Hip Pain & Disorders

Back Pain or Hip Pain? Getting to the Root

Share

Pain in the low back, hips, and other areas of the lower body, the source isn’t always easy to pinpoint.

Pain may originate in the lumbar spine (low back) the hip or both.

It’s important that a doctor identify the source of the problem, in order to create the correct treatment plan.

Because the hips and lower spine are located so close it can be easy to mistake back pain for hip pain the other way around.

Most low back pain and hip pain share a common cause:

Normal wear and tear on the body due to aging or triggered by overuse injuries (possibly referred to as degeneration or degenerative changes).

  • Lumbar sprains
  • Strains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated discs

Are common degenerative culprits behind low back and hip pain.

 

 

Symptoms that the Hip Is the Root

One of the biggest symptoms that pain caused by a problem in the hip is groin pain.

The hip joint is located behind the groin, which is why groin pain typically means the hip is the root.

In some cases, the groin pain will radiate downward toward the knee.

Another symptom that the hip is the source is pain around or over the hip joint.

Hip problems can also refer pain to in the low back.

This is what causes confusion over where the true source of the pain.

Hip-related pain is most often caused by osteoarthritis in the hip.

Osteoarthritis in the hip can cause pain in the:

  • Buttocks
  • Front of the thighs
  • Knees

Limping when walking and a reduced range of motion in the hips, along with pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest.

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause, hip pain can also come from:

  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Avascular necrosis in the hip
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  1. Piriformis syndrome will cause dull, mild pain in the low back, and buttocks and can radiate down the leg.
  2. Hip pain attributed to avascular necrosis will be severe and constant.
  3. Sacroiliac joint pain could be attributed to the hip and the low back because the sacroiliac joints connect the sacrum in the spine to the hip bones.

Symptoms that the Spine Is the Root

Where groin pain is a sign that the pain is linked to the hip when the pain is above the waistline and travels down the body usually indicates a low back issue.

Among the most common degenerative conditions that affect the lumbar spine are:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Pain is caused by irritating the low back nerves, which results in pain shooting down the leg/s and:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Reduced range of motion

Arthritis of the spine brings on pain usually when first getting out of bed or rising up after sitting.

It usually improves after beginning to move.

Spinal stenosis or nerve pressure compression pain worsens with prolonged standing or walking, while relief comes with sitting.

Getting to the Root

When there is pain in the lower body and are not sure whether it’s the back or hip, the first course of action is to visit your doctor or a chiropractor.

They will review your medical history and perform a series of physical exams, such as various movements to get an idea of what is going on.

Your primary doctor may refer you to a doctor/chiropractor who specializes in hip or spinal conditions to make an accurate diagnosis.

The doctor will ask you to describe the:

  • Pain
  • Location
  • When it worsens
  • When it’s relieved
  • What the pain feels like (e.g., sharp, dull).

The doctor may have you perform various movements to observe your biomechanics.

The goal is to determine what movements trigger the pain.

One such maneuver called the Flexion Abduction External Rotation (FABER) test helps determine if the pain is sourced in the hip and possible sacroiliac joint problems.

For this test, you lie on your back while flexing and rotating the hips.

The doctor will also palpate (press) the pain area.

The doctor may order image scans, like x-ray, MRI that can reveal the root of the spine or hip problem.

The Source

Treating Back Pain and Hip Pain

Once the pain is identified whether, in the hip or low back, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan.

This regimen includes a specially designed physical therapy program to teach:

  • Movements
  • Stretches
  • Physical therapy

To help alleviate symptoms and prevent their return.

Once the nature of the pain is determined, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes:

For both spine and hip pain, surgery is rarely necessary and only utilized as the last-resort option.


 

El Paso, TX Chiropractic Care Hip Labral Tear Treatment

 

 

Andrew Hutchinson turned to chiropractic care and PUSHasRx Functional Fitness Workouts rehabilitation after suffering a high ankle sprain and a hip labrum tear for which he went through surgery to repair. After being bedridden for months in order to properly recover, Andrew Hutchinson transitioned to chiropractic care and PUSHasRx Functional Fitness Workouts rehabilitation to regain his strength, mobility, and flexibility before returning to play. Although he has suffered other sports injuries, Andrew Hutchinson continues to trust in chiropractic care and PUSHasRx Functional Fitness Workouts rehabilitation to keep his spine properly aligned and maintain overall health and wellness.

Labrum tears in athletes can occur from a single event or recurring trauma. Running may cause labrum tears due to the labrum being utilized more for weight-bearing and taking excess forces while at the end-range motion of the leg. Sporting activities are probable causes, specifically those that require frequent hip rotation or pivoting to a loaded femur as in ballet or hockey. Constant hip rotation places increased strain on the capsular tissue and injure the iliofemoral ligament. This subsequently causes hip instability putting increased stress on the labrum and causing a hip labrum tear.


 

What’s Afoot

Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain – or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, it causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt. In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affects posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment. It can also affect the knees and feet if left untreated.

 

 

 

NCBI Resources

Hip flexors can become too tight if the person sits for extended periods of time or engages in activities like cycling and jogging. A chiropractor can guide you through exercises that will help release the tight muscles and stop the micro spams that occur as a result. They will also assess your knees, feet, and ankles to ensure that the issue has not through them out of alignment as well. Correcting the cause of the problem will often correct the associated issues and resolve the pain allowing you to return to your normal activities.

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Back Pain or Hip Pain? Getting to the Root" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Recent Posts

Acupuncture as an Effective Treatment for Sciatica

For individuals considering acupuncture for sciatica relief and management, can knowing how it works and… Read More

February 20, 2024

How Electroacupuncture Can Help with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Can individuals with thoracic outlet syndrome incorporate electroacupuncture to reduce neck pain and restore proper… Read More

February 20, 2024

Effective Nonsurgical Treatments for Hip Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Can plantar fasciitis patients incorporate non-surgical treatments to reduce hip pain and restore mobility? Introduction… Read More

February 20, 2024

The Intervertebral Foramen and Its Importance in Spine Health

For individuals looking to improve their spinal health, can understanding the anatomy of the intervertebral… Read More

February 19, 2024

Spinal Decompression: Reducing Cervical Spinal Pain Explained

Can individuals with cervical spinal pain incorporate spinal decompression therapy to reduce neck pain and… Read More

February 19, 2024

The Benefits of Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture

For individuals dealing with musculoskeletal pain, can incorporating acupuncture and electroacupuncture therapy provide beneficial results?… Read More

February 19, 2024