Friday, March 5, 2010

How to Help Heal and Prevent Hooper Hip Pain!

What is Hoopers Hip you ask?

It is an over-use injury seems to be sweeping over our Hoop Community. It comes from numerous habits we form as hoopers, such as putting too much weight on one leg while hooping, using the same foot stance constantly, only hooping in one direction...or I've even chatted with hoopers who have it in both hip joints.
The more hoopers I speak with, the more I hear about this pain. I can relate, over the last two years I have been struggling with incredible pain, to the point where I wasn't hooping at all. Now I am inspired to spread the knowledge to help ALL OF US prevent such pain!

Here is a brief summary of my story with Hoopers Hip:
January 2008 was a major wake-up call. My hip pain hit me like a bag of bricks... throbbing, stinging, jabbing, grinding pain in my right hip joint. I hadn't felt anything like this before. I knew I had to do something FAST! I was unemployed and uninsured and felt like my options were limited. I started seeing a chiropractor friend which slightly helped the pain. After having x-rays taken, I learned I have several posture issues in my upper and lower body. I tried Yoga, exercise and lots of stretching but I was in so much pain nothing was tolerable. Nothing helped the pain. Over the next year, I tried various massage therapists and chiropractors, but no one could tell me exactly what was wrong or why I was in so much pain. I felt helpless and depressed. At this point, I had to severely limit my hooping, no longer able to hoop for pleasure, I could only manage to hoop for classes or performances. My heart was breaking. I had to sit and watch my friends hoop while, my hoops leaned against the wall collecting dust.

In May 2009, some co-workers recommended a physical therapist who had worked wonders for them, named Tony Rocklin. I had a really good feeling when I met with him and hoped I had finally found the right healer for me! I brought my hoop to my first visit so I could show him how hard we work inside our hoops and explain my thoughts on my problems. After he examined me and performed some assessments, he looked at me and says, "Oh, you are an easy fix!" My heart SKIPPED a BEAT! Really? Really!? Could this be true? I worked closely with Tony over the next few months, visiting his office twice a week. He used several innovative techniques which relieved the pressure in my hip joint and taught me many basic exercises to strengthen my glutes and core. My pain was reducing, my hip was healing, and I was getting stronger! Summer 2009 was not totally pain-free, but I was feeling a lot better and could hoop much more often, even though sometimes it would still haunt me for days afterward.

This brings us to the present, Winter 2010, my hip pain is barely present and I am in the best shape of my life. I've been using a foam roller twice a day for over six months and I strongly suggest every hooper incorporates this into their flexibility routine! What is a foam roller you ask?

Ah yes! There is one in all its glory!

~Self-Myofascial Release through the foam roller~ It's magical!

Please view this video on how to roll out properly! :)

This simple piece of foam, can reduce injury, improve flexibility, function, and your performance. Using your own body weight to roll on the round foam roll, massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensibility.

To roll out the Piriforimis-
(Hoopers Hip)
Sit in the middle, one foot crossed over the opposite knee. Begin to roll the posterior hip area.

To roll out the hamstrings-
Sit in the middle, pressure is on the back of your legs, hips supported by your upper body. Ankles may be crossed for more leverage.

Hold each position 1-2 minutes for each side (when applicable)

Where you feel pain, stop rolling and REST on the painful areas for 30-45 seconds.

§ Continuing to roll when pain is present activates the muscle spindles, causing increased tightness and pain.

§ Resting 30-45 seconds on painful areas will stimulate the GTO and autogenically inhibit the muscle spindles; reducing muscular tension.

How does it work? Here comes the SCIENCE behind it :)

The external pressure stimulates receptors located throughout the muscle and connective tissues to override the dysfunctional, yet protective, mechanism caused by the cumulative injury cycle. It has been shown that static tension placed on the unit activates the inhibitory response to the muscle spindle and decrease gamma loop activity.
The practical significance is that by holding pressure on the tender areas of tissue (trigger point) for a sustained period of time, trigger point activity can be diminished! This will then allow the application of stretching(lengthening) to increase muscle extensibility of the shortened, tight muscles and reset the lengths to provide optimal length-tension relationships. aka a HAPPY Human Movement System!

Using a foam roller before and after hooping will help reduce and prevent any pain from over-use during your hoop practice!

The roller come in different densities. Be aware that if you are sensitive to pain, you should start with the white ones and eventually work up to the blue or black foam rollers which are a thicker density and are much harder!

Check your local physical therapy clinic or sporting good store to purchase yours!
Or purchase online below:

*** These are only recommendations, please roll at your own risk! ***

Other suggested websites:


  1. BAd Ass Meg! This is beautiful.... :)
    Andi Girl

    1. Your Hidden Survival Muscle (Pop Quiz)


      There's a muscle in your body that is an indicator
      of the strength and health of your whole body.

      It's been called your body's most powerful hidden
      survival muscle.

      If it's too tight, undertrained or locked up it can
      contribute to issues such as:

      + Nagging Joint Pain
      + Bad Posture
      + Trouble Sleeping
      + Sluggishness
      + High Anxiety
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      + Weakened Immune System
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      Here's your quiz. Which muscle do you think
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      1: Gluteus Maximus
      2: Your Heart
      3: The Psoas (Hip Flexors)
      4: The Masseter

      Let me know if you get it right.

      Sign Off

      P.S. The answer can be found on this page.


  2. Wow Megzz...I am going thru a hip injury right now and just had to cancel attending a hooping workshop this weekend. Have been unable to hoop or work for over a week. So depressing.

    Went to physical therapy yesterday and want to get to a chiropractor today or Monday.

    My good friend has a roller! Hittin' him up later today for some stretching.

    Thanks for the info - best of luck!

    two step
    Lindsborg, KS

  3. when you say hip you mean back/side of hip, almost butt cheek and involving low back?
    if that is the case, i have been plagued by this too!

    thanks for the info!

  4. The hip pain my whole life has been a problem in my life and I appreciate these tips because my son is very short and does not want to happen as I do ... thanks

  5. That’s a nice article! Thanks for sharing. My grandmother also has bad back and knee pain. I will take her to some local chiropractors Mississauga clinic for proper treatment. She has never experienced chiropractic care. Please share some information regarding this therapy.

  6. You know I've seen these foam rollers everywhere but I never considered using them for hip injuries. Its definitely gonna be something that I'll try out. I've had this obnoxious pain for some time and maybe this will work! Thanks for the tip.