Massage Therapy for Hip Pain
Massage therapy can help with hip pain
Massage therapy is a safe and effective method to treat hip pain. Often it is all that’s needed to get lasting relief. It can also be a useful addition to physical therapy treatments. If your pain is so severe that you are considering hip surgery please give massage a try first — it just might do the trick. And if you have already gotten surgery massage can help speed up your recovery.
What is hip pain?
Most everyone has at some time had hip pain. Perhaps you overdid it doing that yard work, or being a weekend warrior playing sports, but now you have a pain in your hip. For many people, however, that hip pain intensifies over time into intense hip pain. It could be pain in the side of the hip, pain deep in the hip, pain with certain movements, or constant pain which keeps you awake at night. Chronic hip pain can indeed be very severe, even disabling.
What causes it?
Many factors may be involved in hip pain. Sometimes it stems directly from trauma or abrupt injury to tissues from a car accident, sports injury, or work injury. Often it slowly creeps up over time due to repetitive stress to the tissues. Doing the same motion over and over again at work, standing for too long, incorrect footwear, or prior injuries that did not heal correctly could result in back pain. Poor posture and poor ergonomics are usually factors as well. Often a structural or functional leg length discrepancy is the main cause. Over time trigger points can form in the tissues, creating yet another source of pain.
Sometimes the pain itself comes directly from injured tissues. Often the pain is the result of a nerve being compressed by a tight muscle or a distortion of a vertebra. Left untreated it often gets worse.
How massage therapy can help
A thorough assessment is needed first in order to determine which strategy to use.
Simply relaxing muscles can sometimes help restore correct muscle tone. If tissues are injured lymphatic massage can aid recovery, especially if edema is present, while massaging surrounding tissues can help reduce tension at the injury site.
Releasing the tension in a tight muscle which is compressing a nerve can relieve pain. This might involve using cross fiber friction techniques, deep tissue, longitudinal stokes, PNF stretches, or neuromuscular therapy if trigger points are involved.