Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General 15 year hip iliopsoas pain getting worse – how to get life back :P

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    • #70813

      Very inexperienced but in love MobilityWOD!


      iliopsoas tendonitis in 1999.  2013 orthopedic said “You have a beautiful looking hip joint.  Do PT again.”

      PT not helpful.  Steriod injection not helpful.  PT in high school (ankles – basketball) was a “good” pain afterwords being sore.  PT on my hip = bad irritated flared up pain.


      Thigh numbness 

      Basic down-on-one-knee hip flexor stretch = thigh numbness.  Lately, I have numbness in my thigh all the time.  Hip getting shorter and shorter? Maybe chronically hypertonic?  Seldom feel relief from the constant itchy pain.  


      Just recenlty outside my left hip ROM.  Makes thigh tingly.  I work from home on the couch knees bent like I’m in a hospital while I work.


      From day 1 sharp pain sitting with the hip joint in 90 degree flexion.  Recline back and straighten hip 180 degrees alleviates intense pain (still dull itchy pain).  Sitting =  “red alert pain” until I can’t stand it anymore.  Long distance driving = nightmare.  Only left side.  

      Laying on floor sitting like an astronaut does NOT give sharp pain.

      Sitting in 90 degree hip flexion feels like the injured tissue is being sandwiched painfully between my butt & trunk. 


      Left hip clicks into place doing mountain climbers, etc.  


      Some relief trying to tilt the front face of my pelvis more upward.  Makes me squeeze my abs and hunchback.  Working on glutes.

      Muscle tissue change???

      Feels like my left quad has gone from being normal elastic jump-stretch-band to yoga straps that don’t give at all.  Couch stretch hits that constant dull itchy pain, but makes my quad feel like it’s about to tear and get tingly.  


      Feels like I walk down the down street with the face of my pelvis pointing the left.  Sometimes shoulders too.  Maybe my whole left side is so short and pulling everything in.  I do these reset exercises – basically pushing on one knee and pulling on the other. Not sure if it’s doing any good?   

      Laying face down firing my glute – glute on my left side harder to feel and flex, but getting better. 

      Warrior pose

      When my left leg is in back the stretch in my hip feels good (quads still feel like they are going to tear.)  When my left leg is in front pushing down it’s THE WORST thing I can do for dull itchy pain flare up. The dull itchy (“itchy” is not the right word) pain is more aggravating and “painful” in a sense that white hot sharp pain.  Same result pressing left leg down going up stairs.  

      Depression/Consistent Compliance

      Just realized pattern of doing PT then feeling sorry for myself  because I’ll do some exercises and won’t feel relief or, worse, things will flare up more.  I now realize I need to stick with it, but I don’t know what exercises to do so I won’t cause further damage!

      However, what I would LOVE for someone (MobilityWOD community!!) to say do these WODS daily (or &$*%!! 8 times a day!!) 

      What can I do daily (let go of the need for results or relief) and after 1 year I would just HAVE to have healthier hips!!  If I need to take a year and focus 3 hours a day on nothing but being able to do the splits by the end of it, I’m willing!  There has got to be something that if I put in 100% compliance 3 hours a day for a full year doing the exercises I would go beyond injury and have cirque du soleil hips.  I’m just afraid of doing the wrong thing.  K Star said don’t stretch if you feel numbness and tingling?  Ack!

      At the gym I do a goblet squats, lunges, rows – posterior chain stuff so my hips won’t get even shorter.  I’m too inexperienced and immobile to do serious lifts, but thinking the goblet squats feel pretty safe.  I’m up to a 70lbs dumbbell and started with a 55.  

      Thank you!!

    • #74201

      BTW, MWod pro, started reading BSL, got the green rogue strap, 3 lacross balls, and on ep. 6 MobilityWOD.  I’m brand new!

    • #74202

      Great that you have the things you need to start addressing your areas that need attention.
      If you have numbness when doing a mob you shouldn’t continue to do it.
      Are you standing in an organized position?
      Pro Episode # 52 – Pro user Request Friday: Couch Stretch Feel Weird? It’s a Diagnostic Tool too.

