Hip Pointer Trigger Points

Hip Pointer Injuries can be excruciatingly painful. Trigger Points typically become active immediately following the trauma and may need to be addressed as part of the rehabilitation 

Hip pointer usually refers to a deep bruise of the iliac crest and the muscles that cover it.

It is often caused by a direct blow. Hip pointers are most commonly associated with football but may be seen frequently in any contact sport.

A hip pointer is usually a bruise of the muscle or bone but can be as severe as a chip or fracture.

The iliac crest (felt when you rest your hands on your hips) is the area of bone involved and the muscles that attach to it include the hip flexors, the abdominals and the gluteal muscles responsible for the rotation of the hips.

Because these muscles are injured at their attachments any movement involving these muscles will be painful. Often, very painful!

Cause of Injury

Direct impact to the hip.

Signs and Symptoms

Pain and tenderness over the iliac crest. Pain with movement of the hip and sometimes with weightbearing (due to the muscle involvement). Local inflammation, bruising and swelling.

Complications if Left Unattended

Left unattended, the pain and inflammation can lead to improper gait and become chronic. If the bone is chipped or fractured, failure to treat can lead to improper healing and future injuries to the site.

Immediate Treatment

Cessation of the activity that led to the injury(!). Ice the area immediately. X-ray for possible fracture or bone chips.

Rehabilitation and Prevention

Use of proper protective equipment during sport activities and strengthening the supporting muscles around the hip for added padding and protection.

Unfortunately there is often not a lot that can be done to prevent falling or contact with the hip area.

Rehabilitation includes rest until the pain subsides, then gradual reintroduction to the activity. Any activities causing pain should be discontinued until the area is pain free.

Long-Term Prognosis

Hip pointers seldom cause long-term disability and most clients can return to full function after treatment and a rehabilitation period. Surgery is seldom required except in severe fracture cases.

Trigger Points

When we suffer an injury following a trauma, our body adopts what we refer to as "holding patterns".

These holding patterns are seemingly designed to help our recovery by restricting movement. 

There is widespread agreement amongst trigger point therapists that trigger points may be somehow related to these holding patterns.

It is also believed that sometimes holding patterns fail to completely switch-off, or at least leave a residue of some active trigger points.

When treating a client recovering or recently recovered from a hip pointer, we will typically assess the client's functional movement for signs of holding pattern "remnants" and check for, and address, trigger points accordingly. 











This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 




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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.

Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.

The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.