I went to see my massage therapist today, frustrated that my leg and hip seem to have got worse in the last couple of weeks. What used to be one small sore spot and a tight hip flexor, seems to have developed into an entire-side-of-leg spot and other related issues. Just touching the outside of my thigh, its sore.
Differently from my Physical Therapist, my massage therapist attacks my problems with a number of different manual therapy techniques. Everything from orthopedic massage to sports massage, trigger point therapy, and holistic approaches. She has a very special knack of finding the point of pain or tension without sending you into a face-cringing fit, backing off just a tad and then playing with that 'edge' to release the muscle or tendon in question. The result is a much less excrutiating experience. Instead of being kneaded for an hour like a piece of bread ready for the oven, the switching-up of techniques results in a gradual release from a cooperative body.
Of course, she reinforced what I already knew to some extent. My IT band and TFL is being made worse by a tight psoas and tight adductors which in turn are being pulled on by my piriformis and tight glutes. Just treating the IT band wasn't going to do any good. In fact, she didn't even touch my IT band today - it was too sore and, she thought, unlikely to cooperate because of all the other forces working against it.
What was surprising, however, was when she touched my lower two right ribs. You would have thought I'd just got out of a rear-end car crash. OUCH!
"Aha!" she said. "Just as I thought." Aparently my entire right side is being crunched up, with the hip joint being the lever. Think of it like this: there's a hand in my hip joint, clasping a piece of fabric (the top of the fabric being my torso and the bottom being my leg), and the more fabric it grasps and pulls into it's fist, the tighter and tighter the two ends of the fabric get. My ribs, my back, my leg, my feet, my shoulders... everything is affected by this issue, even if I don't overtly suffer from pain in these places.
So, yes, in short, I'm pretty "screwed up" in there - pardon the pun.
Today's appointment was a budget sucking one hour, so let's hope that this helps somewhat.