Gluteal tendinopathy is one of the conditions that can cause deep glute pain and/or pain over the side of the hip. As with most injuries, it can have many causes and one of them that you should address in your treatment plan is your running style. I’ve shared some more tips on treating gluteal tendinopathy here.
Factors in your running style that can contribute to overloading the gluteal tendons include:
if you run with a narrow gait, causing the legs to adduct;
if your leg turns in excessively;
allowing your pelvis to drop excessively as you run;
if you over-stride as this causes higher impact forces for the glutes to absorb.
I've also explained all of it in this video:
How can you address this?
Firstly, make sure that you have adequate strength in your glutes and other leg muscles before you go back to running. Once you’re ready to start running again, get some help with analysing your running style. It doesn’t have to be a super expensive test. I just get my online patients to film themselves while running at a comfortable pace. This is usually good enough to identify what we have to work on.
Remember, it’s best to practise the cues I list below through a run/walk programme. This will allow your body to get used to the new movement pattern without causing other areas to strain.
Narrow gait: If you cross your legs over into the midline (running on a tight rope), try to widen your steps a little bit.
Over-stride and pelvic drop:
Over-stride is when you land with your foot (usually on the heel) far in front of your body. Try to teach yourself to land more underneath your body.
Increasing your step rate slightly is also a great way to reduce both over-stride and pelvic drop as it reduces the impact forces through the hips.
Thinking about giving soft steps can also help to reduce impact forces.
Knee turning in: If you find that your knees turn in excessively when you run, simply try to think about pointing your knee caps forward or just reducing how much they turn in by a little bit. Be careful not to go the other way – you shouldn’t run with your knees pointing out either.
About the Author
Barton, C. J., et al. (2016). "Running retraining to treat lower limb injuries: a mixed-methods study of current evidence synthesised with expert opinion." British Journal of Sports Medicine 50(9): 513-526.