What Can Cause Lower Back Hip Pain – Learn about the common causes of low back and hip pain and how to treat it with lifestyle changes, including gentle exercises from our physical therapists.
If you feel that your lower back and hip started to ache at the same time, it is unlikely that you are imagining it. The back and hips are often partners in pain. According to the 2019 National Health Interview Survey, some 39 percent of American adults reported having lower back pain in the past few months, while 36.5 percent had pain in their hips and lower legs.
- 1 What Can Cause Lower Back Hip Pain
- 1.1 Sacroiliac (si) Joint Pain: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
- 1.2 Chiropractor Hip Adjustment Can Help You Get Relief From Hip Pain
- 1.3 Best Medications To Treat Back Pain
- 1.4 Lower Back And Hip Pain: 9 Ways To Get Relief
- 2 Sacroiliac Joint Pain
What Can Cause Lower Back Hip Pain
The hips and spine are connected by muscles, ligaments and nerves, which create common pathways for pain. Lower back and hip pain can range from a dull ache to a throbbing, radiating pain. It often prevents you from doing the daily activities you need to thrive. However, back and hip pain is usually not serious and can be treated and prevented with conservative and holistic methods.
Sacroiliac (si) Joint Pain: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Here are some common causes of back and hip pain, signs to seek medical attention, and lifestyle changes to help treat the pain and prevent it from returning, including those recommended by our physical therapists. Simple home exercises included.
Dr. Walter is a Hinge Health physical therapist with over 20 years of experience working with orthopedic injuries, pelvic health, and sports medicine.
Dr. Patterson is a Hinge Health physical therapist who focuses on developing clinical exercise therapy programs and member education.
Pain in these areas may involve a soft tissue injury or an underlying problem with the bones or joints. Sometimes, however, there is no obvious cause for your pain, especially if it lasts more than three months. In this case, it is much less important to focus on what is causing your pain. Rather, it is better to think about how to get relief. Regular gentle movement is often the best thing you can do for chronic back and hip pain.
Chiropractor Hip Adjustment Can Help You Get Relief From Hip Pain
Even if your doctor finds a structural cause, most people heal without surgery, using at-home treatments such as activity modifications, ice/heat therapy, physical therapy exercises, and over-the-counter medications.
Here are some of the most common reasons you may experience pain in your lower back and hips.
Muscle aches. Back and hips share a mission: to be a strong anchor for your legs. “If your back and hips aren’t strong and stable as your leg moves, then they’re also going to move, and that can lead to overuse problems,” says Lori Walter, PT, DPT. says a physical therapist at Hinge Health. There are countless ways you can strain your back or hips, from lifting heavy loads to a traumatic fall or injury to sitting for hours at a time. Weak core muscles may lead to stress, as your back muscles will engage to compensate for reduced performance. Muscle soreness usually resolves on its own within a few days.
Pinched nerve When the muscle, bone, or tissue compresses and compresses the nerve, the result is pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness. A pinched nerve in the lower back can cause symptoms in the back, hips, buttocks, and lower legs. There are many reasons why a pinched nerve can occur, including arthritis, a herniated disc, sports injuries, repetitive motions, pregnancy, or being overweight. A pinched nerve usually heals with four to six weeks of rest, ice/heat therapy, and over-the-counter medications.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
Arthritis. The cartilage that facilitates smooth movement of the small joints in the back of the spine can wear down over time. This can be caused by osteoarthritis in the facet joints that support the movement of the vertebrae. They can accumulate, causing pain and stiffness. Similarly, osteoarthritis of the hip occurs when the cartilage that cushions the hip joint wears away. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the hip.
Herniated disc. This is another problem that can be caused by normal changes in the spine. As the disc is compressed, the jelly-like nucleus may protrude, causing the disc to press into sensitive spinal nerves. You may feel a sharp or burning pain, along with numbness, tingling, and weakness. Depending on which lumbar nerve is irritated, the pain may radiate through your hip into the front thigh or all the way to your toes. Most herniated discs heal for several weeks without surgery, with physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen) as first-line treatment.
