Hip Pain Help

I am soliciting advice for my hip/glute/piriformis pain. If anyone thinks they can offer advice, I’m all ears.

Here’s how it went down. . . . .

Three weeks prior to running the Twin Cities Marathon—right as I started to taper—my glute started to bother me. I had just completed a 105-mile week, which is the most I have ever ran in my entire life.

Prior to that, here’s what my mileage looked like:

July 30 – August 5: 80 miles

August 6 – 12: 90 miles

August 13 – 19: 62 miles

August 20 – 26: 95 miles

August 27 – September 2: 70 miles

September 3 – 9: 100 miles

September 10 – 16: 105 miles

(September 17, I started having the pain.)

September 17 – 23: 80 miles

September 24 – 30: 44 miles

October 1 – 6: 19 miles

October 7: Marathon

My glute has bothered me since September 17.


My symptoms:

– The pain is always a dull ache in the meat of my glute—more towards the top and more towards the outer side of my hip.

– At its worst, the pain is a ‘3’ on a scale of 1 to 10—with 10 being excruciating pain. Most of the time it is a 1 or 2.

– I feel the pain when my foot hits the ground.

– The pain isn’t as bad when I run on the treadmill. I’m guessing due to the softer impact.

– At its worst, I’ve had the pain even when walking, but other than that, no form of cross-training or any other activity has aggravated it.

– Overall, the pain is getting less, but it is taking much longer than I anticipated.

I have known my glute (the right one) has been weak since this spring, so I started to do some strengthening exercises at the gym. I would do legs lifts (laying on my side, on the floor, and lifting my leg), squats, walking lunges, abductor machine, but either these were not that effective or I wasn’t doing them enough because my glute is still weak.


What the physical therapist has told me:

– I’ve been having this pain because my glute is weak.

– I guess it is more my piriformis than my glute muscle.

– He has me doing two exercises.

– I am supposed to think about tilting my hip/pelvic bones back slightly when running.

– I am supposed to shorten my stride so to lessen the impact.

– The physical therapist has been doing dry needling on me, which seems to be helping.

– I have good running form. (Yeah!)


I hope this is enough information, but if you need more information or clarification, just comment below and let me know!


14 responses to “Hip Pain Help

  1. My husband sees Ann Thomas in Palmer. She is a PT, and a runner/ marathoner/ ultra-marathoner herself. (She’s won Crowpass 1 or more times??). Anywho… He’s had some achilles problems and also training for Boston. She came highly recommended from a gal I run with that also sees her. This gal has done 3 Iron Mans, so I listen to anything she tells us, LOL!

    • If I didn’t have to drive from Anchorage to Palmer, I would definitely consider it. She sounds like a neat lady. I am seeing a highly recommended PT in Anchorage, so hopefully he will be able to help me.

  2. hi! i’m so sorry that u’ve got that blasted glute issue that’s dragging on for ages! some suggestions i’ve got: 1) do u do the foam rolling bit? do that and some self-massage, then ice afterwards daily 2) if u’ve got access to an ultra sound machine try to get in there as much as possible 3) check that ur shoes match ur foot type and that they aren’t in need of replacement (ie: shoes are dead after at most 500 miles) 4) if u haven’t done this exercise try it: balance on ur left leg, reach across ur body and touch ur left foot with ur right hand, do a set of 10-15, then repeat with opposite leg.
    i hope some of that may help!!

    • I have been foam rolling like crazy! And icing like crazy too. I’ve actually backed off on the icing because I didn’t feel like it was making a difference. I know my shoes are good because I’ve ran in the same make a model and didn’t have any problems. That is the exact exercise the PT prescribed to me!! That exercise and side planks with a leg lift.

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  4. Have you ever thought that maybe it could be part of a sciatic nerve? I had glute pain for a bit and went to the chiropractor and confirmed that it was due to sciatic nerve that was tweeked. They had to massage it out after a few visits and then I was fine.

    • I know one of the classic symptoms of sciatic nerve issues is pain radiating down your leg. Did you have that? I haven’t had anything like that, so I figured it wasn’t my sciatic.

  5. Hi Michelle. I had similar symptoms back in 2010. I did PT for about 6 months. After not much improvement the sports doctor ordered an MRI. Come to find out all my symptoms were coming from a slight disk bulge in my L4/L5. I went and had a series of epidural steroid injections in the epidural area. Yes that did help. I was back running not long after. It didn’t cure it but it was a big start. After about 6 months later my PT allotment (insurance) was over so I switched all my treatment to a chiropractor. I have been going the chiropractor route ever since. I usually feel the hip pain more when I do speedwork and big miles. So I don’t do speedwork anymore. In my opinion if speedwork sidelines me, I would rather not do it and keep running. I also lowered my weekly miles which made a huge difference. It is something I need to always be aware off and continue to keep my core strong but so far I’ve been doing much better. Sorry you are having this. Keep positive. You will get to the root of it, I’m sure of it.

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