Soft tissue, AKA muscles, tightness often causes hip pain. The hip is composed of many muscles that allow us to move our legs in virtually any direction. Doctors often prescribe muscle relaxers in hopes of pain reduction, with few options. Soft tissue assessment becomes necessary in order to determine exactly which muscles are involved, medical doctors rarely do this.
Hopes? Do you really want to rely on a hope to relieve your hip pain? Medications also have side effects. One of the rarely mentioned yet major side effects—of all medications—is damage to internal organs. Muscle relaxers have a systemic effect rather than targeting just one muscle or muscle group. They slow down the entire central nervous system.
Before moving off this subject lets take a look at what effects muscle relaxers have:
Relief!Rather than hoping medication diminishes your pain, why not trust something that has direct influence on the painful muscles.
Complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) offers several such options including massage therapy. The Atrium Wellness therapeutic massage therapists specialize in deep tissue massage and advanced bodywork for resolving chronic pain.
Do you suffer from low back pain? Does nothing seem to help it? Are you taking medication just to get through the day?
Often low back pain is caused by tight muscles in the front of the hips. The iliopsoas (ˌil-ē-ō-ˈsō-əs, ˌil-ē-ˈäp-sə-wəs) connects from the ilium, or hip bone, to the spine from the sacrum up to about the mid back. It also connect to the front of the thigh.
When this muscle is tight it pulls on the lower spine causing pain. If not treated the upper thigh/groin will soon hurt as well.
Low Back Pain – there is relief!
A tight iliopsoas is often the cause of low back pain as depicted in this photo by the red. Though not always the only cause. I gently massage the inside of the hip bone. I have had this trouble and know the pain it can cause.
Do you carry stress in your shoulders? Do you have pain between your ‘wings’ AKA shoulder blades, scapulae? How about glute pain, do you have a tendency to walk like John Wayne?
You could take over the counter meds to relieve your pain, temporarily. The commercials will tell you to take several throughout the day or ‘just one of these’ to sell their pain-relieving product to you.
Do you have some extra pounds you would like to lose and never find again? There’s an overabundance of DVDs, apparatuses, and clubs who will help you out—for a price. Want to see them? Go online, to the mall, or check out any big-box store to be inundated with choices.
America is a country with a plethora inventors, creators, and distributors of products. Some are extremely helpful—and others, can be extremely harmful. It’s as though the makers of the harmful products don’t care about your health. It’s as though the bottom line matters more than your kidney, liver, muscles, and bones.
Today I was looking through one of the many catalogs I receive selling health and fitness products. Of course, I scan it all but mostly look at the massage products to find what might help me better treat my clients. I’m a professional and could say ‘don’t try this at home’ but won’t because I’m not the one selling the products. So, I will tell you what to watch out for and where to get help, okay?
As for medication and your pain, you could try one or more pills. Pain medications have toxic effects on internal organs such as the kidneys and liver. Muscle relaxers? They mess with your brain just enough for you to not care about the pain. Think about it, if a muscle relaxer really relaxed your muscles, you would be in a puddle on the floor. And it does not pinpoint just the one muscle that hurts, it’s systemic; they too have negative consequence. If you are not certain of this, listen to the side effects on the next commercial.
I’m sure you get the idea; they don’t care about you so you need to care about you.
Losing weight, we all want to, you’re not alone. What the makers of the products won’t tell you is that diet and exercise are the best way to do this. Diet, I am not saying stop eating everything with sugar, or only eat things that begin with the letter D. Sensible is the best diet there is. I have various clients who have attempted a number of products and methods to shed pounds. The key here is that they are my clients and I am a massage therapist.
The problem with the DVDs teaching exercise is that the instructor is not able to see how you are moving, right or wrong. Another issue is that though we are all the same under our skin, we all move differently for various reasons. Because of this we all should not be exercising the same. Sure, they will tell you that you’re doing well but we both know they are not able to see you.
Ridding yourself of pain may sound simple. In the catalog I was perusing I came across pages of items that ‘feels just like a human hand’ or ‘bust out knots’. Just like the paper on the soap commercial that says paper reacts like human skin, it’s not true. There is not a product in the world that will allow a novice to massage a muscle as a massage therapist would, let alone feel like a human hand.
