tight and achy hips

Here’s a great story and testimony from one of my clients about getting rid of tight and cranky hips. 

“I wanted to ski a few days before letting you know…just to be sure it wasn’t just a one time thing. Well I have to say THANK YOU!!! I noticed a very big difference, my brain is more focus on the movement of the hips, and both sides seemed to work better. And I noticed that my bad hip hasn’t been sore yet. I make sure that I practice every morning before going up the hill.”

These words were in my inbox a few days after doing a few private sessions with my favourite pastry chef (and ski enthusiast) Pascale this winter. Pain and tightness in her right hip was quite prominent and was intruding in her daily life.

Her first diagnosis was:

The problem was with her right “*glute med.”

Now, if I had a handful of money for (ALL) the times this stabilizer muscle got a back wrap, and was subjected to pointless stretching and repetitive strengthening exercises, well, you get my drift.

You see, it is NOT the glute med’s fault.

Let me explain more…..

After observing Pascale and her movement it was clear she was having difficulty moving on the right side of her body. She was lying on her back (on my table) and when I asked if she could roll to her left and gain contact with the left side of her ribs and pelvis with the table, she could. No problem. Just like that!

When I asked her to roll to her right: NOTHING. No budging! Nada. Zilch.  She had ZERO ability to move to her right.

Her entire right side – for whatever reason – wasn’t connected together.

What was seen as being a problem in one specific little muscle, the glute med, was simply a miscommunication in her ability to move to her right.

We started to work on getting her brain and body to figure it out – how could she intelligently begin to learn from her left side and transfer this learning to her right side.

By the end of this session, she had the freedom to move to the left and RIGHT (yay!) with no hesitation.

Her self-image, which is the image her brain creates of what is possible for her, had expanded to her right side. Which means that her right hip joint was no longer doing ALL the work. Her spine, ribs and pelvis were also moving and helping.

Leaving her glute med to do its primary job of stabilization, rather than being a major mover of her hip joint.

When things sync-up like this, movement feels easier and is unified. Integration has occurred. Things get less stuck. Achy and creaky vanishes.

Let me ask you these two questions:

1) Are you struggling with an achy-&-cranky area of your body that just won’t get better?

2) Have you been told your glute med is to blame?

The solution could be something as simple as finding the ability (with ease of course) to roll right and left.

Sounds too simple doesn’t it?

I know, I still am amazed at how simple things CAN be when approached in this manner.


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*(The gluteus medius is a smaller muscle on the posterior and lateral side of the pelvis – its real main job is to stabilize the hip joint and help it rotate outwards when needed, but too often when other things don’t work properly in the chain of your skeleton – typically the integration between the spine/ribs/sternum/pelvis – this stabilizer muscle gets overworked, causing pain and stiffness. The typical “remedy” for this is to stretch it and do specific strengthening exercises for it. Unfortunately if the entire pattern of function isn’t addressed, things won’t resolve.).