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3 Hip Massage Techniques to Try Today for Pain Relief


hip flexor massage

Don't let hip pain be the boss of you! Thanks to hip massage through trigger point therapy, there are easy ways to find relief for your hip pain that you could literally try today

In this article, I’ll teach you 3 at-home massage techniques that target 3 hip muscles–all of which tend to cause major pain to your hips and lower back. 

Try these out, and your hips will be feeling ready to keep up with the rest of your body as you: 

- Run

- Walk

- Sit at your desk

- Go to the gym

- Chill out on the couch

- Play with your dogs 

- And all the other good stuff you get up to every day! 

It’s happened to all of us. 

You were on a run–probably enjoying some beautiful, sunshiney weather on your favorite running track–trying to hit your distance goal when suddenly, something didn’t feel quite right. 

You felt an aching pain in your hip and maybe even your lower back. 

You had to stop. 

And so did the run. 

Nothing’s more discouraging than having to stop physical activity due to muscle pain. But if you’re experiencing hip pain, you’re not alone. About 10% of the population suffers from hip pain. And the bad news is: It only gets worse with age. [1] 

So, how do you stop this seemingly undefeatable monster of hip pain? 

The answer is simple: Hip massage. 

Hip Massage Techniques You Can Try Starting Today

I’ll get into the details later, but hip pain is often caused by these 3 hip flexor muscles: 

- The Iliacus 

- The Psoas 

- The Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL)

I’ll show you at-home massage techniques you can try today to hit all 3 of these muscles. All the examples below involve using the QL Claw, an at-home massage device that’s designed to relieve muscle pain in your hip flexors, lower back, and glutes. I like this device because: 

1) It’s travel-size. 

2) It’s made of sturdy, therapeutic material.

3) It’s tough but also giving. 


QL Claw

Before we dive in, you should know the anatomy of the QL Claw. 

The smaller end of the Claw is called the trigger point. 

The larger end of the Claw is called the ramp. 


Hip Massage How-To Technique #1: Target Your Iliacus Muscle 

1) Find your Iliacus by placing your thumb right above your beltline, finding the tender muscle just above your hip bone. 

2) Lie down on your stomach, placing the trigger point of the QL Claw on your Iliacus muscle. Make sure the Claw is on muscle and not bone. 

3) Use your foot to raise up your knee, and rotate the leg from one side to the other. 

4) Breathe deeply and slowly through the massage. 

5) Repeat on the other side. 

 Iliacus Hip Massage


Iliacus Hip Massage


Additional Levels of Pressure for Your Hip Massage 

Pressure #1 - Glute Activation: Engage your glute muscles to feel an even deeper muscle release. 

Pressure #2 - The Windshield Wiper: Bend the knee on the trigger side, so your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Then, with your foot elevated up in the air, move it from one side to the other like a windshield wiper. 

Pressure #3: Using your glute, lift the trigger side leg up in the air like a stinger and hold. 

Check out the video below for instructions about a hip massage for your Iliacus muscle. 


Hip Massage How-To Technique #2: Target Your Psoas Muscle 

1) Locate your Psoas by finding the muscle right between your belly button and your hip bone on either side. 

2) Lie down on your stomach with the ramp side of the Claw on your Psoas, leaning your body into the ramp. 

3) Use your toes to raise up your knee just off the ground, and rotate the leg from one side to the other. 

4) Breathe deeply and slowly through the massage. 

5) Repeat on the other side. 


Psoas Hip Massage
Psoas Hip Massage

Additional Levels of Pressure for Your Hip Massage 

Pressure #1: Engage your glute to add additional pressure to this area. 

Pressure #2: With your opposite leg, bring the knee out to the side of the body while keeping both your knee and foot flat on the ground. This adds more pressure to the working side! 

Pressure #3: Elevate the Claw by 1-3 inches with a book. This is helpful if you have a larger tummy. 

Check out the video below for instructions about a hip massage for your Psoas muscle. 