A very dangerous line is crossed when something states that one can ‘bust out knots’ with an apparatus. So-called ‘knots’ are not always what they seem. A true knot in a muscle may be a myofascial trigger point. If not, it may be a cyst, tumor, or other anomaly. If it is any of these then busting it out may be harmful.
I write all of this to ask that you use common sense.
If the promise sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Remember, anything that goes in your mouth must go through all of your organs.
A professional should always supervise exercise, especially at first.
Learn to move properly
Explain any and all injuries you have had in your life, not just recently
Not all professionals are to be seen as equal
Check their certification
You lose weight when you cut foods out of you diet; you gain it back when you start to eat those foods again.
Pain is not ‘normal’ no matter how old you are.
Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong
Age alone should not cause you to hurt
Proper daily stretching often reduces/eliminate pain and future injury
Muscles attach to bone and cause the bone to move, via the joint, when they contract.
When muscles do not realize their full length because they become overused, misused, or become fatigued, they contract. Contracted muscles lose length and, over time, are not able to realize their full expanse due to muscle memory.
In essence, the muscles ‘forget’ how long they truly are, hence you have pain when stretching. Therefore, in order to avoid pain, you don’t stretch the muscle to its full length. Yes, pain is not a good thing and avoiding it is a good thin, more on this later.
Back to the attachment to bone, these shortened muscles pull on the bones, which slowly squeeze the cartilage in the joint. The pressure on the cartilage does not allow proper fluid and nutrition in causing dehydration and deterioration.
According to Mayo Clinic “cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.” They go on to explain that arthritis is not curable, however avoidance is possible.
As a massage therapist, I have seen great results in clients who were diagnosed with arthritis. By educating the client about muscle function and stretching, to relax the muscles and slowly ‘remind’ them how long they are. Water intake in combination with the release of pressure from the joint, the cartilage regains it’s normal, rubbery consistency. This reduces pain and inflammation.
Is this a cure? Semantics I suppose, ask my clients what they think.
Oh, yeah, the age thing, I see it in teens as well so no, arthritis is not ‘normal’ in the aging process.
There are so many reasons to ask why your hip hurts that I cannot possibly explain them all here. One major reason for hip pain is lack of stretching. Muscles need to be stretched often; no matter if you are a pro ball player, stay at home mom, or executive sitting at a desk. I will discuss hip stretches in another blog.
When the hip hurts it can be really tough to figure out exactly from where the pain really is. You know how when you feel pain you will press on the area you think will relieve the pain? And how surprisingly, sometimes this does not work, especially with hip pain?
That’s because Trigger points (TrPs) in the low back, or even the calf, muscles in addition to the hip often cause hip pain. Without getting too scientific, a myofascial trigger point is a taught band of contracted muscle cells, which are microscopic in size, within a muscle fiber that make up the muscle tissue.
A massage therapist trained and adept in trigger point therapy will be able to ask you the right questions to pinpoint where the TrP is before they even touch you. The majority of Atrium Wellness clients experience pain in the low back/hip area and ask me why I am working on their calf when their pain is in their hip. I give the explanation and typically just as I am finished talking their hip pain is gone, it works that fast.
When hip pain is in the front of the body the TrP may be in a muscle called the iliopsoas that connects from the thigh bone to the spine and aids in flexing and rotating the leg at the hip as well as rotation of the spine. This is actually made up of two muscles, the psoas major and iliacus. Your therapist will palpate the muscles by pressing in at the inside portion of your hip bone.
One of the things that sets Atrium apart from other massage places is we do our best to help our clients determine the cause of discomfort in order to live a fuller life doing what they love, free of pain. Take a look at our testimonials page for real-life comments from people we have helped, many of which only return for relaxation and maintenance massages.
While in the site click the Schedule tab to set your appointment.
There are several causes and symptoms for foot pain. One of the more common issues is pain when taking the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning or long periods of sitting. There may be many causes for this pain, plantar fasciitis being one of the more common. There are several opinions on treatment of foot pain from soaking, massage, and stretching to shots, medication, and surgery. Google brought up almost 47,000,000 results in 0.23 second on the search for ‘foot pain’.
At Atrium Wellness, Inc. we are not proponents of surgery unless it is the last possible resort. Therefore, we begin at the other end of the spectrum.
