We didn't know the exact source or cause of the discomfort (pain is sneaky like that - sometimes it creeps up on us without much notice) but in my experience, sharp pain is often associated with nerves whereas dull, achy pain is often associated with muscle or tissue inflammation. In this case I offered my client a 3-step plan for feeling better.
First heat the area. You can use an old fashion hot water bottle, an electric heating pad or heat packs. This brings circulation and blood flow to the area of discomfort. It is also the most soothing part of the 3 Step Plan and often where people want to start and stop! But don't! After 10 to 15 minutes remove the heat source.
Gentle stretches are the next step. Movement challenges the area slightly and loosens the muscle tissue. For hip pain I recommend one of my favorite stretches - windshield wipers. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor wider than hip-width apart. Inhale and slowly drop your knees to the right side. Exhale and bring your legs back to center. Inhale and slowly drop your knees to the left side, exhale and bring them back to center. Repeat a few times on each side.
Lastly, apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes directly to the area. A cold pack, a bag of crushed ice, or a a Ziplock bag of ice cubes will work. (A bag of peas is usually not cold enough and please don't use raw meat ;) This reduces the inflammatory response that the body naturally initiates. Think of ice as a non-pill form of anti-inflammatory treatment.
It may sound like a lengthy process, but it is really only 30-45 minutes. I am happy to say my client followed the recommendation and felt substantially better. Time well spent!
*YDP clients know that I am a big fan of "checking-in." For me checking-in with my clients doesn't end with the session. I often will email or text them to see how they are feeling midweek and encourage my clients to contact me should an ache or pain arise.