Sports and Running Injuries: Hip and Gluteal Pain

Hampstead Osteopathy Treatments

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Run Strong, Run Pain-Free: The Role of Osteopathy in Treating Hip and Gluteal Pain in Runners

Running offers a wealth of benefits, but it can also be a source of frustration when hip and gluteal pain strikes. As an osteopath and running coach, I see this frequently, and understanding the causes can help you get back on track, pain-free.

Common Culprits:

  • Gluteal Tendinopathy: Overuse can inflame the tendons connecting your gluteal muscles to the hip bone. This often presents as a sharp pain on the outer hip, worsening with activity like uphill running.
  • IT Band Syndrome: The iliotibial band (IT band) runs along the outer thigh. Tightness here, often linked to weak gluteal muscles, can cause a burning sensation on the outside of the knee.
  • Piriformis Syndrome: This occurs when the piriformis muscle, deep in the buttocks, irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain radiating down the back of the leg, mimicking sciatica.

Getting You Back to the Start Line:

  • Getting professional Help: As an osteopath I can diagnose the specific cause of your pain and create a personalized treatment plan. This may involve manual therapy techniques to improve mobility and reduce inflammation, alongside strengthening exercises to address muscle imbalances. I am also a running coach and a keen runner and so also know how to modify your training plans and analyse your gait.
  • Listen to Your Body: Rest is crucial, but complete inactivity can worsen stiffness. Consider low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to maintain fitness while allowing your body to heal.
  • Strengthen Your Core: A strong core provides stability and takes stress off your hips. Exercises like planks and bridges can significantly improve your running form and prevent future injuries.
  • Stretching: Gentle stretching of the glutes, hamstrings, and IT band can improve flexibility and reduce tightness that contributes to pain. However, avoid aggressive stretching, especially when experiencing pain.
  • Gear Up: The right shoes are essential. I can talk you through which running shoes might be right for you based on your gait and how much support and cushioning you need.

Remember: Early intervention is key. By addressing hip and gluteal pain promptly, you can prevent it from derailing your running journey. Osteopathy can play a vital role in your recovery, helping you return to the sport you love, pain-free and stronger than ever.

How Osteopathy Can Help You Conquer the Course:

As an osteopath who specialises in running injuries I will take a holistic approach to your pain, considering your running gait, posture, and any biomechanical imbalances contributing to the problem. Here’s how osteopathy can help you:

Manual Therapy Techniques:

  • Soft tissue massage: This relaxes tight muscles, improves blood flow, and reduces inflammation in
    the glutes, hamstrings, and IT band, easing pain and promoting healing.
  • Joint mobilization: Gentle manipulations can improve the mobility and range of motion in your hip
    joint, reducing stiffness and allowing for smoother movement.
  • Myofascial release: This technique uses sustained pressure to release fascial restrictions, the
    connective tissue surrounding muscles, which can contribute to pain and tightness.

Addressing Underlying Issues:

  • Postural correction: I can identify postural imbalances that contribute to stress on your hips and glutes. This enables me to provide you with guidance on stretches and exercises to improve your posture and running form.
  • Addressing biomechanical imbalances: Weaknesses or tightness in other areas, like your core or ankles, can affect your running form and put undue stress on your hips. By identifying these imbalances and recommending targeted exercises to improve muscle strength and stability, we can create a more balanced foundation for running.

Tailored Rehabilitation:

  • Strengthening exercises: Based on your specific needs, I can prescribe targeted strengthening exercises for your core, glutes, and other key muscle groups. This improves stability and reduces the risk of future injuries.
  • Stretching guidance: I will also guide you on the proper stretches for your specific condition, ensuring you’re targeting the right areas and avoiding any stretches that could aggravate the pain.
  • Lifestyle and training advice: I can also offer advice on incorporating recovery strategies like foam rolling, self-massage, and proper warm-up and cool-down routines into your running routine.

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