why do my thighs hurt after running

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It\’s more than frustrating to have your morning run cut short by pain in your upper thigh. Your thighs contain some of the largest muscle groups in the human body and are essential for good running form. Pain at the top of your thigh can indicate a muscle strain or tear. Pinpointing the nature of your pain and helping the affected area heal quickly will get you back on schedule for your morning exercise routine. Pain in the upper thigh can occur in several muscles. There are three primary muscle groups in the thigh: the quadriceps make up the front of the thigh; the hamstrings are at the back of the thigh; and the adductor muscles run down the inside of your leg. You may also experience a strain in one of several muscle groups in the hips during a run, and this can cause pain in your thighs. Most notably, the hip flexor muscles, located just at the top of your thigh, are a common area for strain in runners. A strain in these muscles can manifest as pain near the very top of your thigh в you\’ve probably felt a little tenderness here after a really good run.

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Read More: Strains are a common injury for athletes in any discipline. For runners, a muscle strain can make it difficult to run without pain. Muscle strains most often occur where fibrous tendons anchor your muscles to your bones. Once a muscle is strained, it\’s important to stop exercising and allow the muscle to heal; a strained muscle is especially prone to re-injury, and the condition of the muscle can worsen if it\’s repeatedly strained. Most of the time, a strained muscle has simply been overstretched, but occasionally, a worse injury like a muscle tear may be at fault for the pain you\’re feeling. Read More: If the pain in your upper thigh doesn\’t subside after a few days of rest, it\’s possible that you have a muscle tear, which is less common and more serious than a strain. Symptoms of a muscle tear include swelling, bruising, muscle spasms, and severe pain. If this injury occurs at the top of your thigh, you may notice bulging, or bruising that runs down the inside of your thigh.

A torn muscle is serious, and may warrant a visit to your doctor or physical therapist. You may need to visit a physical therapist to treat a muscle tear. If you\’re experiencing a muscle strain, rest is the best medicine. Take a few days off from your normal running routine and avoid any activity that causes the pain to worsen. Treat the affected area with ice wrapped in a clean cloth for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for several days. If your pain lingers for longer than a few days, seek out a medical professional, as you may have a bad tear. In severe cases, using crutches to completely relieve the affected muscles can accelerate the healing process. Once your body has had a chance to heal, you\’ll be ready to get back out there for another run. Read More:
Experienced runners know pain is inevitable, a normal part of the exercise and recovery process. The act of running itself breaks down muscle.

During rest, the muscle is repaired and becomes stronger. This process can be uncomfortable, but the ability to tell the difference between this normal pain and injury is very important. Injury requires rest. For normal pain, there are ways to reduce it after a run. Create and follow a well-thought out running plan in order to prevent overuse injury. Set realistic goals and build up to them gradually. A good rule of thumb is to increase the distance and intensity by no more than 10 percent per week. Follow proper technique. Reducing the force exerted on the foot upon impact with the ground is key. Technique varies according to running speed and individual anatomical characteristics. If necessary, find a running coach in your area for assistance. Warm up before intense running. The warmup can involve any activity that gradually increases body temperature, including walking, light jogging and dynamic stretching. Wear compression stockings to help reduce inflammation during and after running.

Compression socks have gained in popularity over the years for good reason: They work! By compressing the lower legs, blood flow from the area increases, allowing for a faster recovery process. Elevate the legs after your run. Use an object while sitting or lie on the ground placing the legs up a wall. Ensure the legs are above heart level. Hold this position for 10 to 15 minutes. This will aid in circulation and speed up recovery. Ice the area that hurts. Grab an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables and hold it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. The cold numbs the area and constricts the blood vessels, helping speed up recovery. Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, as a last resort. These include aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. If the pain is so much that NSAIDs are necessary, it might be time to consider taking time off running. Don\’t give up. It gets better. More experienced runners suffer less injury.

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