How to use a Massage Gun for Hip Pain and Stiffness?
If you are having hip pain or stiffness that’s limiting your routine work and you also possess a massage gun then you are probably thinking about how to use this gun for this particular purpose. Or can a massage gun be used on or around the hip joint and in what way?
Keep on reading to know the most appropriate technique for the usage of massage or percussion gun for hip pain.
Hip pain is not an uncommon experience for most people because we may have gone through this at some point in our lives or some of us might be suffering right now.
Being a physical therapist I get to see many patients with hip pain and other problems that can simply be treated by only loosening the tight muscles and deep fascia and relieving tight knots, best done with the help of a percussion gun. So, I’m going to share the best information regarding this treatment method.
Causes of hip pain and stiffness:
Hip pain and stiffness occur in many conditions such as fractures, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, labral tear, ankylosing spondylitis, osteonecrosis, and snapping hip syndrome.
But I’m going to discuss below all those kinds of pain which can be relieved by the help of a massage gun.
The most common cause of hip pain is due to muscular spasm or tightening of muscles which is caused by a variety of factors which include overwork, fatigue, trauma, muscle strains or problem in the surrounding joints, etc.
Hip pain is also caused by anterior or posterior innominate of the hip causing pain in one or both of the sacroiliac joints.
Sometimes the tail bone can deviate a little, which may be caused by a fall or a strong muscular spasm causing intense pain.
Hip stiffness is also caused by tightness of hip flexor muscles like the Iliacus and psoas which usually occur after overtraining, excessive exercise, running, or yoga.
Proper technique to use massage gun for hip pain:
First of all, try to figure out the cause of your pain, and if it’s muscular then try to isolate the muscle causing pain. Then try to find the tender spots or trigger points of muscles.
Choice of attachment:
- For large muscles, a ball head is the best choice.
- Use a flat head for applying more pressure to the thicker muscles like glutes and to use over hip or thigh bone.
- A bullet head is used to relieve the tender spots or trigger points.
Always choose the level 1 intensity at first then you can move from lighter to more intense mode gradually as you like.
How to use:
- The first step is the mobilization of the stiff and painful area to hydrate the joint and loosen up the tight muscles. Turn the gun on and use it on the front of the proximal (high part) thigh. Move it to and fro and in a circular motion for 30-40 seconds.
- Then use the gun on the inner thigh in a circular motion.
- While lying supine, fold your knees and put the treatment side foot on the opposite leg in a “figure 4” manner (femur gets rotated). Now use the gun on the inner thigh and backside of the thigh (posterior). Move the head up and down at the attachment of adductors.
Tensor fascia lata (TFL)
It’s a short muscle connected with the fascia, at the side of the leg. When TFL is tight, it causes hip pain and stiffness. To relieve this pain, a massage gun should be applied just below ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac Spine: the bony protuberance of hip bone onto the side of the body), avoiding the bony part.
These are the muscles that bend and flex the hip and trunk.
Psoas: Move 4 fingers width away from the belly button, here lies the psoas muscle deep within.
To massage this muscle, use light intensity and short duration, moving the device in small circles. You can also flex your knee and hip a little, to feel this muscle more evidently.
Iliacus: To massage this muscle, move your hand 4 fingers width to the medial side from ASIS but 2 inches down. Move the gun in small circles along with the internal, external rotation of the leg and also flexion, an extension of the hip and knee for better results.
Gluteal muscles and piriformis are the main hip muscles and make the bulk of the hip. Trigger points of gluteus medius and piriformis cause lots of pain and discomfort in the hip region during walking and sitting. This massage can be done in side-lying with knee and hip flexed. Put massage gun on top of the muscles with a round head and then on trigger points with a bullet head, at intensity level 3. Use to and fro and then circular motion for 30-40 seconds.
Always consult your doctor before use.
- use on the bony protuberances.
- On recent injury.
- On bleeding part.
- In diseases like infection, cancer, lesions, etc.
- In coagulopathies.
- On fractures.
Hip pain can be relieved by the use of a massage gun but make sure with your doctor that it’s not a contraindication.
Use the percussion gun gently on the muscles that get sore due to exercise, running, yoga or fatigue.
Avoid contact with bone and remain on the soft part with the head constantly moving.
This alleviates the spasm of muscles and reduces soreness, inflammation, and lactic acid accumulation while increasing the circulation, oxygenation, range of motion, and mobility of the joints.