Hip knee running connection

Hi. I am lifelong runner , hiker, bicycle commuter & triathlete with a specific question re. hip replacement recovery and running. Had anterior hip replacement on right hip March 2012. Before that did a lot of triathlons. Good quick recovery & back to jogging by that summer but did not run seriously as we did international work a couple of years with minimal running/ competition opportunity, then I had series of small injuries (not related to hip); last year it was a broken arm when I slipped trail running! I  would like to return to long distance triathlons. However if I run more than 5 miles I get a “popping” in right knee. My physical therapist says it’s weak hips & gave me lots of hip strengthening work. I wonder if right hip perpetually weaker because of artificial hip& puts more stress on knee. Has anyone else in the community had this issue and do you have advice on how to specifically target/strengthen weak right hip?  I do not get these problems cycling, hiking or backpacking. I do best on trail running and worst on flat pavement; alternating some with barefoot/toe shoe running seems to  ease stress on knees. I thought about more work in minimalist shoes; something I could use for triathlons that would be easier on knees but easy to slip on? (unlike toe shoes which make you crazy in transition).  Thanks for all/ any advice!

2 thoughts on “Hip knee running connection

  1. Hi Cindy,
    The knee popping sounds like runner’s knee. Treatment varies from taking some rest away from running to stretching before you run and running on soft surfaces. With your hip, I would recommend taking some rest and performing an alternate exercise for a little while. Not forever….just a little while. 🙂

  2. Thanks Tom.
    I do have overall pretty bad (worn down) arthritic knees which I pamper by lots of stretching and even binding them if they bother me hiking. (Also have had knee chondromalacia at least 20 years that I keep at bay be keeping quads/ hamstring strong). I don’t run that much mileage. Perhaps 3x a week at 3-5 miles max. Don’t think it quite fits runners knee symptoms (which I have had in past) because there is really no pain (neither knee cap or under knee). Just gets tight, usually after more distance on pavement or downhill, then suddenly starts a pop which is like a tendon tightening up then going limp (not a snap, thank goodness). Not really painful just a little annoying/alarming. I can only remember it getting painful once when I ignored and kept trying to do sprint work. Anyway, layoff is fine but not sure it will improve things. The best I have done with this is when I have actually modestly increased miles/leg strength but with mostly trail running and stopping for side kicks, balance, half squats half way thru run. I found I can also reproduce this “pop” by doing single leg lifts prone (lying on stomach on a machine lifting up from behind calves) . Not that I do this now that I discovered this result(!) Anyway thanks for answering!

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