Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,
The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
How People Describe This Pain Pattern
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 in the self-care post. 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.
How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern
These people have some stress to their rectus abdominus in the way of exercise, weight gain, surgery, motor vehicle accident, etc.
In older clients, I find that these people often have bloating or recent weight gain. That may have come from intestinal distress or constipation. It is common to see this after holidays, weddings, or bar mitzvahs where the participant is both active and over-eats.
In the more active bodies, this is often aggravated by over-exercising the abdomen. The obvious culprit is crunches, leg lifts, or other abdominal work but I have also seen this aggravated by activities like cycling or rowing.
This often follows an accident that twists the pelvis creating joint problems that perpetuate the trigger point. In that case, the back is often treated without success.
The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain
Effective relief starts with an understanding of the anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…
This muscle fits into thick sheaths of connective tissue. Learn more in this post about the anatomy of the rectus abdominus.
Getting Relief on Your Own
This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, ice, and more to relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.
Treatment Notes for Therapists
Through Shared Expertise.
This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.
Weekly Featured Post
This post covers the basics of Ice-and-Stretch, a tool that is used extensively in these posts combined with Active Isolated Stretching and Yoga poses.
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.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.