Hip Massage How-To Technique #3: Target Your TFL Muscle 

1) To find the upper bulb of this muscle, place your hand on the outside of your upper thigh. You’ll feel the muscle engage if you extend this leg out to the side. This is the TFL. 

2) Place the trigger point side of the Claw right on the upper bulb of the muscle by laying down on your stomach. The ramp of the Claw will go toward your stomach. 

3) Bend your opposite non-working leg at the knee, keeping both your knee and your foot flat on the floor. 

4) Breathe deeply and slowly through the massage. 

5) Repeat on the other side. 

TFL Hip Massage


TFL Hip Massage

Check out the video below for instructions about a hip massage for your TFL muscle. 

Professional Hip Massage vs. At-Home Hip Massage

Going to get a professional massage is a relaxing experience. All you have to do is show up, and you can count on your massage therapist to use their professional knowledge to target all of your hip flexor muscles during your hip massage. 

Professional massage does have a few downsides, though. 

For example, if you just got your first hip massage, you probably noticed it’s not the cheapest service. You may be asking yourself questions, such as: 

- How much money am I willing to spend on a hip massage?

- How many hip massages will I need to get until I feel better? 

- Is this something I’ll need to repeatedly pay for? 

I’ve asked myself all of those same questions, and for me, getting a professional massage seemed more like something to treat myself with as opposed to a steady solution to my back and hip pain problems. 

Hip Massage From Home & The Story of The QL Claw

A cheaper alternative to continuous professional hip massage is hip massage at home. 

You may be wondering: 

- How could I actually give myself a massage as good as a massage therapist?

- Is there something out there that I could use that would give a good hip massage? 

- How would I even know how to target my hip muscles in a hip massage? 

Our founder, Ben, asked himself all of those same questions. Then, he came up with a solution: The QL Claw

QL Claw

Spurred on by his own back pain, Ben dove headfirst into researching myofascial release, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy. He found these massage techniques as the only solution after suffering through back pain for 4 years. 

The caveat: He didn’t want to always go and get massages. 

So, what did he do? 

He used his biomedical engineering background and engineered an at-home massage device. 

It ended up looking like a claw, so naturally, he called it the QL Claw. But it doesn’t just hit the QL muscle. 

In fact, the QL Claw is the only at-home trigger point massage device on the market that hits all 5 muscles that tend to defer pain to your lower back. 

3 of those muscles? The hip flexors we talked about earlier. 

That’s why I recommend the QL Claw as the best tool for a hip massage! 

Learn more about Ben’s story below: 

Blame These Muscles! 

As promised, I want to give you a more detailed look into the 3 muscles you want to target in a hip massage. 

The Iliacus

Iliacus Hip Massage

If you place your thumbs just above your hip bones and slightly inward, you’ll feel a tender muscle called the Iliacus. This muscle goes from the top of your hip bone all the way down to the upper part of your thigh bone. 

What Does Your Iliacus Do?

The Iliacus muscle engages any time you lift your knee up toward your chest. Whether you’re going for an aggressive round of high knees–or one-legged mountain pose in yoga, you’re actively engaging your Iliacus. 

How Do You Know If You Have Iliacus Pain? 

Does your desk job have you sitting for hours on end? 

If so, your Iliacus muscle could be at play. It literally shortens when your body maintains a sitting position for too long. A hip massage can help get your Iliacus back to working status. 

If it’s your Iliacus, you'll feel pain in your: 

- Lower back 

- Upper thigh

The Psoas 

Psoas Hip Massage

Put your thumbs on your belly button. Then, reach down to touch your hip bones on either side with your fingers. The imaginary diagonal line running from your belly button to your hip bones is where you’d find your Psoas. 

What Does Your Psoas Do?

Just like your Iliacus, the Psoas engages when you bring the knee forward and up toward your chest. When you kick a ball or even perform sit-ups, your Psoas gets involved. 

How Do You Know If You Have Psoas Pain? 

Here’s how it works: Typically, your Psoas will get hurt in a moment of intense physical strain. 

After the strain, if you sit for an extended period of time and then stand back up…oooh, you’ll feel it.  

