What are the Common Causes Of Pain In The Lower Back And Hips?
Pain is a common cause of disability around the world, and any area of the body can be affected. Pain is considered a symptom rather than an illness or a disease, signaling the presence of an underlying issue that is causing inflammation, tenderness, and the pain symptoms that a patient is complaining about.
While headaches and general joint pain are common, as many as 80% of all adults in the United States are estimated to suffer from lower back pain at a certain point in their lives.
Additionally, a survey by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that over 25% of the American adult population had experienced symptoms related to lower back pain at least once in the past three months, at the time of the survey.
Lower back pain contributes to many days lost at work for a large percentage of the population.
The pain experienced by an affected patient can sometimes be dull, but other times come as a sharp painful sensation that causes the person to become disabled for the time during which they experience these symptoms.
In addition to lower back pain is quite common, hip pain is also a complaint that many people tend to experience. Sometimes hip pain can be accompanied by lower back pain, but there are also cases where this symptom is present without any effects on the lower back.
In this post, we will take a look at some common causes of both lower back pain and hip-related pain symptoms.
We will also consider a few effective techniques that can be used by people experiencing these symptoms to help them experience relief in pain and improvements in the discomfort that they might be suffering from due to the pain that is present in their hips and lower back regions.
What Causes Lower Back And Hip Pain?
People who suffer from conditions that affect their hip and back sometimes experience severe lower back pain when walking or standing.
The specific circumstances that determine when the person will suffer from pain really depends on the underlying causes that are leading to the development of these symptoms.
Thus, understanding that pain is merely a symptom and not an actual condition on its own really is the first step to identifying the most effective approach to treating the pain – as well as the underlying causes contributing to the pain symptoms.
When it comes to asking questions such as what causes lower back and buttock pain, patients are also advised to realize that pain in their hip area, as well as their buttocks, can sometimes be misleading.
These pain symptoms may rather be signs of problems with the patient’s lower back, instead of an actual problem with their hips.
Let’s take a closer look at the lower back and the hips individually, as there are conditions that may lead to pain developing in these areas separately.
What are the Possible Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Since lower back pain is far more common than actual hip-related pain symptoms, let’s start by looking at what may lead to the development of pain in the lower back area.
One report specifies that up to 85% of cases of lower back pain are caused by strain placed on the back. This makes back strain the most common type of factor that leads to symptoms like lower back pain, inflammation, and related issues in the region.
Even though rarer, there are other factors that may also cause a patient to suffer from lower back pain. These might include:
This condition is classified as a type of wear and tear arthritis. It happens when joints in the spine start to deteriorate.
Osteoarthritis in the back is also closely related to a condition known as spinal stenosis, which causes a narrowing of the patient’s vertebral canal. This often yields a constriction within the vertebral canal as well.
Spinal Disc Hernia:
Often also called disc herniation, this condition occurs when fibrocartilage, a type of cartilage that is known to surround what is known as the invertebral disk, ruptures.
Without adequate treatment, this condition can lead to permanent nerve damage, as the nucleus pulposus that is squeezed out of the disk due to pressure often adds pressure against the nerve roots in the spine.
With this condition, chronic inflammation occurs in the spine, as well as the structures that directly surrounds the spine.
Ankylosing spondylitis is classified as a chronic inflammatory disease and sometimes causes vertebrae affected by the disease to become fused together.
When a vertebra is dislocated and moves in such a position that it pushes over the vertebra underneath it, then the patient is diagnosed with a condition known as Spondylolisthesis.
Fractures that affect the spine may also cause lower back pain. In rare cases, the infection may also develop in the area, which may cause lower back pain as well.
Other causes include the possibility of cancer, as well as kidney stones, a stomach ulcer, and abdominal aortic aneurism.
What Are The First Signs Of Hip Problems?
The number of complete hip replacements conducted has increased by more than 200% since 2010.
In the year 2010, a total of 310,800 such surgical procedures were performed within the United States on patients who were older than or exactly 45 years of age.
Identifying the first signs of hip-related problems can provide the patient with an opportunity to have their condition diagnosed and treated early on, which could potentially prevent the need for a hip replacement.
Pain in the hip region would, of course, be one of the first signs that patients should be on the lookout for. It should, however, be noted that pain may also be present in the groin area, as well as the joints that are in the area of the hips.
