I was working at the community table at my local coffee shop the other day and a group of moms sat down next to me to have some girl talk. One mentioned that she has pain in her right hip.
"It's been going on for a while and no matter how much I stretch it, it never goes away! I'm so frustrated. I've gotten massage and I go to yoga 3 times a week...what gives?"
Being the posture geek that I am, I watched to see if I could pick up anything from the positions she put her body in. 60% of pain in the body can be eliminated just by using optimal or supportive postures. I'm gonna name this sweet mama, "Sally" for easier reference.
So here's what I saw from sweet mama Sally.
When Sally sat in her chair, her right ankle was crossed over her left knee and she was either leaning back in the chair, or leaning forward and resting her head on her hand. When she walked, her right toes were turned out about 45 degrees and her left were forward. This keeps the the deep 6, muscles deep to your glutes short. These muscles rotate your leg out.
Your body is designed to have balance and just like there are muscles to rotate your leg out, there are opposing muscles to rotate your leg in. When you have pain in the back of your butt, it feels good to stretch because those muscles could be short, but that's not always what your body needs.
I work with a lot of dancers who work in rotation more times than not, and they have similar discomfort. They are always surprised that their "miracle cure" is to strengthen the medial rotators (the muscles that rotate the leg in) to balance out their hips.
Watch the video for a great exercise to get rid of the hipssue and start feeling better.