Relief From Hip And Knee Pain

A Common Cause For Pains From Hip To Knee 

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 Happy April! Happy Spring!

spring flowersOne of the best parts of April (other than all the beautiful flowers) is that the weather is great in both the North and the South.  Up north, you are warming up from the bitter cold of winter, and here in the south, we still have low humidity and temps are in the 70’s most of the time.  Perfect!

April Fool’s Day is a fun “holiday” that I loved when I was a child.  It was always a challenge to catch my Mom, but I’m sure she was pretending most of the time when I told her silly things.  I wonder if kids still play jokes on their friends’ and family?

This year the Christian Easter Holiday is on April 4th, and the Jewish Last Day of Passover is also on April 4th.  So, lots of family gatherings are happening everywhere.  And there are lots of ridiculous holidays, like International Pillow Fight Day (April 3rd) and National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12th).  What will they think of next!!

Do you like to garden?  Now is the perfect time to get your gardens planted so you’ll have home grown veggies for the entire summer.  For me, it’s also a great time to do some spring cleaning and get the house in order before the summer closes all the windows and the air conditioning becomes our indoor relief.


Happy, Happy News!

As you know from previous newsletters, I did a TEDx talk on December 6, 2020.  I was so excited. Then the Powers-That-Be decided to decline putting it on YouTube because I dared to question why muscles aren’t ever thought about when searching for the cause of pain.

I jumped through a bunch of hoops, sending peer-reviewed medical journal articles that proved that trigger points are real, and they are known in the medical world.  I had to send my CV to prove that I had background that qualified me to ask the question, and a bunch of other documents for them to ponder.

The good news is, I’ve finally been approved! 

You can either go to YouTube and put in “Julie Donnelly, Pain” so you can also see the 20+ pain explanation videos I’ve done, or you can click on this link: The Pain Question No One is Asking! It’s really important to please Like it, and then Share it with as many people as possible. The parent company, TED, will invite me back to speak if I get enough Likes and Shares.  My next talk would be to explain to people why muscles in your thigh and hip cause low back pain.  People are suffering, and they are looking at the wrong area for relief.  Your low back isn’t really the source of low back pain.

I’m communicating with an animated graphics expert to build a short video that visually explains the “why” and “which” of the muscles that cause low back pain.  It could make a huge difference for millions of people.


A Common Cause For Pains From Hip To Knee

There are times when I am led to sharing a treatment because I had a run of clients all suffering from the same source muscle.  That is what happened for this newsletter.  In March I had at least six clients come to my office, all having different symptoms, but all stemming from the same source.

My clients complained of hip pain, thigh pain, knee pain, and pain down the outside of the lower leg.

In this case it was the Tensor Fascia Lata and two of the three Gluteal muscles: Medius, Minimus. The Gluteus Medius is directly over the Gluteus Minimus, so treating one will actually treat both.  And the Tensor Fascia Lata is right next to both these muscles.

All these muscles insert into the same area of the hip, and for different reasons, they all cause hip pain.  Also, each muscle refers pain to a different location, so you think you have a problem in these referred pain locations, but they are all coming from your hip.

This is one of the many times when working on one area will solve many different problems.

Take a look at these Trigger Point charts:

To read the charts, look at the shaded area (which shows where pain is felt) and look for the muscle name in the same color.  Then follow the arrow to the same-colored round circles with “x”. This is the trigger point (spasm) that is the source of that pain pattern.

You’ll notice that the spasm (trigger point) for the purple pain pattern is in the Gluteus Minimus at the outside of the hip, but the pain pattern goes to the outside of the thigh, the knee, and all the way down to the ankle.

The spasms for the Tensor Fascia Lata is in the same place on the hip, but the pain pattern is the hip, the thigh, and the outside of the knee.

In each of these cases the pain is being felt along the insertion points for the muscles.

Relief From Hip And Knee Pain

To relieve the muscle spasms that are causing the problem, use my “Perfect Ball” (You can use a baseball or tennis ball, but my Perfect Ball is just the right size and hardness for the job). Then, either lie on the floor or stand up and lean into a wall as shown in the two photos below.  Lean into the ball, easing your pressure onto the ball gradually.  As the muscle releases it will hurt less and less.

