Hip Pain That Runs Down Leg in Runners

Common causes of hip pain that runs down the leg in runners, and provide you with solutions to help you overcome this obstacle.


Muscle strain and tendinopathy

Muscle strain and tendinopathy are often symptoms of muscle overuse, flexibility issues, and muscle weakness. When the muscles around the hip are not adequately conditioned or stretched, they can become strained and inflamed. This can cause pain and discomfort, limiting your running performance.  More information on Muscle strain and tendinopathy.



Small sacs full of fluid that are located between bones and surrounding tissue to help reduce tension and wear and tear at common points of friction. Two of these bursae are located on either side of your hips at the trochanter – the part that slightly protrudes at the top of the thigh bone, where ITB syndrome can flare up.  More information on bursitis.


IT Band Syndrome

IT Band Syndrome runningThe ITB (iliotibial band) is a long, inch-wide strip of tissue that runs from the iliac crest (top of the pelvis) down into the knee. While its main function is to stabilize the knee, its inflammation can be the cause of run-ending pain. IT band syndrome is a common condition among runners, characterized by pain on the outside of the hip or knee.  More information on IT Band Syndrome.



Osteoarthritis tends to be more common in runners who are in their 40s and 50s. This condition occurs when the hip joint, which is a ball and socket joint, starts to deteriorate, leading to pain and stiffness. The repetitive impact from running can accelerate the degenerative process. While running with osteoarthritis may require modifications, engaging in low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling, can help maintain cardiovascular fitness while minimizing stress on the joints.  More information on osteoarthritis.


Stress fractures

The hip area is prone to stress fractures, which are small cracks in the bones caused by repetitive stress and overuse. Stress fractures often occur in the femoral neck, the part of the thigh bone that connects to the hip joint. If left untreated, stress fractures can lead to serious complications and long-term consequences. Rest and proper rehabilitation are essential for the healing of stress fractures.  More information on stress fractures.



Sciatica is the term describing back pain which radiates down into the legs It is a symptom itself and not a specific diagnosis or injury. A number of factors cause sciatic nerve pain, although a ‘slipped disc’ is one of the most common. More information on Sciatica.  


When to seek professional medical care

While many cases of hip pain in runners can be managed with self-care and exercises, there are instances where professional help may be necessary. If your hip pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional.

Some signs that indicate you should seek professional help for hip pain include:

– Severe pain that is not relieved by rest or over-the-counter pain medications

– Inability to bear weight on the affected hip

– Swelling, redness, or warmth in the hip joint

– Limited range of motion in the hip

– Pain that worsens with activity or at night

A healthcare professional, such as a sports medicine physician or physical therapist, can assess your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and create a tailored treatment plan to address your hip pain effectively.