Sharp Pain In The Lower Back And Hip On One Side
A shooting and sharp pain felt on one side on your lower back and hip may be caused by muscle spasm, joint dysfunction, and/or nerve compression in the region. Common conditions that cause this type of pain are discussed below.
Spasm of the piriformis muscle located deep in the buttock may cause 5:
- Moderate to severe lower back, hip, and buttock pain
- Referred pain that may extend into the back of the thigh
- Inability to sit for a long time
The pain is typically felt on one side and may be worsened by hip movements, such as when getting out of bed.5
Piriformis syndrome is commonly caused by overactivity of the hip rotator muscles or sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time. An injury to the buttock may also cause this pain.6
Read more: What Is Piriformis Syndrome?
Muscle Relaxation For Lower Back And Hip Pain
Taking time to relax is imperative to muscle health. Many of us often only find time to relax at night as we are falling asleep, but if our muscles are engaged throughout the entire day and only have one instance of relaxation, its not going to be enough to prevent tension from building.
One of the best ways to relax your iliopsoas is to elevate your legs on a couch or ottoman while laying on the floor. This is a traditional restorative yoga practice and can be done for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Consult your doctor about this exerciseif youve just had hip surgery, as having your hip at a 90-degree angle is not advised for about 6 months.
Another very accessible way to achieve muscle relaxation is to get a professional therapeutic massage. Deep tissue massages can be great for relieving muscle tightness, but they tend to be more invasive and too intense immediately post-surgery. Opt for a soothing Swedish instead!
Causes Of Lower Back And Hip Pain
Your lower back and hip are co-dependent on each other. They share many muscle groups, so its no wonder that disruption or pain in one tends to cause problems in the other. If you suffer from lower back pain or hip pain, you risk experiencing abnormalities in muscle function or movement.
Lets take a look at 6 causes of lower back and hip pain:
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Pain On The Side Of Your Hip Is More Likely From Tendinitis Tight Muscles Or Another Condition
Hip bursitis an inflammation between your thighbone and nearby tendons is commonly diagnosed when patients have pain on the outer side of the hip. However, several other conditions can cause similar pain, and require different treatments. “Doctors often assume that pain on the outer side of the hip is due to bursitis. But 90% of the time, it’s not bursitis,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, a physiatrist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Signs And Symptoms Of Left Side Pain Above The Hip
The pain you feel on the left side above your hip may be the first sign that there is something wrong. Depending on the cause of the pain, you may find yourself experiencing other recurrent symptoms alongside the discomfort above the left side of your hip, including:
- Reduced range of motion in the hip
- Tingling sensation
Left side pain above the hip can be caused by problems with your hip bone, pelvis, or organs in your lower left abdomen. Pain above the left hip can feel like a persistent dull ache or a burning sensation that comes and goes. Or, pain at the left hip bone can result in sharp, shooting pains in your lower back and down your left leg. Sometimes, pain from other organs in your abdomen can radiate to your left side and can feel as if your left hip is sore.
Pain on the left side above the hip bone in the front can often affect women more than men. For example, ovary pain or endometriosis can cause sharp aches in the lower left abdomen and left hip. However, both men and women can experience left side hip pain if they have inflammation in the pelvic bone, digestive issues, kidney stones, or an abdominal hernia.
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Signs That Your Spine Is The Source Of Your Pain
Whereas groin pain is a telltale sign that the pain is linked to the hip, pain above the waistline that travels down the body typically indicates a low back issue. A low back problem may also be responsible for other types of lower body pain, including thigh, buttock, and below-the-knee pain.
Among the most common degenerative conditions that affect the lumbar spine are herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. These conditions cause pain by irritating your low back nerves, resulting in pain that shoots down your legs , weakness, numbness, and reducing your range of motion.
The pattern of pain coming from the lumbar spine can be variable, depending of the specific issue causing the pain. Commonly, pain from arthritis of the spine occurs during transitions such as getting out of bed in the morning or raising up from sitting. It can often then improve after getting moving. In contrast, pain from spinal stenosis or nerve pressure is often worse with prolonged standing or walking and relieved with sitting.
When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain
If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.
“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.
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Improve Movements To Eliminate Hip Pain
The back, hip, and lower extremity work as a comprehensive unit allowing for many of the repetitive tasks you complete at home, work, and during recreational activities. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicates that additional damage has been incurred by adjacent muscles.
Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.
Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Any pain might be a cause for concern. Sleep is a vital bodily function. When you sleep, your body can rest and recuperate. But if you suffer from hip pain at night, your sleep may not feel very healing. Your disturbed sleep may cause a cycle of frustration, exhaustion, and joint aches.
If your pain lasts several days and/or prevents you from doing your normal tasks, then you may want to visit a healthcare provider.
Your pain may be relatively new, low to moderate in severity, or you may have an injury that doesnt require you to visit the emergency room or a specialist. Perhaps you are uncertain of the cause of your hip pain. In these situations, you may wish to consult your primary care provider.
If your pain is more severe, chronic, or might result from arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition, your primary care provider may refer you to a specialist.
An orthopedist is a medical professional who specializes in joint and bone conditions, such as osteoarthritis. A rheumatologist focuses on autoimmune conditions like RA. If you have arthritis, these specialists can provide specific insights and treatments to help you mitigate your symptoms.
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Causes Of Hip Pain In Women
When a female patient comes to Dr. Siegrist complaining of hip pain, she considers the patient’s age, build, and activity level. If the patient is a thin 20-year-old runner or a heavy, sedentary 80-year-old grandmother, the possibilities at the top of my list will be different, she says.
Among the most common causes of hip pain in women are:
1. Arthritis Chronic hip pain in women is often due to arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear kind that affects many people as they age. The ball-and-socket joint starts to wear out, Siegrist says. Arthritis pain is often felt in the front of your thigh or in the groin, because of stiffness or swelling in the joint.