Then you can rotate your body, so the ball is pressing into the front of your hip or rotating so the ball is rolling toward the back of your body.  You will likely find multiple painful tender spots.  Each spot is a spasm that is putting pressure on your bones or is pulling on the tendon (called the IlioTibial Band – ITB) that is putting pressure onto your lateral knee joint. 

You can also treat these muscles by using a length of 1” PVC pipe as shown in the picture on the left.


This picture was shared with me by an athlete. An avid runner, she couldn’t get down on the ground, nor was there a wall that she could press into, but using the pipe and a street sign pole, she was still able to release the tight muscles that were preventing her from running.


This may not be perfect for you, but if you are an athlete, it could be just what you need when you’re unable to treat yourself as shown above.

You REALLY CAN Treat Yourself 

Since 1989 I have been working with people who are experiencing severe &/or chronic pain.  During those years I’ve managed to figure out why they are in pain, and how they can stop the pain by treating themselves.

It is wonderful when someone can come into my office and I can work directly with them, but I’ve found that the key is the self-treatments I teach them to do at home.  With the self-treatments you can release the tension multiple times every day, retraining your muscles to stay relaxed.

Thousands of people have been able to stop pain fast because they have followed the simple techniques I teach.

You can stop pain fast too!  Even chronic pain releases when you treat the source and not just the symptom! 

To enable you to know where to treat, and how to treat the muscles that cause pain, I’ve produced several “How To” books and DVD programs.

Visit my shopping cart to see the full line of pain-relief products that will help you overcome:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Carpal tunnel symptoms
  • Trigger finger
  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Sciatica
  • Knee Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis

In fact, you can get relief for pains from your head to your feet!

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

About The Author

Julie Donnelly


Julie Donnelly has been a licensed massage therapist since 1989, specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries. She is the author of several books including Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living, The Pain-Free Athlete, and The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

Julie has also developed a proven self-treatment program for the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.



Hip Pain Causes

Does Dehydration Make The Pain Worse?

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney


water faucetLet’s talk about something really serious – hydration!  Since our body is mostly water, averaging 50-65% of our body weight, hydration is vital for life. The balance between water and electrolytes plays a key in how our systems function, including every cell, organs (heart, liver, etc.), nerves, and muscles.  Even our bones are made up of about 30% water, and our brain is approximately 60% water.

Dehydration has disastrous results! You may experience headaches that become migraines, or even a feeling of brain fog. Your brain tells the other organs when and how to function, so dehydration in the brain will affect your entire body.  Insufficient water may cause your eyes to get heavy, and you may become constipated.  The effects on your heart, lungs, liver, and other vital organs is even worse.

Yet something as simple as sipping water throughout the day can prevent all of this from happening.  It is suggested that men drink 8 glasses of water a day, and women drink 7.5 glasses a day.  Of course, searching the internet will bring up experts who vary widely on the amount of water that is required for good health.

Since I am a muscular therapist, my major concern is how dehydration affects the muscles and our pain levels.  Studies have shown that when there is insufficient water in the body, pain is felt more acutely, including muscle pain, arthritic pain, and joint pains.


What is the Best Water To Drink?

water bottleDesigner water has become popular in the USA, but are they necessary?  I saw a recent post saying: “If you are paying $3 a bottle for Smart Water, it isn’t working.”

As for specialized water products, Steve Chaney, PhD, the author of Slaying the Food Myths and Slaying the Supplement Myths, has stated that products such as ionized water and alkaline water “win the Flying Pig award” from a complicated chemical point of view.  It’s way beyond the scope of this newsletter to explain his rationalization, but if you’re interested you can find his books on Amazon and read the full explanation (and a whole lot more!).

The bottom line, according to Dr. Chaney, is to just drink pure water, preferably water that doesn’t have chemicals added for various reasons.

William W. Li, MD, the author of Eat to Beat Disease, also recommends avoiding water that is stored in plastic bottles, even bottles without BPA plastic.  Plastic particles called microplastics will shed into the water. One study ( found as many as 2,400 pieces of microplastic in eight fluid ounces of bottled water.

