Overuse Series Part 2: The Hip

September 14, 2017

Overuse hip injuries are common in active individuals, such as runners, cyclers and those in sports like football, hockey and soccer. These injuries can begin with chronic pain from repetitive, high-impact activities like running, or sudden increases in activity levels from training.

Hip Tendonitis

Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive stress. Tendons are attached directly into the bone and are structured that do not provide strength. Therefore, they must stretch as the muscle shortens.


  • Physical therapy
  • Relative rest of the painful area
  • Ice, ultrasound treatment or high-intensity galvanic stimulation

Active stretching helps to improve the length of the muscle-tendon unit. The muscle needs to be strengthened, as well as tightened at the same time. Most of these muscles are attached to the pelvic ring, so it’s important to stretch and strengthen all of your peripelvic tissues as well.

Another type of hip injury related to overuse is bursitis, which is extremely common in runners.


Bursitis forms inflammation in the fluid-filled sacs that lubricate your joints. Runners may experience a tight feeling in their hamstring or iliotibial band, which can occur from running on the same side of the road or wearing old shoes.

Symptoms of Bursitis

  • Dull ache
  • Burning, rubbing or popping sensation on the outside of your hip
  • Pain usually appears during or after a long run

Treatment for Bursitis

  • Reduce your mileage
  • Stretch hamstring and ITB after a run
  • Ice
  • Cross train
  • Consider anti-inflammatory medication, but always consult with your physician first.

Those who sit in front of a computer for several hours of the day tend to have shortened hip flexors. Strong and flexible hips are essential to overall health, especially running. Always remember to stretch your hips to reduce your risk of future injuries.

This article was adapted from Runner’s World and Medscape. To read about bursitis in runners, click here. To read about hip tendonitis, click here.

If you have any questions about knee pain or pain in general, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.


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