2. Hip fractures Hip fractures are common in older women, especially those with osteoporosis . Symptoms of a hip fracture include pain when you straighten, lift, or stand on your leg. Also, the toes on your injured side will appear to turn out, a sign that can aid your doctors preliminary diagnosis.
When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain
In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:
- If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
- If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
- If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.
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What Exercises Can Help Stiff Painful Hips After Sitting
Even if it seems challenging at times, there are many different exercises that can help with hip pain after sitting. When a painful hip joint remains inactive for a period of time, symptoms can intensify. An estimated 90% of people with hip pain have difficulty sleeping, and fatigue can intensify pain. These exercises help not only with stiff, painful hips but may also help to improve their quality of sleep.
Exercises that can help with hip pain after sitting include:
- Targeted strength training
What Causes Low Back And Hip Pain When Walking
Once again, poor posture could be the culprit in back and hip pain while walking. To potentially improve your pain, make sure to:
- Avoid looking down too much when you walk, which reduces neck and back strain.
- Avoid slouching when you walk.
- Keep your hips level when walking, avoid unnatural hip swaying.
- Pull in your stomach and engage your core to take the pressure off your lower back.
- Make sure your feet hit the ground heel-first, then roll through the ball of your foot.
- Own comfortable shoes, especially if you have flat feet which can cause back pain.
Another potential cause of hip and back pain when walking is being overweight. According to a review by the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing sciatica. This is because the lower back supports more weight as a person gets heavier, naturally causing pain. Stretches that target your back and hips can ease the pain, and frequent exercise keeps you fit while fighting muscle pains caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
If improving your posture, stretching, and exercising doesnt improve your back or hip pain, stop by SPORT Orthopedics + Rehabilitation and well take care of you.
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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
The Varieties Of Lower Back And Hip Pain
Many of my clients experience lower back and hip pain simultaneously. But all too frequently they receive inadequate guidance from their physicians about possible causes and about how to relieve it in a lasting way.
When X-rays and MRIs come back negative, a physician without adequate training in the musculoskeletal system may not know what to prescribe other than physical therapy exercises.
The problem with this strategy is that PT can aggravate certain conditions. I’ll go into this in more detail with each of the conditions listed below.
The most frequent regions of pain I hear reports about include
Often lower back and hip pain can present as a kind of moving target. Sometimes the pain is centered squarely on the outside of the hip joint near the hip bone.
Other times the pain can wrap around to the gluteal muscles. At times an individual might experience pain in more than one area.
The reason for this medley of possibilities is that muscular compensation is often at the heart of lower back and hip pain.
Further, muscular compensation is a continual process in which muscles are constantly adjusting, trying to figure out how to make do with the circumstances they’re presented with such as postural distortion.
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Pain And Stiffness In The Lower Back And Hip
A feeling of stiffness can accompany pain in the lower back and hip. This symptom is typically a protective mechanism of the body to prevent further injury in the area. Stiffness that occurs with pain can be debilitating and reduce function in the back, hip, and leg considerably. Here are a few common conditions that may cause these symptoms to occur together.
What’s Causing The Pain
Dr. Elson says pain in the side of your hip most often results from one of the following conditions:
Tendinitis. This is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the gluteal muscles in your buttocks to the hip bone. “Tendinitis develops because of muscle imbalance. It could be from a lack of activity, crossing your legs, or even sitting on a wallet,” Dr. Elson says.
Overuse injury. When you walk or run, weak hip and buttock muscles can tighten and irritate the iliotibial band a long band of connective tissue that runs from the knee to the hip. It merges with the gluteal muscles to stabilize the leg.
Tight muscles in the buttocks and hip. If the gluteal muscles and IT band are too tight, they pull at the thighbone where they attach, and that causes pain on the side.
Spine problems. “The body isn’t always smart in recognizing where the pain is coming from,” Dr. Elson explains, “and spine arthritis, a pinched nerve, or bones in the spine rubbing together can create pain in the side of your hip.”
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Sciatica Or Other Back Pain
Up to 85% of Americans experience some type of back pain during their lives. But this doesn’t always involve the sciatic nerve. In many cases, back pain is the result of overextending or straining the muscles in the lower back. What most often sets sciatica apart is the way the pain radiates down the leg and into the foot. It may feel like a bad leg cramp that lasts for days.
Ovulation Pain Or Midcycle Spotting
Mittelschmerz is a German word that translates as middle pain. It refers to the normal discomfort sometimes felt by women during ovulation, which is at the midpoint of the menstrual cycle.
Each month, one of the two ovaries forms a follicle that holds an egg cell. The pain occurs when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg.
This is a dull, cramping sensation that may begin suddenly in only one side of the lower abdomen. In a few cases, there may be vaginal spotting. Mittelschmerz occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.
Actual Mittelschmerz is not associated with nausea, vomiting, fever, or severe pelvic pain. These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical provider since they can indicate a more serious condition.
Diagnosis is made through patient history.
Treatment requires only over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. An oral contraceptive will stop the symptoms, since it also stops ovulation.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , last period approximately 2 weeks ago, vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pelvis pain
Symptoms that always occur with ovulation pain or midcycle spotting: last period approximately 2 weeks ago
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What Are Some Reasons That Back Pain Is Significantly Worse At Night Or In The Morning
Back pain is often perceived as one general term, but in my world back pain can mean a thousand different things. So your specific pathology will play a significant role in what time of day your pain is at its peak. I think the hormonal shifts that wakes us up in the morning and then makes us more tired by the end of the day contributes to inflammation.
If the pain is waking you up in the middle of the night, that is more of a red flag and should be assessed earlier.