These people complain of a band of pain across the top of their hips. I ask them to be specific. Is it all the way across? Is it a small strip in the middle? There are several patterns in this area that produce similar pain patterns. They open their fingers a few inches and, using both hands, trace a pattern of pain across the low back that extends across the sacrum and over the top of the hips.
At this point, I have them stroke an ice cube over the lower abdomen, just above the pubic bone. Then, I have them lay back on the table stretching their abdomen open and letting it close a few times. This could also be done with the bridging exercise show below. They seem surprised when the pain is dramatically reduced or completely gone.
These people often have some fullness in the lower abdomen or have over-worked their abdominals with exercise. Some of them complain of intestinal distress, and some do not. I do not find it to be a predictable symptom as some texts indicate.
It is important to ice directly over the trigger point, just above the pubic bone. If you press into this area with your fingers, usually, one side is notably more tender than the other. A little ice-and-stretch is helpful here. Icing the rectus abdominus along the entire length offers more consistent results. This bridging exercise is great for releasing the trigger point. Pull your belly button back toward your spine as you lift your hips.
Some clients will put a vapocoolant, like Icy-Hot on their lower abdomen to relieve pain during the day or while sleeping at night.
You will get temporary relief from treating the muscle directly. It does not release the underlying problems in the pelvis. See your bodyworker for lasting relief.
This trigger point is predicated on a problem in the pubic symphysis joint. Using the MET to release the joint and free up the SI joint is very effective. The release of the abdominal trigger point without taking care of the problems in the SI joint and pubic symphysis does not provide consistent, lasting results.
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients.
He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
Question? Comment? Typo?