      Squat Quick Test: Is it your Ankles or Hips?
      Torque and Trunk Stability Part 1: How to Stand

      May be a good idea to make a standing desk
      Episode 274: The Standing Athlete

      Why Sitting Wrecks Your Mad Hip Action
      Episode 276: MobilityWod Google Talk: Desk Bound
      Episode 251: High Skilled Sitting/Abdominal Bracing
      Episode 88: Desk Athlete Hip Rescue
      Episode 187: Death by Chair. How Much Do Actually Sit?
      Episode 91: Mobilize In the Position of Death by Chair

      Squeeze your butt to set your pelvis without hunching your back.
      Need to have 20% tension in your abs always

      Have you looked up/downstream of your quad for impacting factors?
      Have you seen a chiro?
      Sounds like you may need an adjustment in the middle of your shoulders to realign.
      May need an adjustment low back/between your hips to realign your hips.

      It may take some time for you to see change as this doesn’t sound like a new issue.
      You should do a session in the am and a session in the pm.
      Its not so much do x for x number of days. Some depends on the degree of the impact in the area, if its been like that for awhile it can take some time.
      Are you healed for what caused the issue?
      Identifying the cause of the issue is key so you are going after the cause and not a symptom.
      Its not just about time it is spending quality time and test/retest to know if you are making change.
      Numbness and tingling are you body’s way of telling you something is wrong. SO you need to identify the cause so it can be corrected and the numbness/tingling does not continue to happen.

      Sounds like a complicated situation.
      Very beneficial to see a someone who has a movement base to their practice/approach.
      Keep working through the year of mobility.

    • #74205

      Thanks Kaitlin!  

      I just started my own business so chiro isn’t in the cards currently.  I did go to one about 6 years ago.  Maybe I didn’t stick with it long enough but didn’t get any relief.  
      I have no idea what is causing the problem, but will just do as many mobs as I can everyday and try to keep hope alive!

      No way can do a pistol without falling backwards.  I hold on to a ledge to hang out in the squat position.  Feet are not straight either so my ankles definitely lack range.  
      Great news though I did redid the calf stretches from episode 3 (downstream) and the dull ache in my hip completely cleared up!!  So guessing that is definitely a piece.  So strange to me that my iliopsoas feels better after a calf stretch but it’s true.  Also putting my leg in traction with strap just attached to my ankle (forget which WOD that was in) seems to help.
      When I do deep hip flexion mobs like the squat position but others too my left hip joint feels like it’s being squashed. Almost like it’s too big to allow for that much compaction – the actual joint.  Maybe that’s the capsule?  What is the capsule?  
      I also watched a mob where Kelly said a tearing sensation is good.  Did I understand that correctly?  
      What are good mobs upstream from hips? 
      Other notes: I can’t squeeze my glutes at all in couch position.  Barely can in a basic runner stretch.  Also I can squeeze my butt standing but as soon as I start to go down in a squat can not.  Are you supposed to be able to?  Feels like my body isn’t even made to do that?  I can still brace with my abs.  
      Great news! Figured out a way to test/retest that stops my hip from clicking.  Laying on back, if I lengthen my leg out and down (like I’m doing pilates) my hip clicks (test).  If then I do one legged bridge pose really focusing on squeezing my butt and holding it, then retest my hip doesn’t click.  After 3 or 4 reps it starts clicking again, but if I do the bridge it “fixes” it again temporarily and it actually feels fine/functional.  The longer and more intense I do the bridge the more reps the fix stays in the retest.  
    • #74207

