#15 of 31 posts in 31 days
Q- “Why do my hips and lower back hurt after I run?”
A- Running is a fantastic way to keep in shape. It engages the whole body, increases your heart rate and burns calories. (Yay!) My clients who run often tell me how great they feel after their regular runs.
They also tell me about their aches and pains. Running also puts strain on the body, especially the hips. Runners often complain of pain in the hip flexors. Hip flexors raise the thigh with every step you take. The most common cause for pain in these muscles is overuse.
So what are these muscles?
The Psoas and Iliacus are most commonly referred to as the Iliopsoas. They are located deep in the pelvic/abdominal area. They are strong muscles and get stronger with running. The Psoas originates in the lumbar region of the spine and attaches into the lesser trochanter of the femur. If these muscles are strained and pulling tight then it results in lower back pain or pain in the pelvic area. The tighter the muscles, the harder the pull.
So what do we do?
First assess your training regimen. Are you running too much too soon? Consult a qualified trainer or running coach if you need help with this.
I work with this kind of hip pain with some massage techniques and some Active Isolated Stretching. Starting with compression, I begin by relaxing the body and the muscles. Compression is on the hips/glutes and down the back of the legs. Trigger points are next. I do address the area of and around the piriformis. I perform kneading along the leg. I also apply friction to the IT band down the side of the leg.
Before you turn over we isolate the Iliopsoas with some AIS mentioned above. This means that you lift your leg against my resistance, hold for 3-5 seconds and relax. We do this several times with each leg. We also do this with other while face up.
Then I help you stretch your legs! This feels amazing! We talk about how you can do stretches at home. We talk about adjusting your run time. We plan your next massage session.
With a combined effort we can work to reduce the discomforts that develop from running 🙂
PS This is my first time to add an image to my blog! (woo hoo) I have no idea how to tell you how I got it. I found it on Wikipedia 🙂
PSS If you know a way for me to properly include that on or under the picture please email me!