfaces. Improper form and poor flexibility, along with decreased strength in the quad muscles of the thigh, contribute to the inflammation. The tightness is the result of the injury and rather than the actual cause.
Left untreated, hip pain can become so severe it becomes difficult to walk. Before you reach this point, you should seek treatment from a sports injury specialist who can properly diagnose your symptoms to determine the underlying cause of the pain, and develop a treatment plan to correct it. Treatment targeted to your specific injury and the root cause will have you back running pain-free.
Traditional treatment of ITBS focuses on stretching. While stretching is important, in most cases more targeted therapy is necessary. A proper diagnosis and identification of the causative factors is necessary before devising a treatment plan to address the tightness and pain, as well as prevent re-injury.
Deep tissue massage along the full length of the ITB will break down adhesions, giving affected tissue more flexibility, which will restore normal movement and relieve pain. Adding corrective exercises and stretching to increase muscle length, pelvic stability, and proper motor movement, followed by strengthening of the hip and thigh muscles, will contribute to the success of ART® treatments and prevent future injury.
ART® and Graston Technique have been used extensively to help athletes work through injury and have shown outstanding results in treating hip, back and knee pain of various causes. Both GT and ART are completely natural and non-invasive, and prevent the need for steroid injections and other invasive treatments.
Active Release Technique® and Graston Technique® are very successful in treating acute and overuse injuries through the use of intense active movement-based massage treatment, which sets it apart from passive massage or physical therapy. ART® and GT promote faster recovery, restoration of normal tissue function and helps prevent future injury. Active Release Technique and Graston Technique allows tissue to heal in the correct patterns to restore normal function and increase performance. The techniques and therapy provided by Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care are natural and non-invasive and have successfully helped many athletes come back faster from injury and return to pain-free running.
Our goal is helping every athlete reach their personal performance goals. We design individualized sport-specific treatment plans, using joint mobilization techniques with soft tissue repair in addition to the strengthening and coordination regimens offered by physical therapy. As athletes we understand the need to repair injury without losing valuable training time.
Active Release Technique® involves intense active movement-based massage treatments, which sets it apart from passive massage techniques and physical therapy treatment. ART® & Cold Laser Therapy promotes faster recovery, restoration of normal tissue function and helps prevents injury by reducing scar-tissue build-up and promoting ideal muscle length through the healing process. While other therapies can provide relief, ART® combined with specific stretching and exercise heals the tissue in the shortest time with the lowest incidence of re-injury.
Dr. Jon DeGorter is the USATF Long Island Chair of the Sports Medicine Committee, and part of the Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care team. Dr. Jon specializes in treating runners and triathletes — keeping athletes doing what they love to do