Understanding Hip Pain –
and Doing Something About It
Hip pain is quite common and may be felt in other areas of the body. You may even feel pain in your thigh, inside or outside your hip joint, groin, or even butt area.
Hip pain can get worse with activity and reduce your range of motion; sometimes, this pain can become persistent.
The hip joint is the body's largest ball-and-socket joint. Cartilage acts as a cushion whenever you use your hip and helps prevent friction.
With age and overuse, your hips may become sore. Here is how your acupuncture can reduce your pain.
When I put in a needle, and someone feels their Qi moving, like a small volt of electricity or a deep throb, they ask, "What WAS that point?"
When people ask about how acupuncture works, instead of explaining the science of acupuncture, I realized that it was more helpful for them to learn how meridian systems can help you heal faster.
When figuring out what points to use in treatment, I first see which meridians run through those pain areas. Meridians are the pathways along which your Qi circulates. There are 12 main meridians in Chinese Medicine, and those are connected to internal organs. There are also 8 "extra" meridians, which are lines of energy travel, but mainly connect the points found on the other main meridians.
Most back pain involves one or more of these meridians: the Bladder (leg Tai Yang), the "extra" Belt (Dai) Vessel, and the Gall Bladder (leg Shao Yang).
Not that there is anything wrong with those organs! It's just a location for now.
The needles work by stimulating parts of the meridian system. You can also work on treating your pain at home by doing movements that stimulate those meridians!
There are four main ways to go about this.
1. DIRECT STIMULATION
One way to directly stimulate the meridians related to your lower back is to foam roll along the meridians. Even rolling on the leg portion of the bladder or gall bladder meridian can benefit the entire meridian. (Only foam roll through professional instruction!) Heat therapy and massage are other examples of direct stimulation.
2. RANGE OF MOTION
You can test your back range of motion with this quick chair exercise video below. Testing your range also can show you more exactly where your mobility is limited – where you feel stuck – and you can focus more on that. Working on your range also improves your range, otherwise known as flexibility!
3. INTERNAL BALANCE
In this scenario, the health of the internal organs can contribute to the health of the meridian. A healthy Gall Bladder (emotionally, correct foods, detoxing) and Bladder (healthy balance of bacteria and flora, healthy epithelial cells, proper rest) keep your body strong, energetic, and resilient.
A strong back includes the back muscles and the muscles that balance the back, namely, the front. The front meridians include the Kidney, the Liver, the Conception vessel, the Spleen, and the Stomach meridians. These meridians cross through your legs, torso, and neck. Movements can include core strengthening, balance, and posture work.