Webinar Summary: Treating Pain in Athletes Featuring Whitfield Reaves

Treating Pain in Athletes: Using Points in the Gluteus Medius in the Treatment of Lower Extremity Injuries.

Featuring renowned educator, Whitfield Reaves, OMD, L.Ac.

On April 25, we held our first webinar in our NEW Free Webinar Series.

We had a great turnout! Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and most importantly learned about this topic!

If you missed it or if you would like to watch it again, here is the link to the recorded webinar:


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Whit answered many questions throughout the webinar but wasn’t able to get to all of them.  Please read below for his answers to great questions on this topic.

Treating Pain in Athletes Webinar Q&As

Will this help with the sciatic?
Treating the gluteus medius is often very helpful for sciatica. However, sciatica is a vague medical term. Does one mean entrapment of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis or thereabouts, or coming from the lower lumbar nerve roots? These are completely different conditions and need to be treated accordingly.

Other than Palpation is there an orthopedic test to see if the gluteus medius is the cause of pain?

  1. Manual muscle testing– resisted abduction (look at YouTube for how to perform this test if you do not already know)
  2. Confirming by questioning whether the pain referral pattern matches that of the Gluteus Medius (refer to Janet Travel’s second volume if you need help with trigger point pain)
  3. Trendeleberg test (see YouTube or a good orthopedic text)
  4. Observation of an elevated pelvis on the side of pain, which would be more from the QL, but the QL and the Gluteus medius usually are found together in dysfunction and pain syndromes.
  5. Palpation of pain at the SI joint may implicate the Gluteus medius.
  6. Palpation of the lower border of the Gluteus medius, superior to the Piriformis, as well as palpation of the tendon of the Gluteus medius.
  7. Other tests are possible.

Any good corrective exercises for weak gluteus medius?
It is our duty, in my opinion, to give corrective exercises for weakness of the Gluteus medius. There are good exercises, which can be found in various texts. There are many possibilities.

Does your book cover other points to turn on other muscles?
I am not sure exactly what the term “turn on” muscles means, but… In my book there are various conditions where releasing and elongating a tight shortened muscle (i.e., the gluteus medius) is described. There are other conditions where treating a lengthened weak muscle (the infraspinatus) is also described. There are two different conditions where the muscle may appear to be weak, or “turned off” as you describe.

QL Motor point vs. Pi Gen (Extra Point 3.5 cun lateral to L1 for the back pain near 11th, 12th rib attachment.
I don’t understand if this is a question or a statement. As a statement, yes indeed, the trigger point that can be called Pigen is an excellent site to treat a tight and shortened QL. The motor point, below Pigen, is also an excellent site. The motor point is basically an extension of the tight and shortened QL, and may be just as important for its anatomical significance due to being in the taut band of muscle (and may well be another trigger point), rather than it being one of the motor points.

Levator scapula pain vs. trap pain
Not sure again what the question is. The Levator is used for elevated scapula, as when the muscle becomes shortened the scapula elevates. It is by far more important than the trapezius for treatment. The Trapezius generates pain, but it is a very weak scapula elevator. Use the Levator to treat Trapezius pain. Don’t use the Trapezius to treat Trapezius pain if there is any way to avoid it.

So its the Bursa and not the gluteus medius correct for Jin Kua?
Do not understand the question. The Gluteus medius, at the point Jiankua, is used to treat trochanteric bursae pain.

Any suggestions for people who are not able to be e-stim’d?
I do not know very many situations where the patient could not tolerate e-stim, or where it would be contra-indicated. If so, then one would need to alter the needle techniques to make up for the lack of current being introduced to profuse the region of needling