A painful hip is a common complaint with athletes of any age. I’ve demonstrated the proof of quickly reducing hip pain with dozens of professional football players and high level athletes in just the past 18 months.
One of those cases took place just last week with one of our Jaguars’ linebackers. It’s great example of how generalized hip pain can be improved by 80% or more in less than 5 minutes.
Here comes the anatomy lesson…The hip joint is a deep and very stable joint, therefore it is not very mobile. Meanwhile, twenty-four (24) muscles cross the hip joint and add to the stability of the entire hip and lateral pelvis. The actual capsule that encompasses the hip joint is thick and tight. In summary, the deep joint socket, the two dozen muscles that cross the joint and the tight joint capsule result in a potentially stiff and painful part of your anatomy.
Back to our player….
He came in complaining of anterior-lateral hip pain during walking and prolonged sitting. He had no known injury or episode that created the pain and no history of hip injury. His exam was normal other than pain with internal rotation at 90 degrees of hip flexion and his manual muscle test demonstrated a 20% decrease in strength of hip flexion and external rotation. His leg length was bilaterally symmetrical and his low back exam was normal with no neurological involvement.
This is What I Did:
- Pre-Test: I had him walk and move to create the pain. I asked him to remember exactly how that felt because I would be asking him to do the same following the treatment to asses the change in symptoms.
- Using a TP Therapy Massage Ball and TP Therapy Block, I performed a simple release of the two hip flexor muscles. (Shhhh….with some practice, this can be done quite easily by just the athlete themselves without the assistance of a certified athletic trainer or physical therapist.)
- In a quadruped or all-fours position, I had the linebacker kick the heel of the involved leg upwards for ten (10) reps while keeping the knee bent to 90 degrees. “Slowly kick the heel to the sky” is my verbal cue to activate the gluteus maximus muscle, which forms the “cheek” muscle.
- Next I placing the TP Therapy Massage Ball under the back outer corner of the athlete’s butt cheek and asked the athlete to rolls his pelvis from towards that side while controlling the body weight on the ball with both hands and feet as if was face up and playing a game of Twister. The athlete moves the ball around until he found the “trigger point”. This is an obvious location with increased sensitivity located just behind the great trochanter bone, which protrudes from the side of the hip approximately 5 inches below the bent line.
- Warning: Here comes the pain. I told the athlete to toughen up and because it will greatly reduce the stiffness, pain and limitations of his hip joint. While bearing as much of his body weight as tolerable on the TP ball and the involved leg’s knee bent to approximately 90 degrees, I asked him to slowly swing his knee up and down for 10 reps while breathing slow and loud. “Flap that chicken wing in as big an arc as possible” is my verbal cue to activate all the hip rotators and relax the often problematic piriformis muscle.
- 6. Post-Test: I asked the pro football player to walk and perform the exact activities that he did in the pre-test. I ask my athlete one simple question: “Does your symptoms feel better, worse or the same?”
In this case, the player smiled, laughed and said joyfully “I don’t feel it at all!” I returned the smile.
How Does This Work So Fast & So Well?
Keeping it simple, I used the body’s natural reflexes to my advantage.
- I relaxed the main hip flexor muscle to allow for greater power generation with movement.
- I woke-up the main hip extensor which forces the body to relax the opposite muscles, the hip flexor and upper quad.
- I used pain to short-circuit the hip capsule’s defense mechanism of splinting the entire hip joint. This immediately increases the hip joint’s pain-free range of motion.
- Lastly, I used the hip internal rotators to create a natural inhibition response of the external rotators, thus immediately increasing pain-free rotation of the hip.
My philosophy of sports medicine is simple: Working with the body is always a simpler and more effective approach then to work against the body.
This hip example is one of dozens that I enjoy sharing with my readers to help them reduce their pain and to get back to being an athlete again.
Instead of wasting time, money and pain receptors getting beat up just trying to regain your youth, learn from an expert who uses these techniques on himself and his professional athletes every day.