      Some can depend on the chiro that you see, their background, etc.
      start hitting some ankle mobs to improve the rom of the ankle.
      Ankle Positional Fault Fix: Jill Miller Style
      Episode 320: Epic Pistol 10 Min Squat Test
      Daily Rx
      Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
      Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
      Friday, August 23rd, 2013
      This is one way you can scale using a band
      Episode 120: Ten Minute Squat Test #4
      Feet need to be straightish 7-11 degrees is the range.
      Have you addressed your feet at all?
      This can be an impacting factor
      Episode 343: Stop Walking Like the Duck You Aren’t
      Foot Position Test: Breaking Diane
      Episode 313: Improving Ankle Range, Super Friend Addition
      Episode 293: Haiku Winner, Travel Ideas, And Your Feet
      Good to hear you are seeing improvements with your calf. Keep using that one.
      We are a system of systems where you see the issue may not be where the issue originates.
      Your hip may be in the front of the socket.
      Episode 230: Squatting With Turned Out Feet? Hey Duck Squatter, IR Yourself.
      Yes getting the adhesions to tear is good.

      Are you standing in an over extended position which is stopping you from being able to squeeze your glutes?
      Maintaining an organized position and maintaining an organized position through movement is key.

    • #74276
      AvatarAndrew Ellis

      Things sound like they aren’t right when you have that L leg in hip flexion. So hypothesis then goes tightness in front v. weakness in back or both, esp if the orthopedist has cleared the joint itself (what imaging was done, could you possibly get a 2nd opinion?). 

      Can you do a modified hip flexor stretch without the numbness and tingling (i.e. don’t put your lower leg against a wall, just do the samson stretch)? Strong stretching sensations would be ok (although you probably won’t be able to hold it as long) but there shouldn’t be any nervy pain (burning/tingling/numbness).
      With your last paragraph (the bridge test reduces the clicking), I’d say you have a weakness in the glutes/post chain that allows your hip to impinge when flexed. Think hip extensions,bridges progressing to weighted lunges/pistols/etc.
    • #75678

      Just to recap since it’s been a while: – chronic iliopsoas pain for 15 years.  iliopsoas tender to the touch.  Gets really bad sitting – not just in a sitting-is-bad-for-you kind of way, but the joint starts to feel like it’s hyper inflamming on the spot – starts to feel 4 times it’s size and bulgy making sitting impossible.  Hard to explain.  iliopsoas always tender to the touch.  No back pain.  

      Update: Lately as I strengthen and exercise (doing cross fit like stuff in a group) don’t feel nearly as much pain in my iliopsoas but I am getting a LOT of nervy pain all the time (resting, sleeping, standing) in my lateral quad on that same side.  Also any psoas stretch feels meh to good on the psoas itself but a serious b*tch on my lateral quad – at the least bad tearing sensation (especially when I squeeze my glutes), but most of the time tearing and nervy/tingly.  If it’s nervy I stop.  Sometimes I can warm up to it then stretch without nervy.  

      Basically, since I’ve been doing rehab to hip flexor pain, my hip has gotten better, but lateral quad has gotten worse – and specifically more nervy even resting.  This happens every time I start to exercise and get in a routine.  My hip gets better but my quad gets worse and nervy.   
    • #75681

      Nervy pain needs to be checked out by a practitioner asap.
      Not something you want to mess with.
      There shouldn’t be a trade off and especially not a trade off with nervy pain.

    • #76009
      AvatarAmine Bennani

      Low country boy,

      I have a similar pain is the psoas, especially high up. Worst while sitting, best while standing. All on the left side. What are your 2 go to Mobility drills to alleviate pain while sitting? I have a standing desk, but when I’m typing I need to sit sometimes.

    • #76360

      What fixed the nervy pain for me.  RumbleRolling! My gosh RumbleRollers are godsend.  Also the “couch stretch” but with a wall or bench instead of a couch.  Squeeze the butt and push back against the couch/wall/bench until you feel a stretch around the knee.  Don’t let the hips dump into anterior pelvic tilt.  Strengthen the glute.  Hip thrusters and deadlifts.  

    • #76835
      AvatarMichael Meyer

      I have had the same problem for years.

      How are you getting on?

      Can you summarise what helped?


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