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Self-Care – Hip Rotators

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Here, you will find strategies for relief from trigger point pain of the lateral hip rotators. For more information about how people describe this pattern, look at this other post.

Activities To Avoid or Change:


This condition is often aggravated by prolonged immobilization, especially when seated and particularly when driving. So, take breaks—lots of them. Also, sitting on your foot can perpetuate this pain. So, if you’re stuck at work, set a timer and get up every once in a while.

Don’t Do the Twist

Twisting often jerks and overstretches the muscle. You are more likely to do this while playing sports like tennis, soccer, or trail running.

It’s not just the forceful twisting; it is also the forceful stopping of a twist. You might do this on a roller coaster or slippery surface. Be super careful with slippery surfaces when this flares up.


Look at the trigger point illustration below. Notice how the piriformis muscles pull the sacrum in opposite directions. In addition, when your hips are bent, the pull is even more pronounced.

A pillow between the knees lets the pressure off. As the knees spread, the femur pivots. Consequently, the stretch on the piriformis is released. Trigger points, which activate on stretch, are quelled.

This approach is so successful that Amazon has dozens of these pillows available. In addition, this pillow, which is Amazon’s best seller, is small and ergonomically shaped. So, it is easy to turn over without losing the pillow. Click here to find one that is best for you.

For Temporary Relief:

Pain patch

In this case, the trigger point is directly under the focus of pain. Place it where the green asterisk is in the picture. If you have pain near the sacrum, place it there. If you have pain further out on your hip, put it there. The pain will subside, and the hip will stop being stiff.

Note: it is hard to separate the piriformis pain from the little muscles below it. Place the patch on the tightest section of muscle in your hip. You can get medium-sized patches from Amazon at a great price. They work in most cases. However, Amazon has larger patches with lidocaine, as well.

Overworked and Still can’t Sleep?

If you’re having a particularly rough day, try the pain patch at night with the pillow between the legs. This is a particularly effective combination.

Relief While Driving

Place a tennis ball in your seat and roll around on it when it hurts. This one is wrapped in a sock so that you have easier control when it is behind you. Many of my clients keep a tennis ball in the console for long trips. It can be a lifesaver.

Don’t delay on this because you can’t find a tennis ball. They are cheap and available everywhere. By the way, Amazon sells tennis balls for massaging and king-sized socks.

These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or not responding to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

Supine Twist

This exercise is a gentle start to stretching your lateral rotators and lower back. Pay attention to moving the foot on the table to target the muscles in your hip.

If you’d like to target the area more aggressively, use the yoga stretch below.

Rolling on a Tennis Ball

The tennis ball treatment for glutes can be very effective in releasing this trigger point. Focus on using the ball near the pain. Also, focus on the area between the sacrum and femur. It is not easy to target this area with a foam roller.

If you aggravate this trigger point with the tennis ball, stretch it under a hot shower. Plant your foot and turn in the toe. Push your hip toward the stream of hot water to stretch it.

Calm it with Ice

Ice is also a good idea afterward. Place it to cover the big green spot in the illustration above. That will help to compress and take inflammation out of the sacroiliac joint.

I’d love your feedback on how this works for you and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at integrativeworks@gmail.com.

Yoga Corner

pigeon pose

Pigeon Pose

This pose is an excellent stretch for hip rotators. It is easier and more specific than the traditional stretch, where you lay on your back and pull on crossed legs.

In this pose, you are stretching the hip of the front leg. You can target the spot by turning your upper body. Also, lay your shoulders down on the front leg. While you are there, move them from right to left. You’ll be able to really intensify and target the tight fibers.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.

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