Hip, Gluts and the Pain they Cause

Have you ever experienced hip, butt (aka the gluts), or sciatic pain? If you have, you will probably be the first to say that it is not pleasant, and many times can be super debilitating. In the past few months, I have had many clients fighting with this, and two in particular whose daily life was completely restricted due to the pain, and they were desperate to fix it.

One man had been having pain since Christmas when I met him in March. When I met him, he couldn’t sit down. Like ever. Can you imagine? He stood all day, paced, and slept. Or tried to sleep. That was also painful. He wasn’t sure what caused it, which was very frustrating. The pain was in his hip, and down into his hamstring. He couldn’t put on socks, and could hardly get shoes on. It was no joke. Through Trigger Point Therapy, Massage & Chiropractic Care, he now has very minimal pain! So much has changed, and he is amazed at the difference. BUT, he committed to his care. At the beginning, he was in once a week, and slowly weaned back as he got better.

Then, there is Carol. She had such RAW pain. That’s how she described it. She had such a hard time walking, bending, and the like. The pain was all around her hip and down into her leg as well. The rawness was just way too much to handle, and she felt like she was at her wits end. After just a few sessions, she told me, “Nikki, it’s scary, I have hope!” Isn’t that an interesting statement? She never ever wanted to go back to where she was and hope was scary because there was a possibility it would get better! Before starting massage, she felt hopeless. One day, her daughter had read my blog post, When You’ve Tried Everything, and Carol made an appointment and never looked back. She also committed to her care, and has been doing work in the pool, PT and working with her medical doctor.

So, as you can see, hip pain can cause terrible pain and weakness. Why?

First of all, we use our hips constantly. Walking, sitting, everything. The gluteus muscles are a huge muscle group that we use constantly, and when they get tight, they refer pain up into the back, and down the leg. Some people even feel it in their toes. The piriformis (a muscle in the butt) can pinch your sciatic nerve when tight and refer pain down the leg as well. Sciatic pain can be vastly improved through massage therapy. There are also many ligaments and tendons in the hip and low back area. The first one that comes to mind is the SI joint. The SI joint ligament can get very dense, and thick. It causes a lot of low back pain, like a band across your back, right above your sacrum. When you have pain here, it can be very hard to bend over.

Here are the referral patterns of the gluteus muscles. The X is where the knot is, and the red is where you actually feel the pain.

Here are the referral patterns of the gluteus muscles. The X is where the knot is, and the red is where you actually feel the pain.

So how do I treat it? Trigger Point Therapy and a technique called Cross Fiber Friction are my best friends for this area.

With trigger points, I find those tight spots, or knots, and when I do, I press them. I use my elbow a lot in the butt because I have more control with it here. Once I find a knot, you will usually feel the referral. When you do, I hang out until I feel the knot release. And when the knot releases, you will feel the referral change, or disappear. I do this until I’ve worked the whole area! Now, depending on where you are in your care, I take it more slowly. The first session I learn a lot about where the tension is, and work through some of the superficial pain. So, the super intense work isn’t all in one session, and your body will release one thing one session and because of that, we will be able to get deeper in the next session, and release those tissues.

So the point is, massage can help your hip and glut pain. If you commit to your care, you can get better! There is hope! If you have any questions, feel free to email or call me and I can answer any questions.