Woking as an Exercise Physiologist for 19 years I have worked with hundreds of clients that have presented with various forms of hip pain and gluteal muscle tendonopathty. In order for me to understand the client’s pain and frustration I run through a detailed assessment to get the client to explain the behaviour of their problem and then for me to visually see how their body presents and moves.
In my experience, people who suffer from chronic hip and gluteal muscle pain become (rightly so) frustrated and want the problem to be fixed in an instant. As a result they usually get to me after they have tried many courses of anti-inflammatory medication, undergone ultrasound and MRI investigations, administered cortisone injections and tried various other treatments. In many cases these traditional forms of treatment assist in reducing the inflammation and eliminate the pain. However there is still a risk of that the symptoms and pain will return.
The largest hurdle that people suffering from mechanical hip pain is deconditioning. People who suffer from hip pain generally stop the activity that exacerbates the pain, which is usually exercise and walking. This results in two problems: the muscles involved in stabilising and moving the hip become de-conditioned, and the other hip becomes overloaded. People who suffer from chronic pain also become fearful of movement, as this is the activity that causes pain.
I write this blog today as I had a conversation with a previous client who called me yesterday and described the above situation. When she asked ”can you help”? I responded with my usual explanation that I am not sure if I can eliminate the cause of her hip pain, but I know that we need to develop a management plan that focuses on training all of the muscles of her lower body and lumbo-pelvic region. The client’s goal is to reduce her pain and my goal is to achieve this by restoring normal muscle joint interactions of the ankle, knee hip and spine, thus allowing her to be able to hold and move her body effectively without fear of pain.
The key message to take out of this situation is that the human body needs movement to allow it to nourish muscles and joints, breathe and move joints. If you have been suffering from muscle or joint pain for a long period of time, make sure that you don’t stop moving. In my next blog I will share 5 key activities that you should do if you suffer from persistent mechanical hip pain.