To protect yourself from this problem, I suggest you get a stainless-steel water bottle, and if you like to use a straw you can get stainless steel straws on Amazon.  That solves the problem and also helps the ocean since so many bottles end up floating in rivers, streams, and the ocean.


Hip Pain Causes


hip pain causesI’ve spoken about hip pain and the muscles that cause it several times in the past.  Basically, the muscles that insert into your hip bone (pelvis) and into your thigh bone (Rectus Femoris, Gluteus Maximus/Medius/Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Lata) get tight and pull up on your leg. This upsets the alignment of your hip, and you have pain.

Recently I discovered yet another reason, one I’d never considered before, yet I’ve now seen it in several clients. It’s a bit complicated so I’ll go slow so you can visualize what I’m describing.

A client of mine had LEFT hip pain.  When he would come in, I would work on his left hip and he would have temporary relief.  I’m not used to people only having “temporary” relief, so I was going over and over in my mind what could be happening. Then he gave me a clue that really made sense.

He said as he walked down the beach and his left leg was up the slope, with his right leg closer to the water, his left hip was really hurting.  But when he turned around and now his right leg is up the slope and his left leg was down, closer to the water, his hip pain went away.

This picture above is an exaggeration but look at how the walker’s right leg is up the slope and left leg is down the slope. You can imagine that his hips are also tilted with the left being lower, but he’s trying to be level (or his body would be tilted to the side – LOL).

Back to my client….remember that his LEFT hip is hurting as he’s walking down the beach with his right leg lower than his left leg. Then he turns around and with left leg now lower than his right leg, he is out of pain.  I contemplated that situation, and suddenly it came to me!  His RIGHT leg was actually the leg that is shorter!

one leg longerMy conclusion was, as he was walking with his left leg on the high side of the sand, it was jamming his left leg up into his hip, but when he turned around and was walking with his left leg on the low side of the sand, and his right leg on the high side, it made his hips be level, and he didn’t have pain.

So, I asked him to lie on the massage table with his feet off the end so I could see if one leg was shorter than the other, and sure enough, his right heel was about ¼” higher than his left heel.

That means the muscles that insert into his right leg were tight and pulling up on his thigh bone.


Treating The Hip Pain


leg same lengthI worked on all the muscles that impact his right hip for most of the session, and for a bit of the time I worked on his left hip muscles.  I have posted all these treatments in prior newsletters, so I won’t repeat them here.

When I was finished, I did another picture, and I was so pleased to see the difference in his leg length. His two heels were now level.

I tested that theory out with other clients this week, and most of the time the shorter leg is the hip that is hurting, but with two other clients, it was the longer leg that was feeling the hip pain. Both times I worked on the hip muscles of the shorter leg, and it worked!

It amazes me that after 31 years of specializing in the treatment of chronic pain, I’m still figuring out new solutions!

Do you stretch?  Most of the time stretching feels good, but sometimes it hurts more after stretching than it knotdid before.  The reason is the muscles are tied up in knots.

Think of what would happen if you had a 12” length of rope, tied a big knot in it so it’s now only 10” long, and then tried to stretch it back to 12”.  Even if you get it back to the 12” you did it by making the knot tighter and overstretching the fibers on either side of the knot.

That’s what happens in your body when the muscles are shortened by spasms (knots) and you try to stretch the muscle without first releasing the knots in the fibers.

There is a solution!

trigger point yogaIntroducing a safe-stretching kit that has changed names to reflect what it’s doing to help you have more flexibility and mobility.

Originally called Trigger Point Yoga, and now called Focused Flexibility Training (, by any name this is the best product available for safe stretching.


For only $67.00 you can have all the tools you need to stretch safely and stop pain FAST!

  • Three DVD’s (and now it’s also an MP4) that give you step-by-step direction.
    • One DVD shows me teaching an athlete how to do every self-treatment taught in Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living.
    • Two DVD’s where you work with an amazing yoga instructor named Ana. You’ll do 15 minutes of self-treating the muscles you’ll be stretching, and then 30 minutes of beautifully filmed, guided yoga stretching.
  • A Perfect Ball, which is truly perfect because it is solid in the center and soft on the outside, enabling you to work deeply without bruising your bones.
  • A bamboo stick (while supplies last) or a TotalTX pipe to work on your thigh muscles.

julie donnelly





Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

Hip Pain Causes and Treatment

How To Find and Treat The Muscles That Cause Hip Pain

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney


This article will help you discover hip pain causes and treatment.  We’ll first uncover hip pain causes and then we will teach you how to administer self treatment.