In addition to pain, a number of other symptoms may also develop in the case where a patient develops hip problems:
- Swelling and tenderness
- Warmth in the affected area
- The affected hip may suffer from a loss of motion
- The patient may find it difficult to sleep on the side of the affected hip
In many cases, hip-related pain is caused by problems with the ligaments, tendons, soft tissues, and the muscles that surround the joints that assist in the movement of the hips. Fractures in the hip area, along with a direct impact, may also be possible causes that can lead to severe pain in some cases.
The following is a list of potential causes that may lead to hip pain:
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Hip dislocation
- Inguinal hernia
- Hip labral tear
- Meralgia paresthetica
- Bone cancer
- Avascular necrosis
Diagnosing Lower Back And Hip Pain
When the pain in the areas of the lower back and hips develop, patients are usually advised to seek a consultation with their doctor. Even when the patient thinks that it might simply be a strain and it will heal on its own, it is best to be safe and have any possible diseases diagnosed early on.
The doctor will ask the patient a number of questions regarding the pain symptoms that they experience, such as:
- Do you experience lower back pain when sitting but not standing?
- Do you experience lower back pain when standing up from a sitting position?
- Do you experience lower back pain when standing too long?
Additional tests may be requested by the doctor in order to see if any fractures or damage has been dealt with the joints, bones, and other tissues that surround the hips.
A physical exam will also be conducted, and the doctor may request blood samples of the patient to be taken if they suspect a disease may be behind the symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
Once the doctor identifies the potential problems leading to the hip and lower back pain, they’ll be able to provide the patient with a more effective treatment solution.
Not only to address the symptoms that the patient is suffering, but also address the underlying issues that are causing these detrimental symptoms.
Treating Lower Back And Hip Pain
After a diagnosis, a range of different treatment procedures may be utilized to address the pain that the patient is experiencing.
In many cases, a doctor will start the patient off with some prescription pain medication to help them experience temporary relief while the root causes of their pain are being targeted.
Common types of drugs often provided to patients who complain about lower back pain and hip pain include Tylenol and NSAIDs. Both can help to address the inflammation and the pain.
By providing relief in the inflammation, pain alleviation will most likely be more significant as well. Muscle relaxants are sometimes also utilized if the doctor suspects that tight muscles may be contributing to the pain that the patient is suffering from.
In some cases, especially when the pain is more severe, a doctor may prescribe opioid medication to the patient. Opioids should be taken with care, as they are addictive and can cause a relatively large number of unpleasant side-effects, especially with long-term used.
Various alternative methods can also be utilized by the patient to help them address their pain symptoms and to improve certain accompanying symptoms, such as a reduction in their flexibility.
How do you stretch out your lower back and hips?
Stretching activities are often recommended to patients who complain about pain in their lower back, as well as those with hip pain.
It is important that the patient listens to their own body when they are doing stretches, as overdoing things can quickly lead to further damage and cause additional strain on the back.
Many people would recommend certain types of yoga poses for this purpose. The yoga poses will help to stretch the lower back and can also help to relieve tightness in the hips. Some of the most popular yoga poses that are advised for patients who have pain in these regions include:
- The Butterfly Pose
- The Half Happy Baby Pose
- The Pigeon Pose
- The Double Pigeon Pose
Exercises for lower back and hip pain
Apart from stretching, a number of exercises can also yield beneficial effects when a patient participates them while still closely adhering to the limits of their own body.
Some of the best exercises that patients with pain in their lower back and hips can try out, even at home, include:
- Partial crunches
- Hamstring stretches
- Wall Sits
- Press-up back extensions
- Knee to chest
- Pelvic Tilts
In addition to these, some people may also find that symptoms of lower back pain improve if they lift weights now-and-then. When lifting weights, the patient should ensure they keep the weights light, especially at first, and then gradually build their way up to the heavier sets of weights.
If any discomfort is experienced, the patient should stop, take a break and rest up, and then move on to a different activity if they feel up to it.
While there are many exercises that are good for tight hips and a sore lower back, some should rather be avoided as they can make such symptoms worse. Patients who experience these symptoms should try to avoid participating in the following exercises and physical activities:
- Toe touches
- Leg Lifts
Pain affected the hips, and the lower back area can be quite disastrous on a person’s daily life and cause them to feel disabled for the time in which pain is felt. These are considered symptoms and usually associated with an underlying problem, such as sciatica, wear and tear, joint damage, and more.
Understanding the root causes of both hip and lower back pain can help a patient implement a more effective strategy to target the pain symptoms and find relief.
Several types of pharmaceutical drugs have been developed to help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, which may be helpful as a symptomatic relief strategy.
Targeting underlying issues through an appropriate exercise plan that does not put the patient at any further risks can offer a more long-term solution to treating their pain symptoms.