Your pain is real and you want it gone. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your discomfort. As always: consult a physician if there is a cause for concern such as broken skin, signs of infection, inability to bear weight on the foot.
Soak your feet in Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) water (follow instructions on the Epsom Salt package). You can see our FaceBook post on Epsom salt for more information on how it works.
Stretch your feet
Stand facing a wall with you toe touching the base board
Put your hands on the wall for stabilization
Place your back foot behind you approximately two feet, or enough to be able to comfortably come up on your toe.
Press down on the back foots toes bringing the heel up off the floor
Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
Repeat by switching the positioning of your feet
A trained and certified massage therapist will be able to massage the foot, and possibly leg, to reduce your pain
The massage therapist should then give you lessons on how best to stretch you own feet at home to continue treatment
Wearing a specially made brace at night to bring your foot into flexion
Your foot pain may lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
How many times have you been ready to do anything just to stop the pain?
If your answer is at least once, that’s too many, right?
Clients often come to me as a last resort telling me that doctors say there is nothing wrong with them but the pain is still there. Many times muscle relaxers were prescribed to no avail. Often, physical therapy was the doctor’s suggestion and it caused more pain.
Medical doctors are typically not thoroughly trained in soft tissue disorders. Rather than having their patient leave feeling they did not get an answer or were not heard the doctor will do something, anything. Insurance costs are skyrocketing and people are getting hooked on drugs or walking around in pain because of this mentality.
When you are ready to do anything,or better yet, BEFORE you get to the point of being ready to do anything, give massage therapy a try.
Massage Therapy is NOT just for relaxation! Massage can be very therapeutic.
Find a therapist who:
Is trained in trigger point therapy
Has working knowledge of myofascial release
Can properly explain the physiology of a trigger point
Does not believe that they are not doing their job if they don’t leave you in pain
Too often clients come to me saying how they were in such pain for days after their last ‘therapeutic massage’. Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong, if your therapist is leaving you in pain, there is something wrong.
It may sound silly that people actually receive money to preform studies to prove that massage decreases depression. Well, studies, lots of studies prove that massage does reduce depression across the board including:
Depression from Fibromyalgia
HIV/Aids related depression
Depression in adolescent mothers
This list was compiled from the Touch Research Institute in Miami FL who has done studies on other ailments being affected by massage as well. Massage is no longer a luxury afforded only to the wealthy, it is a healthy habit that benifits everyone, including the depressed.
The types of depression discussed here are not just ‘feeling blue’ or ‘down in the dumps’ that go away in a day or two. Clinical depression lasts for two weeks or longer and has other debilitating effects in addition to feeling poorly. If you feel you might suffer from depression, contact your physician for a check up. Discuss with the doctor your ideas of getting a massage and if they are opposed because it will not help depression they are misinformed. Please refer them to this article or the Touch Research Institute for more information.
You have probably heard that eating fruit is good for you. Did you know that each fruit has specific health benefits? It is not necessary to eat certain fruits because of their benefits, all fruits are good for you. However, knowing that there are benefits can direct you to the fruits that will help your specific health issues.
Massage therapy is a great way to reduce various forms of chronic pain allowing the body to do it’s job of healing itself. The human body has an ability to heal itself, it is called innate response. We don’t have to think about healing a cut, it just happens, innately.
When muscles are contracted by stress, overuse, or mis-use, they cause us pain and impaired blood flow. When pain hangs around it is called chronic pain. The body works on ridding itself of chronic pain causing further stress to the system. Massage helps to relieve the chronicity of the contracted muscle cells allowing the body to concentrate on other things.
If the pain is not relieved, if the muscles continue to in the contracted state other problems are quickly (within 24 hours) caused such as immobility and weakness, later atrophy and death to the muscle tissue.
Pain is not a lifestyle and ‘no pain, no gain’ is a myth. You can schedule a free consultation with us or just give us a call to see if massage might help your chronic pain.
Atrium Wellness massage therapists specialize in deep tissue massages and advanced bodywork for eliminating stress, resolving chronic pain, maintaining an active lifestyle, or aiding in recovery from sports, accidents, injuries and even surgery.
Atrium Wellness, Inc. doesn’t rely on gimmicks, just GOOD bodywork. Relax and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit with a healing massage.