Hip pain from running is caused by excessive tension in numerous lower body muscles which pulls the pelvis out of anatomical position. Runner’s hip pain is a musculo-skeletal problem. Conventional stretching techniques are inadequate in repairing hip pain because their procedure does not completely open the targeted muscles. Large lower body muscles become tight through running. Muscles like the glutes, hamstrings, groin, quadriceps, and ilio-tibial band (I.T. band). These tight outer muscles form a cast of tightness around the smaller muscles deep inside the hip, the hip rotators – also known as the deep six muscles. Tightened hip rotator muscles restrict range of motion in the hip socket and create excessive pressure in the hip joint, which wears down the cartilage (the padding) inside the hip socket. Hip pain from running can be resolved with AIS first unwinds the larger muscles of the lower body. Afterwards, AIS lengthens the hip rotator muscles, the deep six muscles.
Best treatment for hip pain from running
Runners often think that they are stretching adequately with conventional stretching techniques. Then when they experience hip pain from running, they assume that the problem must be something other than tightness in the muscles because they tried stretching and it didn’t work. Active Isolated Stretching is more effective at repairing runner’s hip pain, than conventional stretching, pnf stretching, yoga, and thai massage. The non-AIS forms of stretching hold the stretch for too long. Holding the stretch for more than two seconds elicits the automatic stretch reflex which prevents the target muscle from stretching. The non-AIS forms of stretching ignore stretching at angles, and focus only on stretching the belly of the muscle. The belly of the muscle is one aspect of the target muscle. There are five other areas to stretch in the target muscle which is why muscles that are stretched in conventional stretching don’t retain their flexibility. Non-AIS forms of stretching use the wrong positions to stretch the target muscle. The target muscle must be in a relaxed position. For example, traditional stretches for the calves and hamstring muscles place the muscle in a state of contraction (specifically called eccentric contraction) and thereby do not allow full expansion of the target muscle. And most importantly, only Active Isolated Stretching has a specific stretch routine targeting the deep six muscles of the hip.
It starts with the outer muscles and works deep inside the hip
Running creates tightness in the large outer muscles of the lower body and that tightness shrink wraps the small inner muscles of the hip – the hip rotator muscles. Just addressing the hip rotator muscles will not cure hip pain because the more external (superficial) muscles must be stretched first. The glutes are directly external (superficial) to the hip muscles and they are a prime example of large external muscles forming a restrictive cast around the hip rotators.
Hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin muscles naturally get tight through the repetitive motion of running. The hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin muscles attach at the knee (patella) and the hip (pelvis). So when these muscles are tight they strain the hip, which contributes to hip pain. The calf muscles hold up the weight of the entire body during running. Unreleased pressure in the calves pulls the hip bone out of position through a similar tensional line of the hamstrings. The psoas muscle lies deep inside the stomach. The psoas gets tight through sitting and doing abdominal exercises incorrectly. A tightened psoas creates tension in the junction between the upper thigh and the hip. Therefore, psoas tension must be examined in hip pain cases.
The I.T. band
The other major outer muscle affecting the hip is the ilio-tibial band (I.T. band). The I.T. band runs down the leg, lateral to the quadricep. I.T. bands get tight through running and they are very difficult to self-stretch. Every runner has I.T. band tightness. This muscle is in constant use during running. Because I.T. bands attach at the pelvis (the hip bone), they are a primary contributor to hip pain.
The deep six
Lengthening the glutes, hamstrings, calves, groin, I.T. band and psoas muscles will greatly alleviate hip pain, but the final step involves the deep six muscles (hip rotators). The deep six muscles are the: piriformis, obturator internus, obturator externus, quadratus femoris, gemellus superior, and gemellus inferior. The deep six muscles are small muscles that connect the top the thigh bone to the inside of the hip socket. The hip is a ball and socket joint. Hip rotation is controlled by these small muscles. If these muscles are not stretched (when someone experiences hip pain) then the rotation inside the hip socket will decrease and the pressure inside the hip socket will increase. Limited range of motion and increased pressure inside the hip will wear down the cartilage inside the hip socket. Tight hip rotators muscles cause a constant friction over a repeated space, which will eventually burrow a hole in the cartilage. If a person lets hip pain go untreated, it can lead to the necessity of requiring hip replacement surgery.
Internal and external hip rotator stretch focuses on the deep six
The developer of Active Isolated Stretching, Aaron Mattes, states that his greatest contribution to the field of bodywork may be his internal and external hip rotator stretches. The deep six muscles are underneath the glutes, psoas, hamstrings, quadriceps, groin, and I.T. band. Opening the hip rotators needs a trained therapist assisting the process. Look at how many dancers and yoga practitioners experience hip pain. Both groups do intensive stretching to the leg and lower back muscles, but they frequently experience hip pain. This is because self-stretching exercises cannot reach the deep six muscles. AIS hip rotator stretches takes pressure off the hip joint. This process creates space inside the hip joint; And allows the hip to float within the structure.