How to Avoid Hip Problems on a Treadmill

Proper running form can help ease or prevent pain.

Proper running form can help ease or prevent pain.

Running on a treadmill can actually be good for your hips, according to MedLine Plus. This is because the treadmill provides an even surface that keeps your hips leveled -- while running outside on uneven terrain can cause you to shift your weight towards one side or the other, increasing the risk of injury or pain. If you still have pain while running on the treadmill, it might be a question of adjusting your stance or ensuring you don't run while your muscles are tense or cold.

Buy a pair of sneakers with good shock absorption. You don't have to spend a fortune on them, but do make sure you're buying shoes made especially for running -- they'll have a better shock absorption design. Much of the pain -- both hips and knees -- connected to running has to do with the impact caused when your feet connect with the treadmill. If your shoes are helping ease the impact, the pain might disappear.

Warm up for a few minutes before you start running. A warm-up can be something as simple as walking on the treadmill, no incline, for five minutes or so. This gets the blood flowing and muscles ready for a more intense workout -- especially important if you run in the morning, soon after waking up, as your muscles will still be "sleepy."

Stretch after warming up and then again after you're done with the workout. If the pain reappears throughout the workout, step off the treadmill and stretch for a couple of seconds before jumping back on. For a simple hip stretch, bend one knee and place it on the ground. Bend the other leg in front of you, placing the foot flat on the ground. Keep your body straight -- no bending at the waist -- and then lean your entire body forward. You should feel the weight and pressure shifting to your front leg, while the back leg and hip feel the stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Go back to walking if you experience pain while running. A few minutes of walking can be all you need for the pressure to ease on your hips. If the pain returns when you start running again, consider alternating a few minutes of walking with a few minutes of running -- especially if you're new to running and your body needs some time to adjust to the intensity of the workout.


  • If the pain continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor. You might have a strain or other type of injury that gets aggravated when you run.

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About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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