Natural Treatment for Hip Pain

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Hip Pain Treatment

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

natural treatment for hip painDo You Love Sports?

Do You Exercise Frequently?

Do You Have Aches & Pains?

Wish there was a natural treatment for hip pain?  Exercising and playing sports is a “pluses and minuses” situation because it’s great to build muscle and burn fat, but it can also cause joint pain.

And athletes are especially vulnerable for hip pain.

Today I taught a serious triathlete an at-home hip pain treatment.  Up until now he has been side-lined because of chronic hip pain.  He’s an excellent runner and a top cyclist, but both of these sports have caused hip pain so extreme that he had to seek treatment.

The Cause of Hip Pain

The hip has powerful muscles attached to it so you can stand, sit, bend, maintain balance and move your body in an infinite number of ways.  Each muscle needs to work perfectly with the other supporting muscles.  As one contracts the opposing muscle needs to lengthen.

For example, sitting for extended periods of time is a key cause of pain all the way from your low back to your knees!  In order for you to be able to sit various muscles contract including your psoas and iliacus muscles (front of pelvis), meanwhile your quadratus lumborum (low back) and rectus femoris (front of thigh) must lengthen.

As you stand those muscles switch roles – unless one or more of them have shortened because of a phenomenon called “muscle memory”.  When this happens the tight muscle pulls on the bone causing tightness in the pelvis which leads low back pain, groin pain, sciatica or pain in the front of your hip.

Pain on the outside of your hip happens because these muscles are rotating your pelvis forward and down, and this rotation causes the muscles on the outside of your hip to torque.  This torquing causes spasms (muscles knots or trigger points) to form in your hip muscles and the pull refers pain to your entire hip area.

If you play a sport that involves kicking your leg out to the side, such as soccer or ice skating, you are repetitively straining your hip muscles, specifically your tensor fascia lata, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius.  These muscles apply tension on the outside of the pelvis and on the top of the thigh bone making your entire hip hurt!

A Natural Treatment for Hip Pain


hip pain treatmentTo release the muscles on the outside of your hip, take the Trigger Point Therapy Ball and place it directly on the side-seam of your pants, between your hip bone and your thigh bone.  This is the location of your tensor fascia lata muscle, which is a key muscle when treating for hip pain.

Lie down on the ball (as pictured).  You may need to ease into it if your muscle is very tight.  The goal is to be able to lie on the ball without feeling pain.

This could take a few minutes if your muscle is in spasm.

Once you are able to lie on the ball without pain, begin to move your body so the ball moves down to the insertion point (top of your thigh bone).

Then move so the ball rolls along your entire pelvis and sacrum.

As you move along feel for any tender spots.  Each tender spot is a trigger point (muscle knot or spasm) that is causing your hip pain.

When you feel a trigger point allow your body to rest there for 30-60 seconds for a full muscle release.


Need More Help?

There are so many muscles involved in hip pain that I suggest you watch the Focused Flexibility Training Foundation video.  The Foundation video is a comprehensive demonstration of muscle release techniques from head-to-toe.

After you release the knots in your muscles it is now the best time to stretch.  In the Focused Flexibility Training system the two lower body sessions effectively stretch the muscles of your hip

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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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.