Recently we had a client come in with what was described as hot burning pain on the side of the hip.

Being very active and fit his whole life this discomfit was somewhat unfamiliar to this client and where to turn for guidance and treatment was also unfamiliar. After the recommendation from a family member, this gentleman found himself at Inspire Fitness for Wellbeing. After a detailed assessment from one of their accredited and highly trained exercise physiologists he was approached with the idea of beginning dual treatments of myotherapy and exercise physiology.

The gluteal muscles are a group of 3 muscles; gluteal maximus, gluteal medius and gluteal minimums, which assist in the stabilisation of the femur in the hip socket, generate power when we need to lift the leg and keep our pelvis in the correct position when walking just to name a few. Lying posteriorly across the hip on each side often known as the buttocks.

When walking, both sides of the gluteal muscles need to be working effectively, one side to generate power as we lift the leg up and forward, the other to keep the opposite side of the pelvis strong and stable. If this system isn’t working efficiently when taking that step, the side which should be holding straight and upright can swing too far laterally, loading the structures of the outside of the hip. This can cause unwanted load and tension on the tendons of the gluteal muscles but also irritate the bursa, which is which are small sacs of fluid which lubricate the areas around the bones, joint, muscles and tendons.

For this client in particular this was exactly what was happening. As he was lunging forward during lawn bowls he didn’t have the stability around the gluteal muscles he needed and was translating his weight too far across. This, on repetition, and over of time, had caused this pain to present.

Once diagnosed, we were able to start treatment of soft tissue; stretching and trigger point therapy to work around the muscles which were being overloaded as this would reduce the stress around the structures such as the tendons and bursa and help reduce the pain. Most importantly, however, was the introduction of a home exercise plan. This involved continuing to see the exercise physiologist, in conjunction with specific self- release work and exercises to do at home which would help activation of the whole gluteal muscle group. This also included addressing some lifestyle factors such as sleeping position, stretching before activity, and monitoring activity levels until improvement happened.

One thing that stood out with this client was how important this group of muscles were and how he didn’t realise how much “the butt” actually did 😊. “I didn’t realise that there were actually muscles there!”
Education is such a huge part of our treatment, to help the individual understand WHAT is happening, WHY it has occurred and HOW we as team are going to implement a treatment plan that will be successful.
This particular client is back on the lawn bowls green and going on daily walks, pain free, once again.

By Leah Rampling – Elite Myotherapist