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What Are The Causes Of Lower Back And Hip Pain

When The Spine Is The Likely Culprit

Low Back & Hip Pain? Is it Nerve, Muscle, or Joint? How to Tell.

Most lower spine problems are caused by a herniated disk that presses on nerves in the spinal column. This produces the pain known as sciatica, which can be felt in the hip. You may have a herniated disk if pain:

  • Is limited to your back, buttocks or hip.
  • Shoots down your leg.
  • Worsens with sitting or bending.
  • Improves when standing or walking.

If you have night sweats, ahistory of cancer, or pain that is not relieved by lying down ,see your doctor the problem may be more serious.

Some people develop whatDr. DeMicco calls a double whammy problems in both the hip and lower back.Its not surprising, since both osteoarthritis and spinal changes are morecommon with each passing decade, he explains.

Arthritis Of The Spine

Arthritis of the spine the slow degeneration of the spinal joints is the most frequent cause of lower back pain. All of us experience wear and tear as we age, and it is normal for your lower back to start acting up as you get older. As the cartilage breaks down between the spinal joints, surrounding tissues may become inflamed. The inflammation and the thinning of cartilage increase friction in the joints, which may cause pain in the lower back.

Can Lower Back Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious Like Cancer

Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.

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Is It Back Pain Or Hip Pain Getting To The Root Of The Problem

If you have pain in your low back, hips, and other areas in your lower body, the source isnt always easy to pinpoint. Your pain may originate in your lumbar spine or your hipor bothand its important that your doctor identifies the source of the problem, so you receive the right treatment.

Because the hips and lower spine are located so closely together, its easy to mistake back pain for hip pain . Regardless of the origin, 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 . Lumbar sprains and strains, osteoarthritis, and herniated discs are common degenerative culprits behind low back and hip pain.Determining if pain is back or hip related can be difficult to distinguish because the lower back and hips are close to each other. Photo Source:

Can Back Pain Be Prevented

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Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy

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Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Body Aches

Absolutely. Our bodies respond to our thoughts, whether were remembering past experiences or responding to the present moment. We tighten muscles in a primal response to stress, or to protect certain areas of the body from trauma. While this is a natural healthy response, it becomes problematic when those muscles dont let go and instead create chronic tension and pain.

Just How Common Is Lower Pain In The Back Best Exercises For Hip And Lower Back Pain

Around four out of 5 individuals have lower pain in the back at a long time in their lives. It is simply one of the most common factors individuals have a look at doctor.

Some individuals are most likely to have lower pain in the back than others. Hazard variables for lower back soreness contain:.

Age: People over 30 have additional back ache. Disks wear away with age. As the disks deteriorate as well as additionally wear down, distress as well as rigidity can result.

Load: Individuals that are overweight or lug added mass are more potential to have back pain. Excess weight tax obligations joints and likewise disks.

Complete wellness. Affected abdominal muscles can not sustain the back, which can result in back stress as well as likewise stress.

People that smoke, consume alcohol excessively or live a much less energetic way of living have a greater threat of pain in the back.

Occupation and additionally way of living. Jobs and tasks that ask for hefty training or bending can enhance the risk of a back injury.

Skeletal difficulties: Extreme back soreness can result from problems, such as scoliosis, that change spine positioning.

Problem: People that have a family tree of osteoarthritis, certain kind of cancer cells, in addition to numerous other conditions, have a better risk of low pain in the back. Mental health: Back discomfort can occur from depression in addition to anxiousness.

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How Do I Treat Arthritis In The Hip

There is no magic cure for this. But there is a number of ways to reduce the pain, and take your lifestyle back.

They include:

  • Exercise: Low impact strength training like aerobics or tai chi
  • Weight loss: Aim to lose 5% within a 20-week period

Walking Aids

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs
  • Topical NSAIDs
  • Opioid and narcotic analgesics *


Some physicians may suggest joint lavage and arthroscopic debridement. However, the medical community is divided on how effective either of these procedures may be.

The joint lavage comes from the French word for clean, and as you can imagine the procedure involves the cleaning and flushing of the joint with a sterile solution. Results have been mixed.

Whereas, arthroscopic debridement involves your surgeon removing loose tissue fragments from your hip joint. Again, results have been mixed.

Both procedures have been described as both a good short term solution to pain, as well as criticized as a mere placebo.

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Warning Signs Of More Serious Hip Problems

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In some instances, pain can indicate more serious hip problems. These problems might include fracture or dislocation, infection, infection, osteomyelitis or avascular necrosis.

· Fractures or dislocations of the hip can be caused by a direct hit, fall, and accident but sometimes can even occur without trauma.

· Infection of the hip tends to occur if patients have a weakened immune system from any cause or medical condition or after an operation. Sometimes infections of the hip can occur if there is an infection elsewhere in the body. People with joint infections usually feel unwell and can have sweats and a fever. Another type of infection is osteomyelitis, which is when there is an infection in the bone itself.

· If there is cancer in the bones of the hip or nearby, this can present with bone pain and fractures. The cancer can begin in the hip or spread to the hip . Sometimes leukaemia can also cause hip pain.

· Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood flow. AVN can cause tiny cracks in the bone and the bone can even collapse. AVN occurs most commonly in the hip.

· Inguinal hernias can even cause hip pain.

Seek urgent and specialist medical advice if you experience:

  • Sudden, unrelenting, disabling and severe hip joint pain

  • Recent injury or fall

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Muscle Strain Or Sprain

A muscle strain or sprain is the most common cause of low back pain.

A strain is a tear or stretching in a tendon or muscle, while a sprain is a tear or stretching in a ligament.

Sprains and strains usually happen when you twist or lift something improperly, lift something heavy, or overstretch your back muscles.

