Chronic Hip Pain Relief

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Exercise, Hip Pain Treatment, Muscle Therapy and Health

You Can Enjoy Pain Free Living From Home

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney


You may not be an Irish dancer like the woman who sent this question, but if you are a runner, golfer, or you play tennis – or if you are just having chronic hip pain – you’ll find answers to the cause of your pain, and what you can do to resolve it!

The Cause of Bridget’s Chronic Hip Pain

I received this question recently.

I am a competitive Irish dancer. I love what I do, it is my passion.  I am 40 years old and I have been Irish dancing since I was 35.

The pillar of Irish dancing is core muscles and hamstrings. The better I have gotten with my dancing, the worst my everyday pain in my high hamstrings right at the hip joint (Bicep Femoris). I have been in pain for 4 years now. It only gets worse.can you please advise.


Obviously “Bridget” is overusing all of her muscles. She doesn’t have a “chronic hip pain condition” she has overuse syndrome, and it CAN be reversed easily. It’s just a matter of discovering what is causing the pain, finding the source of the pain, and then eliminating it with simple self-treatments.

My Answer For Bridget’s Chronic Hip Pain


I LOVE Irish dancing, and I’ve always appreciated how grueling it is for the dancers from their hips to their feet. I’m happy to tell you that it is easy to treat each of the muscles, but it’s more than just your hip joint and hamstrings.  This chronic hip pain pattern actually starts from your quadriceps, specifically your rectus femoris.

chronic hip pain from dancingIt will help you follow this discussion if you first read my article on hip joint pain relief .  You’ll see that your quadriceps cause your leg to go straight after you bend your knee, so it is being repetitively strained from all of the dancing.

The rectus femoris is the only one of the four quadriceps that originates on the tip of your pelvis, so when it is being repetitively strained – and therefore shortening – it is pulling DOWN on your pelvis and UP on your knee.

As your pelvis rotates down from this strain, it causes the muscles of your hamstrings to become OVERSTRETCHED. The worst thing to do is to stretch your hamstrings without first treating the muscles that have caused your pelvis to rotate.

The overstretching occurs because the origin of your hamstrings are on the base of your pelvis.   So as your posterior pelvis is pulling your hamstrings, which have their own spasms occurring and are tying the fibers into knots, they are now being overstretched as the pelvis moves.

The muscles of your hip become involved because they are twisted as your pelvis pulls them down in the front, and contracts them as your pelvis moves up in the back. This puts a great strain on the top of your thigh bone, called the greater trochanter.

You need to do your self-treatments in a specific way to sequentially release your muscles in a manner that will reverse the domino-effect your rectus femoris is putting on your pelvis. As you release each muscle in what is called the Julstro Protocol , your pelvis will be able to release.

As a dancer, I suggest you self-treat each of the muscles regularly, even daily.  This will force out the toxins that are created as you dance for hours, and will enable your muscles to heal while you sleep so you’ll be fresh in the morning and not carrying around yesterday’s pain.

You can release all of the muscles that are causing your chronic hip pain, and you’ll find that you’re dancing better, with more flexibility, and you’ll also feel stronger.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly



About The Author

julie donnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.




These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Comments (3)

  • Mary-Ann Novak


    Unfortunately, I could not access Julie’s instructions. It says the page is not available. Can you help?


    • Dr. Steve Chaney


      Dear Mary-Ann,

      We cannot correct the link in retrospect, but Julie and I will make sure the links work in her future posts.

      Dr. Chaney


  • Annette D Lamond


    Thank you for sharing! This provided great relief…& insight!
    Much thanks for all the wisdom you share,


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Latest Article

High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.