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Hip Pain and How Massage Chairs Help

Massage Chairs Can Cut Down on Painful Hips

When you say hip pain, that could mean any number of things and could be caused by any number of things. It can mean different things to different people as well. Hip, by pure definition, is actually the joint where the femoral head, or the top of our femur, goes into the pelvic bone. However, some people might say hip and mean the area by the SI joint, or the top of the buttock region. Some feel their hip pain at the front, which can be referred to as inguinal pain.

So, what do you do? Is there a way to find relief even if your hip pain is coming from one of several different areas?

The good news is that you can find relief with a massage chair that can address your hips from several angles. A massage chair can help to relieve pain by helping to relax the muscles and soft tissues around the hip joints and aiding a person by increasing circulation, range of motion, and the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins.

Talk with your doctor, and once you’ve both decided that a massage chair is a good option for your needs, you can sit down, relax, and find some much-needed relief. 

Because hip pain can range from occasional tightness to serious discomfort that makes it difficult to turn over in bed. Ongoing hip pain can change your gait, forward-bent posture, and trouble sleeping. So, when you find something like massage therapy that can help to relieve pain in the hips, it makes sense to capitalize on the opportunity.

Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain can be caused by a number of different types of arthritic conditions, injuries, pinched nerves, and other more serious conditions. As stated once your physician has signed off on receiving a massage, your next step is to get help determining what is causing your hip pain. Below we’ll cover a few things that can cause the pain, but for a proper diagnosis, you’ll want to talk to your doctor.

There are many sources of hip pain, from muscular trigger points to osteoarthritis. When looking to determine what is causing your hip pain, your doctor will consider several factors including your age, physical activities, hip joints, and overall health. A physician will also look at where you’re experiencing the pain, at the joint, near the front, or near or in the buttocks.

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint created and is responsible for the movement possible between the pelvis and the femur. It’s the second-largest weight-bearing joint, just behind the knee, and this makes pain and conditions there especially problematic. Thanks to the snug fit of the joint, strong ligaments, and muscles that attach to it, the hip is typically very stable and capable of taking the brunt of our weight, exercise, and, if you’re like me, carrying around a toddler.

Many muscles in the hips, lower back, legs, and glutes can affect the functioning of the hip. Imbalances in these muscles can cause premature wear and tear of the joint. Muscular trigger points can also cause hip pain. The gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus call all harbor trigger points that can cause hip pain because of that can lead to discomfort when sitting, bending forward, or walking up a hill. You might also experience tenderness on your sacrum and pain could radiate into the upper and back part of your thigh.

Specifically, the piriformis muscle that runs near the sciatic nerve can actually cause a variety of issues when it’s tense or triggered such as:

  • Low back pain at the base of the spine
  • Hip pain around the hip joint
  • Gluteal pain that increases during sitting, standing, squatting, or when crossing the legs,
  • Leg pain down into the back of the thigh
  • Walking with a limp
  • Sciatic nerve pain (when the muscle is compressing the nerve)

What is frequently overlooked by medical practitioners is how the muscle can simply irritate the sciatic nerve. Often, this can cause pain in the legs and feet, but you’ll need address the tight muscle that’s irritating the nerve if you’re going to find relief and that’s where hip massage can be very beneficial.

Hip Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that’s caused by the wear and tear of a joint. The first clinical indications of the condition typically occur as hip arthritis after age 50. In the beginning stages, the condition can cause joint weakness, morning stiffness, and moderate pain following physical activity. As the degeneration progresses, the pain’s intensity goes up, the joint becomes more unstable, and muscle atrophy can occur. Suffers often experience flare-ups where the pain gets worse and additional soft tissue swelling around the joint develops.  You may even hear clicking sounds when you move your hip. Often, this type of degenerative condition continues until you need a hip replacement.

Osteoarthritis can cause pain in the groin, thigh, buttocks, and even down to the knee, and the pain can be very sharp or a dull ache with stiffness. Range of motion in the hip also typically goes down over time and you may start to walk with a limp.

Massage therapy is extremely helpful for people who have osteoarthritis of the hip. As the degeneration progresses, the soft tissue around the joint can become especially tight due to protective muscle guarding. Left untreated, the shortening of the hip muscles can cause quicker degeneration of the joint because of the imbalances created. Muscular trigger points can also develop that and that can create even more hip pain. If regular massage is started in the early, it can help slow down the progression of the disease by alleviating some of the pressure on the joint.

Muscle Tightness

Muscles can be also become so tight in the hip area that they cause symptoms of sciatica. Your hips have four groups of joint muscles that work together to create movement: the gluteal, lateral, abductor, and iliopsoas. The muscles involved in the rotation of the hip joint are often deemed the “deep six,” and massaging them is a good way to loosen your muscles.

Deep tissue massage can be particularly helpful for treating muscle spasms and tension that can cause this type of hip pain. Tight hip rotator muscles can also place unnecessary stress on the joint between your pelvis and sacrum, called the sacroiliac joint. This stress can become so bad it affects your spine, causing back pain and spine problems. So, keeping your hip rotators flexible can not only prevent and relieve hip pain, but it can also help keep your spine healthy and strong. And best of all, massaging the muscles in your hip can help reduce that very tightness.

