Achy breaky hip flexor
November 30, 2009 5:31 AM Subscribe
Hey, runners (and anyone else): can you help my achy breaky hip flexor?
posted by Rudy Gerner to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am training for a 15k and run about 13 miles per week slowly (~11:20 mile) and increase mileage by 10% per week. I have been running for about a year and a half. I have really good running sneakers that do not need to be replaced. I do my long runs on a trail that is a mix of packed dirt and asphalt. I do shorter runs on the sidewalk.
Two problems plague me--my right knee and my right hip flexor. My knee problems are on and off--I seem to have learned through research and physical therapy what kinds of things I can do to avoid knee pain (stretching, etc.) and I also am pretty sure it's a psychosomatic type of injury (whole 'nother story). However, my right hip flexor almost always hurts after a run of more than 40 minutes or so. Then, it stays achy for a couple days. Every now and again it "pops" and feels a little better temporarily. Currently I stretch before and after I run, mindful that stretching cold muscles is a no-no. I do some basic butterfly type stuff for my hip flexor. I want to keep running for years because I love it and other than when I first started running, this has not been a problem for me.
My question is: What can I do pre, during or post run and on rest and cross-training days to help this? Are their exercises I should do? Specific stretches? Something to wear? Ideas for running form/gait? Tonics or elixirs to apply topically or consume? Seriously: whatever your thoughts are, I am open to it. I am a big believer in the mind-body connection, nutrition, good energy, strong vibes, and other crunchy stuff like that. Also, I am open to suggestions on what not to do and what to avoid.
I realize that opinions on exercise habits such as stretching are fairly controversial and that some studies show, for example, you should not stretch too much and others that you can never stretch enough. I realize that some people think that running barefoot is the only way to avoid injury and others swear by their trusty Nikes to keep them strong and healthy. I know that there are no definitive answers, just ideas of what might work for me because it's worked for you or your friend in the past. I know, MMMV.
Thank you in advance.
Related bonus: I want to do something with no/limited impact for crosstraining and because I have no access to a pool, riding the bike at the gym seemed great. However, it seems like that would only inflame my hip flexor problem (unless I use a recumbent, maybe). Does this sound right? If so, any other crosstraining exercises that will keep me aerobically active but not in pain?
Notes: Unfortunately, physical therapy isn't an option. I am an Alexander Technique student when I can afford it. I've tried yoga but not recently.