Your hip bone’s connected to your . . . back bone. (Come on Sing it with me.)
Determining the difference between back pain and hip can be challenging and of course once you decide what is causing your pain, then what do you do?
To make this even more confusing, we tend to refer to the “hip” even when technically that would still be your back, and sometimes we don’t even consider the hip when that is the problem.
Let’s take back pain first.
Back pain is the second most common reason for missed work right behind the common cold. You might think that an x-ray or an mri is the “gold standard” in diagnosing a hip or low back problem but in some instances, they can be misleading because you may find something on the x-ray or mri that actually has nothing to do with your problem and isn’t really causing you any trouble.
So, what does “Low back pain” look like?
Pain that starts in your low back and/or buttocks and may or may not radiate down the back side of your thigh or down your hamstring muscles and sometimes into the back side of your calf is generally going to be “back pain.”
Pain generated from your hip tends to look a little different. Pain generated from your hip will typically affect your groin area and may radiate into the front of the thigh but very rarely goes past the knee.
As a side note, a male in his late teens to early thirties with “Hip sounding pain” should see his medical doctor immediately because what I just described as “hip pain” could also be testicular cancer, which of course should be addressed immediately.
But what do we do about it Doc?
Whether your pain is being generated from your low back or from your hip, a conservative course of chiropractic adjustments and exercises aimed at improving strength and mobility should be the first course of care because low back and hip pain is generally caused by poor alignment and mobility in the body.
In fact, sometimes something like a stiff ankle can cause your hip or low back pain because it changes the way that you move and puts excessive stress on the hip and low back.
Think of what might happen if you drove your car around with the wheels out of alignment. Your tires would wear out faster. Right?
Same thing happens with your joints.
Of course, sometimes the damage to your joints becomes so severe that surgery is the only course of action, but we want to avoid that if possible because surgery always creates other problems.
Both hip and low back problems cause a decrease in quality of life. They keep you from playing with your kids and/or grandchildren. They might even keep you from being able to do your job and earn a good living.
The good news is that there is hope and the earlier you do something about your hip or low back pain, the easier it is to get help.
I hope this information helps you.
Yours in health,