Walking or jogging on a treadmill presents the body with the stress of a weight-bearing exercise, which can lead to hip pain as a result of inflammation, sprains or tendonitis. Overuse of your hip muscles and the ensuing pain is usually possible to alleviate with rest, ice packs and ibuprofen. Many individuals contend with hip pain after using the treadmill because they have altered the way they normally walk or run. Overextension of their gait promotes hip pain because the upper-leg muscles and glutes are being repetitively and abnormally stretched.
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Pain-Causing Conditions of the Hip
Hip injuries directly caused by working out on a treadmill include pinched nerves, muscle strains and tendonitis. Conditions that treadmill use can exacerbate include bursitis, arthritis and even cause flare-ups to previously unknown bone deformities. Placing an incline on the treadmill can also cause hip pain, as the higher the incline, the more force is placed on the hip joints and muscles. Walking at a consistent, up-tempo pace can also lead to pain.
Overuse of your tendons is the usual reason behind flare-ups of hip tendonitis -- specifically of the iliopsoas, or inner hip muscles. As the strongest of all the hip flexors, the iliopsoas is vital to performing running, walking and standing activity. Excessive use of this tendon is easily applicable to anyone who uses a treadmill. Age can be a factor if you have hip tendonitis as well, because tendon elasticity decreases in people as they age. Symptoms of hip tendonitis include pain while sleeping, an inability to get comfortable in bed or a chair and difficulty moving the hips in general. Some people also feel feverish warmth in the affected hip area.
Bursitis of the Hip Joint
Bursa sacs act as small, powerful cushions between the muscles and bone, preventing the internal mechanism of joints from rubbing against each other and producing friction that can inhibit movement. When these sacs become inflamed, pain occurs because liquid inside the sacs is insufficient due to overexertion. The greater trochanter -- the bony end of the hip -- is often the site of bursitis inflammation because it contains larger than normal bursa sacs. Bursitis initially produces sharp pain in the affected area; later, this pain can spread and develop into a general achiness.
Hip Labral Tears
Often tricky to diagnose, a hip labral tear involves a piece of soft, stretchy tissue called the labrum, which covers the outside edge of the hip-joint socket. Responsible for keeping the ball in place at the top of the femur, the labrum also acts as a stabilizer by expanding the socket and facilitating flexibility. Repetitive activity such as treadmill use can result in a degenerative tear of the labrum. In addition, labral tears are often seen before the onset of arthritis. Symptoms of this condition include groin pain, a clicking sensation in the hip joint and a lack of full hip mobility.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.