Anterior hip pain is relatively common in runners and is often caused by micro trauma to the musculotendinous junctions and insertion of hip muscles. Primarily iliopsoas, rectus femoris and adductors.
Symptoms often include a catching pain on hip flexion sometimes accompanied by a click or pop. Tightness in the front of the hip and thigh. Discomfort when driving or sitting for long periods. Pain on running or walking up hill or stairs.
Often caused by overuse, striding or sprinting or a sudden increase on mileage or speed and hill training.
Differential diagnosis includes labral tears, impingement, hernia, stress fracture and osteoarthritis. So, if in doubt seek advice from a doctor or physiotherapist with a special interest in musculoskeletal injuires.
Try resting or easing back on hill and speed training, ice and have a go at the exercises below.
Stretch out the front of the hip:
Try the quadriceps, adductor and hip flexor stretches described on the lower limb stretches page. Do when warm and hold each stretch for up to 30 seconds, 3-5 reps.
Try strengthening the deep hip rotators:
Try the clam, reverse clam and Jane Fonda from the Oregon Project:
Do 3 sets of 30 reps keeping the spine and pelvis in good alignment. To make the clam more difficult tie exercise band around your knees, to make the reverse clam more difficult tie exercise band around your ankles.
Try strengthening gluts: (Photos to come)
Single leg bridge.
Single leg squat.
During your running stride concentrate on pushing from toe off rather than driving with your knee lift. This will ensure momentum is produced by the stronger gluteal muscles rather than the hip flexors. Try to shorten your stride a little and increase your cadence, this should improve your running efficiency.
This are just a few little pointers, if things don’t settle or seem to be getting worse then it is important to seek expert advice and assessment.