One of the things that helps keeps my hip pain (from a labral tear) under control is my commitment to icing it after vigorous activity, whether the area hurts or not. I don’t intentionally do things that would cause great harm to the hip (such as running or sinking into a split), but because my femur head has a tendency to rub against the torn cartilage, things like long walks or even a yoga class may cause inflammation of the area, which calls for an icing protocol.
The problem I face is finding an ice pack that fits comfortably around the affected area, one that both stays in place and offers satisfactory compression. The hip joint is deep and much more difficult to access than joints closer to the skin, such as the shoulder, knee, or wrist. When I ice, I like to cover not only the outside of the upper leg but also the ASIS (hip bone) and then into the groin area. It’s a large, oddly shaped area to cover, one that most ice packs alone just can’t handle.
However, using my MacGyver skills, I managed to find a way to manipulate two ice packs to cover the area. Both are gel-filled freezer packs that slip into cloth pouches with velcro straps. I would put the smaller one in my groin area (kind of cupping the upper inside thigh) and then place the larger one around my waist, to both cover the outside of the hip and the ASIS bone and to securely hold the lower pouch in place for maximum compression.
The photo above is even more MacGyver than usual, because this was taken while on vacation in Disney World, when I wasn’t able to bring along the gel packs. Instead, I used 1-gallon-sized plastic freezer bags filled with ice from the hotel ice machine (conveniently located right across the hall from our room).
Even though I’ve been icing like this for more than a year, I still complain about the awkwardness of it all. I continuously fumble with the velcro straps, and sometimes I need Bryan to hold one pack in place while I manipulate the other. Also, if I’m standing, gravity takes over and the bottom pack sags after a few minutes, diminishing the compression. Again and again, I’ve Googled “ice pack for hip,” with not many specific results popping up. Most things that come up are giant ice packs, which still wouldn’t be able to wrap around all of the affected areas and stay in place.
But then along came Moji.
I met Moji a few weeks ago when I accompanied Bryan to the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon expo. I saw their booth, with keywords “ice” and “compression” displayed on the signs. The display looked high-tech, sporty, sleek, and advanced. I walked up to the sales rep and asked, “Hey, do you have anything for the hip?”
In a blink of an eye, the rep had the Moji One wrapped around my hip.
I looked up at Bryan and gave him the biggest grin. It was as though I had found a cure for cancer, the Fountain of Youth, and the secret to world peace all at once. “This is it!” I exclaimed. “This is what I’ve been dreaming of!”
On its own, the Moji One looks like a work of art, a synthetic butterfly:
The gray portion is the gel pack, which can be either frozen or heated. The backside of this is velcroed onto the black wrap, which is super stretchy while still offering maximum compression. There is plenty of velcro surface area, so no more fumbling to get a little strip of velcro attached to just the right place.
Yes, for an ice pack, the Moji One is expensive (it retails online for $99.95, but I got an expo special of $90), but it is the design I’ve been seeking for so long now. And since I ice almost every day, it is certainly worth the investment. Even better, the Moji One isn’t just for the hip; it has 11 other functions and works on the ankle, shoulder, quads, and other body parts. It is so versatile! I haven’t used it for any other areas yet, but I can vouch for its effectiveness on the hip. I can go from sitting to standing without it slipping or sliding; heck, I could even dance in this if I wanted.
I never thought I’d be so excited about a pain relief product, but this ice pack totally warms my heart! 🙂
Note. I was not paid or asked or encouraged by anyone to write this post; I just want to spread the word to anyone else out there seeking effective hip pain relief!