Massage for your hips, as well as massage in general, can be very beneficial for relieving pain, increasing soft tissue and muscle flexibility, improving posture and spine health, and providing the emotional, physical, and mental benefits of relaxation.

Massage Can Help These 4 Common Hip Conditions

SI Joint Dysfunction – When your joints are misaligned because of tension in the muscles or soft tissues it can contribute to weakening of the ligament structures at the hip. Irritation at joint centers of bones becomes more severe over time, and you can experience lower back pain and issues with the sacrum, gluteals, and hamstrings, which can get worse when you spend a lot of time sitting or repeat certain hip motions over and over.

Piriformis Syndrome – This is a nerve compression syndrome where the sciatic nerve is pinched at the piriformis muscle. Pain in the glutes, thighs, and typically ending at the knee is usually present with this condition. Stretching the piriformis can actually make the condition worse. As can prolonged sitting and activities including running and walking. Massage however can help with this condition by releasing tension in the muscle.

Trochanteric Bursitis – This condition is the swelling of the bursa sac that sits between the IT band and greater trochanter of the femur, the part of your femur that sits just to the side of your hip joint. This can cause pain and discomfort at that hip joint. Repetitive flexing and extending movements and a direct blow to the area, such as falling on your hip, is usually the culprit for this condition. It can make sleeping on your side quite painful as well. Massage can help with this condition by allowing for better circulation throughout the area and minimizing swelling.

“Hip Pointer” – A contusion, impact, or acute trauma to the iliac crest, the area of your hip bones that look like wings, can cause a tear of the surrounding muscles and soft tissues that attach near there. Point tenderness, swelling, and pain are the result. Contact sports, falling on a hard surface, or sudden, sharp movement to the side against resistance can be the cause of this condition. Massage can benefit this condition in the same way as trochanteric bursitis.

Helping the Hip Flexors

Hip flexors can also be addressed as a treatment for hip pain because strain injuries of hip flexor tendons, more specifically termed the common iliopsoas tendon, can contribute to hip pain and dysfunction.

The “iliopsoas” refers to the union of the iliacus muscle and the psoas major muscle just behind the inguinal ligament. Massage efforts to ease tension and expedite healing of hip flexor strains can restore hip mobility and lessen pain.

Aiding chronic tightness of the hip flexors is require for the average person who sits for long periods of time. Sitting shortens the overall hip flexor muscles including psoas major, iliacus, rectus femoris, and sartorius, and long-term shortening of the hip flexors can cause ongoing tightness and dramatically impact you gait and posture.

Massage Chairs for Hip Pain

There are quite a number of chairs have compression airbags in the hips. However, many of the chairs that have those types of hip airbags were solely created to simply hold the hips in place while the rollers go up and down your back. In this way they provide a bit of traction. What you want to look for when this is a particular concern for you ar the type of chairs that have therapeutic airbag compression that will dig into the soft tissues and muscles that attach to the hip as well as attending to the actual hip area.

If you have hip pain near the back of your body, such as right in your back or at the top of your buttocks, an L-track massage chair, such as the Human Novo XT2 or Luraco iRobotics i7 PLUS, travel along the S-shape curve of your spine and then go down and underneath you to massage your glutes and buttock muscles. 

This can frequently help with hip pain in the upper buttock area, or that just off to the side of the tail bone area. Many massage chairs have L-tracks, and that feature has become a very, very popular nowadays. Additionally, 3D and 4D massage can provide a deeper, more penetrating massage, and when you put those two things together you’ll get a massage from the rollers that really digs down and helps with sciatica-related hip pain.

When it comes to the airbags in a massage chair, the Novo XT2 is also a good example of this too. Airbags in a number of chairs, both S-Track and L-Track, are typically found in the seat, and they will inflate and lift up one side of the hip and then the other. These can help with some muscular hip discomforts and, if the chair is an L-track that massages the glutes close to the tail bone, it can help with pain in the outside of the hip, behind the hip bone, and provide a thorough, deep tissue massage.

So, when you’re searching for a massage chair for your hip pain use that a basis point for determining if it will serve your needs and help you to find relief. We highly recommend searching for a chair that has both an L-Track and the improved, massaging hip airbags to cover the greatest area and attend to as much of your hips and the muscles and soft tissues that make up that area.

Finished With Your Research?

You can look into the chairs, techniques, and other benefits of massage in the Learning Center on our website, and you’ll be able to see the physical benefits each of the styles offered and what to be prepared for from them. 

If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing your first massage chair, check out our Massage Chair Buying Guide or give us a call. You can even reach out through email at

With all this in mind, don’t forget about our financing options. We understand that investing in a massage chair is a big decision, and we want to help make that process as simple and stress-free as possible. Our sales representatives are ready and excited to get you into the perfect chair!


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