These injuries can cause swelling, difficulty moving, and back spasms.

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain

Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:

Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.

Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.

Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.

Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.

Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.

Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.

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Diagnosing Lower Back Pain

To diagnose lower back pain, a doctor will first do a physical exam. Theyll look at how well you move and if your back has any visible issues.

Then theyll take a medical history. This will cover your symptoms, any recent injuries, previous back issues, and the severity of your pain.

A physical exam and medical history are often enough for a doctor to determine the cause of your pain. However, they may also need to do an imaging test. Potential tests include:

  • X-ray, which can find broken or misaligned bones.
  • CT scan, which shows soft tissues such as the discs between vertebrae and potential tumors
  • myelogram, which uses dye to enhance the contrast in a CT scan or X-ray to help a doctor identify nerve or spinal cord compression

Low Back Pain Fact Sheet

Pain In The Lower Back And Hip On One Side

If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.

Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.

There are two types of back pain:

  • Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
  • Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.

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Fight Or Flight Response

The way our body manages stress is a balance between our sympathetic nervous system and our parasympathetic nervous system . A significant part of our sympathetic nervous system travels along the psoas, another strong connection between the iliopsoas and our stress response.

The vagus nerve is a main component of the parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve travels throughout our diaphragm and affects our breathing. A strong indicator that our bodies are resilient to stress is that our vagus nerve is able to regulate heart rate variability: the ability of your body to speed up the heart when increased blood flow is needed and to relax again once that need diminishes.

When your diaphragm doesn’t allow you to take deep breaths, your vagus nerve isnt stimulated properly. Since the vagus nerve is a part of the rest-and-digest response of the parasympathetic nervous system, when we take deep breaths into our abdomen, it helps us shift from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest.

The ability to breathe into your abdomen and not just your chest relates in part to the diaphragm’s alignment, which is also impacted by tension in the iliopsoas muscles.

Thesephysical reactions in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems do not just occur when we experience a moment of stress, though. As humans, we have a unique ability to evoke emotions from our memories as well.

What Are The Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of SI pain start in the lower back and buttock, and may radiate to the lower hip, groin or upper thigh. While the pain is usually one sided, it can occur on both sides. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling in the leg or a feeling of weakness in the leg.

Symptoms may worsen with sitting, standing, sleeping, walking or climbing stairs. Often the SI joint is painful sitting or sleeping on the affected side. Some people have difficulty riding in a car or standing, sitting or walking too long. Pain can be worse with transitional movements , standing on one leg or climbing stairs.

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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Or Pain

Your sacroiliac joint absorbs shocks between your upper body, pelvis, and legs.


There are lots of causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction such as falls on the buttocks, prolonged strenuous exercise, obesity, leg length discrepancy, and walking abnormalities


If you strain or injure this joint, it can cause pain in your hip, back and groin area, Dr Jain says.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your doctor can diagnose sacroiliac joint dysfunction by conducting a physical exam and possibly ordering blood or imaging tests. Treatment may involve stretching exercises, and NSAIDs to relieve pain. Sometimes injections of steroids help cool inflammation. Working with a physical therapist can help.

The Diagnosis: Is It Your Hip

Hip and Lower Back Pain and Relief

When you tell your doctor your hip hurts, the first thing she should do is confirm that your hip is actually the problem. Women might say they have hip pain, but what they may mean is that they have pain in the side of the upper thigh or upper buttock, or they may be experiencing lower back pain, says Stephanie E. Siegrist, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Rochester, New York, and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip pain is often felt in the groin or on the outside of the hip directly over where the hip joint is located.

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How Is A Diagnosis Made

A medical exam will help determine whether the SI joint is the source of your pain. Evaluation includes a medical history and physical exam. Your physician will consider all the information you provided, including any history of injury, location of your pain, and problems standing or sleeping.

There are specific tests to determine whether the SI joint is the source of pain. You may be asked to stand or move in different positions and point to where you feel pain. Your doctor may manipulate your joints or feel for tenderness over your SI joint.

Imaging studies, such as X-ray, CT, or MRI, may be ordered to help in the diagnosis and to check for other spine and hip related problems.

A diagnostic SI joint injection may be performed to confirm the cause of pain. The SI joint is injected with a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication. The injection is given using X-ray fluoroscopy to ensure accurate needle placement in the SI joint. Your pain level is evaluated before and 20-30 minutes after injection, and monitored over the next week. Sacroiliac joint involvement is confirmed if your pain level decreases by more than 75%. If your pain level does not change after the injection, it is unlikely that the SI joint is the cause of your low back pain.

Spinal Stenosis And Hip Pain

Spinal stenosis is similar to a herniated disc in that the pain is a result of pressure on the nerves. However, with spinal stenosis, the pressure is caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal, not with a herniated disc. Some common causes for the narrowing of the canal are cysts, bulging discs, and arthritis.

Even though spinal stenosis may have a different root cause then herniated disc, the resulting symptoms may be similar. Both conditions can lead to pressure on the nerves in both conditions can lead to pain in the back, pain in the hip, and pain down the legs.

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What Are The Causes

The SI joint can become painful when the ligaments become too loose or too tight. This can occur as the result of a fall, work injury, car accident, pregnancy and childbirth, or hip/spine surgery .

Sacroiliac joint pain can occur when movement in the pelvis is not the same on both sides. Uneven movement may occur when one leg is longer or weaker than the other, or with arthritis in the hip or knee problems. Autoimmune diseases, such as axial spondyloarthritis, and biomechanical conditions, such as wearing a walking boot following foot/ankle surgery or non-supportive footwear, can lead to degenerative sacroiliitis.


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