1/28/16

Front Hip Pinching?

Chances are that a barbell has graced your shoulders at some point. Why else would you read this site? If you've taken any kind of weightlifting or competitive sports play seriously you've probably suffered from a nagging Pauline thorn - a pinching sharp pain in the front of the hip. Like most athletes you probably complained about it, but then put on your hard hart and kept going. You don't have to live your life like that though, there is a better way.
Photoshop skills on point

Having spent the past two grueling years of my life in grad school I've learned a thing or two. First off, school is for nerds. Secondly, to do a thesis you have to pick something you want to learn about and then LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. I chose mobility.

My thesis in particular is about the impact of 3 different forms of warmup on performance when compared to a control. Before I could even begin data collection I had to start by learning different forms of mobility and how they affect particular muscle tissue. Then I had to research and design a protocol that used a scientific backing to impact several different muscle groups. During my research I began talking with my chiropractor who does ART tissue release in conjunction with his adjustments. Eventually I learned enough about tissue, trigger points, and golgi tendon organs to produce a legit thesis.



None of this information can help you with your hip though. I've basically wasted your time up until this point. But all good points require a bit of fluff to gain your attention. I mean, who am I to tell you a life altering solution to your training pains? Except now you know. I'm that guy who has devoted 2 years of his life to this stuff.

What I've learned about the hip complex tells me that the first pain you feel is not always where the problem exists. It's kind of like a headache. Yes, your head hurts so you take medicine but that doesn't always work. Chances are that a tight neck or some other non-direct problem is causing that hammering feeling on the inside of your skull. When the front of the hip begins to pinch and inhibit movement one of the prime factors is the gluteus medius.

This is a part of your posterior hip, and it is the real reason you hate squatting, walking, and doing anything other than laying on the couch and eating ben & jerry's. The Glute Med. is superficial at the top (origin) of the hip and then is deep under the Glute Max at the bottom (insertion). This muscle is used and abused when we do physical activities and can develop a host of ailments from trigger points to tissue extensibility dysfunction to just plane beat up. Once tight and agitated it can pull on the other muscles of the hip causing some impingement (pinching) on the anterior side via the femur. To fix this we need to restore it to it's natural length and function. The top 3 things you can do to treat this are:

MYOFASCIAL RELEASE

There are several ways to accomplish this, but it essentially includes broad or precise compression techniques applied to the specific muscle. You can mash it on a foam roller or pay someone to jam their thumb into, but whatever you do the tissue has to get worked. Ischemic compression (pressure so hard blood flow stops) of just 5 seconds has been shown to improve tissue function. Lighter and more long term bouts of foam rolling can have an impact as well, but in my experience the glute med. needs a more aggressive touch. If you don't have access to a therapist who can perform deep tissue work I suggest using a more firm tool to release the damage. Using a softball, lacrosse ball, or some other hard object will be more likely to achieve the desired healing. Roll the tissue until you can't take it or the pain subsides tremendously.

STIM

Sometimes the glut med can get fatigued or undertrained. We can get into this habit of treating beat up muscles like kids at walmart, we forget them *bad joke*. You can literally learn to perform without activating a muscle causing it to come back later and bite you in the - wait for it - butt. A Tens/Stim machine can actually build the muscle back up and potentially retrain your nerves to activate it during work.

STATIC STRETCHING

Namaste. Have you ever done a yoga class? Do you remember that weird pose where you bend one leg in front of you and then place it on the ground like a weird questionmark, and on top of that your try and put your nose on your shin? The pigeon pose. Performing this stretch or more advanced modifications can aid in re-lengthening the glute med. to more healthy lengths.

When I run hurting athletes through this protocol I always get one of two responses. They either thank me and think I'm a wizard because their problem vanishes immediately, or they tell me that the pain they went through was not worth the day of relief they get. Either way, it works. The more advanced your problems are the more bouts it may take to heal. Give it a try, what do you have to lose?

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.