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The most common hip pain most people will experience is gluteal tendinopathy, (often referred to as runner’s hip) which is often described as moderate to severe pain on the side of the hip. The onset of the pain is usually vague, but people suffering from this condition will often describe being woken up from pain in their hip or experiencing pain when they first get out of bed. Getting up from a chair, walking, or cycling can also trigger the pain. I’ve often heard people describe the pain as including the front of their thigh so that the exact site of the dysfunction is illusive.
What causes hip pain?
As one can imagine, there can be various causes for hip pain and seeing a registered massage therapist or physiotherpist is the best bet for accurate diagnosis. A spa-in in-home massage therapist can provide onsite orthopaedic tests to help you find the root cause of your hip pain.
What makes this condition especially tricky is that both inactivity (such as extensive sitting) or lots of activity (such as extensive walking) can cause gluteal tendinopathy. As such, whether you are a person who drives or sits on a plane for hours for work, or you’re someone active who enjoys long walks or 5k runs, you can be susceptible to side hip pain. That is because the muscles at play, gluteal muscles, are postural muscles which are working when you’re in a seated position (without them, you’d topple over) and when you’re standing / walking (they help stabilize your hip and spine). As such they are always loading, working, and susceptible to repetitive strain.
Rehab for Gluten Tendinopathy.
The great news is that GT responds very well to rehab as long as you stick to it. A spa-in mobile spa RMT will be able to massage / stretch the areas that have stiffen-up while providing rehab exercises to strengthen the areas that are weak. The body is like a river, the dysfunction happening down below can affect what’s happening up top. As such understanding the cause is where your spa-in massage therapist would start. For example, are you flat footed? Does the favourite spot on your couch have a dent etc.
In general, it’s always a great idea to seek massage therapy / stretches for the classic muscles that get shortened / tightened with this condition ie: your hip flexors. While strengthening, through remedial exercises, the muscles that are classically weak ie: your gluteal muscles.
With side hip pain, it is equally as important to avoid doing the activities that exacerbates the hip pain as it is for you to stretch tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones.
Some common things to avoid are:
- Avoid activities that bring the leg of the affected hip past the middle plumb line of your body. EG crossing your legs, lying on your side without a pillow between your legs, avoid pigeon pose or any stretches to your gluteal muscles as they need the opposite – strengthening.
- Avoid sitting on low chairs which put your side profile at less than a 90degree angle. This puts a lot of pressure on your side hips.
- Try to temporarily limit, if you can, the excessive activity which is the root cause of your pain. Whether that is sitting or walk/ running.
- Avoid lying on the affected side when in bed.
- DO NOT perform deep stripping massages on your glutes. It’s intuitive to want to massage away the pain, but often, the cause of the lateral hip pain are weak gluteal muscles so, the way to make the pain go away is to strengthen the muscles not to further decondition them with deep tissue massages. Your hip flexor however is usually what need massaging / stretching.
Some great exercise to strengthen weak glutes and reduce pain are:
1.) Static Hip Abduction – Feet together, knees apart and hold. 3 reps holding for 15 seconds on each one.
3.) Sideline Abduction – You can start this with no resistance band and once you’re comfortable with the movement, add a resistance band at your thighs. 3reps of 10.
Some great stretches to SAFELY lengthen those tight hip flexors while suffering from hip pain and remove the strain on the sides of your hip are:
1.) Hip flexor stretch. Hold each side for 30seconds.
2.) Hip flexor stretch side lying. Hold each side for 30 seconds.
There are lots of hip flexor stretches like pigeon pose or kneeling hip flexor stretch which are best avoided if you suffer from gluteal tendinopathy as it places the opposing hip from the one you are stretching into hyper flexion.
As with any musculoskeletal condition, enough can’t be said about the benefits of you strengthening your core as it literally is our centre.
If you suffer from lateral hip pain, please be sure to speak to a Spa-In massage therapist or another health professional for proper diagnosis / clinical impression of your condition.