This last summer a client was training for a marathon. He came to see me for a massage, he had hip and low back pain and worried that this would prevent him from finishing the race. After a couple of massage sessions and by using some self-massage at home he was able to run and finish the marathon.
The self massage I taught him was for an area on the side of the thigh, the hornet’s nest. It’s a perfect name because a number of trigger points can form here and they feel very sharp and stingy, perhaps even angry like a disturbed hornet’s nest. They typically refer pain and discomfort into the thigh, hip, and sometimes low back. The good news is it’s an easy area to massage with the aid of a bouncy ball.
Start by standing next to a wall and place the bouncy ball between the wall and the side of your upper thigh (about the area where your hand touches when standing normally). You can lean into the wall to use more pressure or back off to use less pressure. Then using your knees move the ball around to find the hornets (trigger points). When you find a tender spot you can hold the ball there, breathe, and the soreness should decrease in about 12 seconds. (If not you are using too much pressure.) Another method is to roll over the sore spot slowly, go back and roll slowly over it again.
My sister used this self massage technique with great success, and you can read about her experience here.