Hip Pain Is Commonly Caused By Tight Muscles

hip pain causes and treatmentHip pain is commonly caused by one or several muscles putting pressure on the insertion points surrounding your hip. The body is amazing!  Consider the number of muscles that enable us to move in countless directions, and you’ll really appreciate your body.

However, when the muscles shorten from either repetitive or static movements, they pull on the bones. Tight muscles pull on the bone and cause hip pain. You can think of it as being like your head hurting because you were pulling your hair.

Muscles That Cause Hip Pain

hip pain causes and treatment lateralYour hip has approximately 17 different muscles originating on your pelvis and inserting into your thigh bone.  Each muscle causes your leg to move in a different direction.

On the outside of your hip, you have muscles that lift your leg out to the side and stabilize your knee joint. Your gluteal muscles , including the large gluteus maximus (butt) muscle, and tensor fascia lata muscle may cause lateral hip pain.

Deep inside your hip joint are multiple muscles that move your thigh to the front, back, and toward midline.

Muscles like the adductors  and hamstrings  are major muscles that move your thigh midline, or toward the back.

hip pain causes and treatment rotatorAnd the six deep lateral rotator muscles  can cause hip pain, including sciatica, deep inside the joint.

Deep inside the curve of your pelvis is your iliacus muscle. The iliacus muscle lifts your thigh up, so you can sit down or take a step.

Your quadratus lumborum muscle lifts your hip up, so you can take a step. It also is responsible for allowing you to bend to your side.

There are other muscles that put pressure on your hip to allow you to move. With so many muscles it is impossible to do just one self-treatment to get total relief of hip pain.

Hopefully, the above has given you a better understanding of what causes hip pain.  But, we promised to show hip pain causes and treatment.  Now, we will demonstrate some hip pain treatment.

An Effective Self-Treatment For Hip Pain

hip pain causes and treatment self treatmentTake a ball and place it on the muscle that is between your hip and thigh bones. You are on your tensor fascia lata muscle. Then lie down on the floor as shown in this picture.

You can also do this treatment standing up and leaning into a wall.

Move around your pelvis by turning your body forward and backward.  You’ll be able to feel your pelvis as you move. Try to stay along the edge of the bone, and then move the ball further down toward your butt.

End the treatment by pressing the ball along the top of your thigh bone.  You have found a spasm each time you get to a tender point. Press into the tender point and hold it for 30 seconds. Then let up the pressure for 5 seconds before repeating it again.  You’ll find that each time it will hurt a little less.

It hurts less because you are forcing out the H+ acid that is causing the pain. As the acid/blood ratio changes, the pain diminishes and the spasm releases.

Solutions For Hip Pain And More

hip pain causes and treatment pain free athleteThere are many other self-treatments that will eliminate pain throughout your body. You can find solutions to pain in my books:

The Pain-Free Athlete  is a book written specifically for active adults. Whether you like to run, bike, walk, swim, or play any sport, you’ll find solutions to common aches and pains.

Included in this book are two chapters by guest authors that are important to active adults.

Steve Chaney, PhD, authored Sports Nutrition which is great information even for non-athletes.

Greg Matis and Mike Young, PhD, authored a detailed Exercise Routine chapter that is excellent for the serious athlete.

hip pain causes and treatment pain freeTreat Yourself to Pain-Free Living  is my most popular book. It has been totally updated with new self-treatments for the entire body.

Self-treatments that are effective for sinus headaches are included in this book.  Plus, you’ll discover how to help someone who suffers from sinus pain.

Now, you should understand hip pain causes and treatment.

You don’t need to suffer from hip pain!  Learn effective self-treatments that will eliminate aches and pains before they become debilitating by checking out my book.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

julie donnelly

About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Health Tips From The Professor