In this weeks blog we are going to look at a trigger point pain pattern that can potentially travel down the IT band, across the lateral knee and through the lateral side of the lower portion of leg. This pain pattern can often lead to a lot of foam rolling down the IT band to try and alleviate the issue but the cause of the pain is not in the IT band or the lower leg, it is in the gluteus minimus. For those of you who are not familiar with the gluteus minimus muscle it is the deepest hip stabilizer positioned close to the greater trochanter of the femur underneath the gluteus medius.
As you can see from the picture above, this small muscle is deep in the lateral portion of the hip. In fact, if you were to try and treat this muscle yourself you would need to trade your foam roller for a lacrosse ball and lay on your side with the ball just above the head of the femur. If you decide that you want to try and deactivate the trigger points yourself we have some tips that can help you. When you find the trigger points in the gluteus minimus the muscle tissue will be quite sensitive. Do your best not to compress too hard. Instead, use a medium pressure and let time, not excessive pressure, deactivate the trigger point. Don’t stay too long on one spot or you could have a very sore hip the next day. If you are feeling like you are not getting good releases and want a more dynamic approach you can bring the knee up to the chest and then straighten the leg back out while applying a slightly lighter pressure to the area with the lacrosse ball. Repeat the bending of the leg a few times for maximum effectiveness. Of course, if you would like some professional help getting these trigger points fully released, come and see us at Body Heal Therapy. We have helped lots of people just like you obtain long lasting relief from gluteus minimus trigger point pain and more importantly, we can help you to keep it from coming back. We hope to see you soon!