In our day to day life, we can accrue all manner of pain – be it through accidents, irregular movements, or as a side effect from our work or hobbies – with one of the most common involving prominent joints like our hips.
One popular method of alleviating muscular and skeletal pain is massage – something that has become more and more popular in recent years thanks to a greater understanding of physical health.
But is there anything that massage can do for something as serious as hip pain, and if so, what are the best methods?
Common Causes Of Hip Pain
When it comes to hip pain, there are several common causes – many of which have nothing to do with pre-existing conditions.
The first cause can be as a result of sprains and strains to the hip area. This could be the surrounding muscle, the bones themselves, or the connective tissue, and while not serious, they can cause serious pains and aches for those who suffer from them.
For something a little more serious, the cause of hip pain could be as a result of hip dislocations – something that can be both excruciating and debilitating for those who suffer from it.
Lastly, another common cause for hip pain can be injury or trauma by an object. This could be caused by a fall, a traffic accident, or a sporting injury – all of which are common occurrences in daily life, and which can have lasting consequences for those who they happen to.
Can Massage Aid Hip Pain?
One of the most common ways of alleviating hip pain – outside of surgery and medications – is massage, a practice that is becoming increasingly popular amongst people from all walks of life.
When it comes to massage, it can indeed benefit hip pain, but it is important to consider the type of pain you have, the area wherein the hip hurts, and the potential risks that massage could bring in the worst case scenario.
How Can Massage Help?
Massage is only really beneficial for the actual muscles and connective tissues that surround the hip bone.
While this might not alleviate the actual source of the pain – especially if it is something to do with the bone itself – they still play a part in supporting and nurturing the hips, and ensuring they are properly worked and comfortable can go a long way to improving pains and aches.
What Are The Benefits Of Massage?
With regards to hip pain, massage can still have many potential benefits – many of which make it a viable treatment option for those who have aches and pain.
Massage is of course a good way of circulating the blood, and increasing blood flow to the hip area.
This will only affect the muscles and the connective tissues, but it can still be a great way to alleviate aches, and get the area feeling strong and comfortable once more.
Massage can also be a good way of improving coordination – something that can be hindered when suffering from hip pain.
When we injure our hips, it is often normal for us to alter how we move – so as to make it more comfortable – and to even overcompensate on the other hip to alleviate some of the weight and pressure.
In this case, we can lose some of our balance, coordination, and posture, and if this is the case, then massage can help restore some of those things back to us.
Massage can also help to improve the range of motion that the affected hip has – something that can help with movement, posture, balance, and set you on the path back to health.
This is also good for weight bearing, and can help us to feel more steady on our feet after a few good sessions.
Feel Good Hormones
More importantly, massage has also been shown to release feel good hormones within our bodies – something that can really help to improve our moods, alleviate the depression that can often come with long term or chronic pain, and generally make us feel more optimistic.
As such, even if it doesn’t heal the actual hip injury, it might make you feel more open to trying new things, progressing with other treatments, and fighting any injuries you have.
Strength & Flexibility
Massage can also be a great way of strengthening the muscles, and promoting flexibility in the joints.
With regards to hip pain, strengthening the surrounding muscles can help bolster a weakened side, giving you the strength to stand tall, walk more normally, and reclaim your body from injury.
The most important thing though, is that in many cases, massage has actually been shown to decrease the amount of pain people feel in their hips, and allow them to get some relief, comfort, and relaxation – something that is a godsend for those in persistent pain.
Can You Massage Yourself?
While a professional is advised, there are also some massages you can do to yourself at home as a means of alleviating hip pain.
These include myofascial massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy.
Myofascial massage can be great for relieving stiffness in the lower extremities and back, deep tissue massages are great for the large muscle groups in the legs and back, and trigger point therapy can be really beneficial for muscle knots.
Should You See A Professional?
If you are suffering from serious hip pain or discomfort, then you should always consult the experts – and this means at every stage of the process.
It should always begin with a consultation with your doctor – as they will understand the condition that you have, and can recommend things to avoid and pursue.
Likewise, when opting for massage, you should always consult with a professional masseuse, as they can relieve your pain with minimal risk of further injury. If you do it yourself without the proper knowhow, then you run the risk of making injuries worse, and increasing your pain.
It’s true that massage has become increasingly popular in recent years – allowing people with chronic conditions, aches, injuries, and pains to get some relief and return to normal (or as near as possible). However, it is important to know the limitations, and which techniques actually make a difference.
So if you have hip pain, and are interested in pursuing massage, then be sure to give these methods some consideration!
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