Sacroiliac joint pain. The sacroiliac (SI) joint connects the lower back to the pelvis. Inflammation or injury can cause joint swelling, which can result in sharp, stabbing or dull, back, hip, and buttock pain. Sacroiliac joint pain may involve 10-25% of lower back pain cases.
Pelvic floor muscle imbalance. The pelvic floor muscles line the bottom of the pelvis and connect to the back through the tailbone. If the pelvic floor muscles become tight or strained, it can cause pain (often dull pain). Pelvic floor pain is often mistaken for back pain, says Dr. Walter. As the pelvic floor muscles struggle to support the internal organs of the pelvis, the back muscles work harder to compensate, resulting in overuse and stress.
The 5 Types Of Back Pain
You may be wondering if your low back and hip pain could be caused by sciatica. This term describes pain that originates in an irritated nerve in the lower back that travels under the sciatic nerve, which runs down the buttock and lower leg. The pain may feel sharp, throbbing, aching, or like “pins and needles” tingling. Sciatica is usually caused by a condition that pinches the nerve, such as arthritis (especially in older adults) or a herniated disc (usually in people under 40).
Most of the time, pain that affects your low back and hip will improve within a few days to a few weeks, with conservative methods such as ice/heat, over-the-counter medications, and gentle exercise. However, it is a good idea to see a doctor if you notice any of the following:
For long-term relief and prevention of future pain episodes, pain management experts recommend a holistic approach that addresses the biological, psychological, and social/spiritual roots of chronic pain. Studies have shown that people’s reported pain levels often do not match structural causes (such as herniated discs) seen on imaging studies. Experts believe this is because ongoing pain actually changes how our nervous system interprets pain. Chronic pain can make people more sensitive to pain. People with chronic pain often develop emotional distress that makes the pain worse.
Holistic approaches — exercise, stress management, healthy eating, and other lifestyle changes — can bring relief by addressing physical as well as psychological and emotional causes. Truly holistic pain management can involve a variety of modalities and providers, including physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. Consider these:
Best Medications To Treat Back Pain
Physical therapy. Physical therapists can help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal imbalances that cause pain. They can create a customized exercise plan to strengthen, stretch, and stabilize muscles and joints to relieve and prevent pain. “Physical therapy also helps desensitize the nervous system to pain,” says Dr. Walter. “By instructing people to go to the point of pain, and then move out of it, and then move a little further the next time, the brain starts to learn, ‘OK, this movement is safe.’
You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.
Personal training “After people have completed physical therapy, I sometimes recommend personal training to help motivate them to exercise or to continue building strength,” says Dr. Walter.
Clean diet European researchers analyzed 10 years of studies on eating patterns and chronic pain. They found that certain diets help improve pain and quality of life by reducing inflammation or providing important nutrients, including antioxidants and prebiotics. Experts recommend that you reduce your intake of inflammatory foods, such as sugar, processed meats, and refined grains. Load up on anti-inflammatories like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil.
Lower Back And Hip Pain: 9 Ways To Get Relief
Massage An analysis of 60 studies showed that massage therapy helped people manage their pain better than people who received only sham or placebo treatment. Experts believe that massage helps people reduce stress and better cope with the emotional distress of pain, and also soothes the physical discomfort of tight muscles.
Meditation Research shows that women with back pain who practice mindfulness meditation have less pain and better quality of life and mental health after eight sessions, compared to those who received standard care. The women learned mindfulness techniques such as body scans and sitting and sitting meditation.
Lifting and sitting mechanics. Asking your body to lift or lift more than you’re used to, or sitting in one position for too long are common causes of muscle strain, says Dr. Walter. Avoid lifting when you’re tired, and don’t lift more than you’re used to lifting. Bring the object as close to your body as possible and exhale as you lift, using a wide stance for stability.
When sitting, try to keep your sit bones (under your pelvis) above your knees. Use a pillow or roll up
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
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