Getting a hip massage to help your Psoas can help you feel better walking, running, or jogging again. It can even help you breathe better! 

Psoas pain will show up in your: 

- Lower back 

- Hip flexor/upper thigh


TFL Muscle 

Starting with a bulb-like muscle on the outer hip, The TFL extends down to the knee in a long ligament, which we call the IT band. 


What Does Your TFL Do? 

Like the other hip flexor muscles we’ve been learning about, the TFL helps you lift your knee to your chest. The TFL helps you with running and walking–and on top of that, it’s a balance master–helping you stabilize your body while standing on one leg. 

Get rid of your TFL, and you’d most likely fall over. 

How Do You Know If You Have TFL Pain? 

TFL pain can be caused by being too active or too INactive

A frustrating conundrum, I know. But such is the way with hip and back pain. 

You’ll feel TFL pain as an ache in your:

- Outer Hip

- Thigh

- Knee

 Here's a summary of all this info in a Hip Massage Muscle Chart: 

Hip Massage Muscle Chart

3 Types of Hip Massage

When it comes to effective massage techniques for your hips, there are 3. I’ll break them down here. 

Myofascial Release

This therapeutic massage technique targets the fascia–a network of tissue that surrounds our muscles, bones, and organs. Myofascial release purposefully targets fascial tension by applying gentle, yet sustained pressure to the hips, lower back, and upper body. 

Myofascial release is a technique your massage therapist can use by identifying areas of tension on the fascia and applying pressure to those areas. 

You can also use self-massage techniques for myofascial release through at-home tools and foam rollers. Friction from a foam roller, for example, will warm the fascia, helping the soft-tissue in your body to become more flexible. In fact, just 2 minutes with a foam roller could help you feel up to 10 minutes of increased joint range motion! [2] 

Deep Tissue Massage

Focusing on the deepest layers of muscle, deep tissue massage uses slow and deep pressure to realign muscle and connective tissue in sore places. 

The focus of deep tissue massage is on the deepest layers of the muscle. This type of massage uses pressure to realign muscles and connective tissue. The movements in a deep tissue massage are typically slower, and the pressure is deeper, concentrating on specific areas of tension and pain. It ultimately relieves pain and restores normal movement in tender areas, such as your hips. 

Deep tissue massage can accomplish myofascial release, so in this way, these first two techniques are connected. 

Trigger Point Therapy

A trigger point is just a fancy name for a super tender spot of muscles on your body that forms a knot. Trigger point massage involves finding that very sore, tender spot, applying pressure, and holding. The pressure should be just right, so you feel some relief but not too much pain. [2] 

Typically, a massage therapist will use elbows, fingers, or knuckles to apply pressure and hold until the knot seems to break up. 

The QL Claw uses all 3 techniques: myofascial release, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy to work out sore lower back and hip muscles! 

Check out what people have to say about the Claw below: 

QL Claw


QL Claw


QL Claw


Shop for the QL Claw below



Hip Massage FAQs

Is it good to massage your hips?

Absolutely! I recommend using the QL Claw to massage your Ilacus, Psoas, and TFL. When massaged, all three of these muscles will relax, resulting in relief in your hips and lower back. 

How do you massage your hip area?

I recommend using an at-home massage device, such as the QL Claw for a hip massage. Use the steps in this article for tips on how to hit 3 muscles that tend to create major hip pain. 

Can a massage therapist help with tight hips?

Yes, going to a massage therapist is an effective way to get relief from hip pain through a hip massage. You can also take the power into your own hands by getting an at-home massage device, like the QL Claw. 


Now that you've read about hip massage, check out our page about the Massage Hook or the Sartorius Muscle


[1] Ahuja V, Thapa D, Patial S, Chander A, Ahuja A. Chronic hip pain in adults: Current knowledge and future prospective. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Oct-Dec;36(4):450-457. doi: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_170_19. Epub 2020 Sep 26. PMID: 33840922; PMCID: PMC8022067.

[2] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[3] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

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