Why Do My Hips Hurt After Running

Running is a fantastic form of exercise that benefits both our physical and mental health. It can help us stay fit, relieve stress, and improve our cardiovascular endurance. However, it’s not uncommon for runners to experience hip pain after a run. As someone who loves running and has dealt with this issue personally, I understand how frustrating and discouraging it can be. In this article, I will delve deep into the reasons why your hips may hurt after running and provide helpful tips to alleviate the discomfort.

1. Overuse and Muscle Imbalances

One of the most common causes of hip pain after running is overuse and muscle imbalances. Running involves repetitive motions that can put strain on certain muscles, causing them to become fatigued and irritated. Additionally, if some muscles are stronger or tighter than others, it can create imbalances in your hip and pelvic area, leading to pain.

To address this issue, it’s important to incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your regular running routine. Strengthening exercises for the hip muscles, such as hip abductions, clamshells, and bridges, can help stabilize the area and prevent imbalances. Stretching exercises, like hip flexor stretches and pigeon pose, can also improve flexibility and relieve tension in the hip area.

2. Poor Running Form

Another culprit behind hip pain after running is poor running form. Running with improper technique can increase stress on your hips and other joints, leading to discomfort and pain. Common form issues that can contribute to hip pain include excessive hip rotation, overstriding, and landing too heavily on your feet.

It’s essential to pay attention to your running form and make necessary adjustments. Focus on maintaining an upright posture, engaging your core muscles, and taking shorter, lighter strides. Consider consulting a running coach or physical therapist for a gait analysis to identify any form issues and receive professional guidance on correcting them.

3. Tight Hip Flexors

Tight hip flexor muscles can also be a source of hip pain after running. The hip flexors are a group of muscles located at the front of the hip joint, and they play a crucial role in hip flexion and leg movement during running. If these muscles are tight, it can cause discomfort in the hip area.

To alleviate tight hip flexors, incorporate regular stretching exercises into your routine. Kneeling hip flexor stretches, lunges, and butterfly stretches can help lengthen and loosen these muscles. Additionally, consider using a foam roller or massage ball to release tension in the hip flexor area.

4. Hip Bursitis

In some cases, hip pain after running may be caused by hip bursitis. The hip bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint and reduce friction. When these bursae become inflamed, it can result in pain and discomfort in the hip area.

If you suspect hip bursitis as the cause of your pain, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can properly diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or in severe cases, corticosteroid injections.


Experiencing hip pain after running can be a setback, but with the right approach, it’s possible to overcome and prevent it. Remember to incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your routine, pay attention to your running form, and address any muscle imbalances or tightness in the hip area. If the pain persists or worsens, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Happy running!