Lower Back and Hip Pain

Are you feeling a burning sensation in your lower back and hips? Are your daily activities becoming harder to do due to the pain? If so, you’re in the right place! Here, we’ll discuss the causes and treatments for reducing or eliminating lower back and hip pain. So let’s get started on tackling this potentially life-altering discomfort so you can start enjoying life again!


Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is a common yet overlooked cause of lower back and hip pain. It’s an irritation or spasm in the piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep in the buttock near the top of the hip joint. When this muscle gets tight or inflamed, it pinches a nearby nerve and the resulting tension can cause pain in surrounding areas, including the buttocks and lower back.

This type of pain usually worsens when sitting for long periods or lying on hard surfaces. It can make it difficult to perform certain hip movements such as entering or exiting a car without pain, as well as prohibit activities such as running, biking, and swimming for any length of time.

Piriformis Syndrome can be mild to moderate in intensity, but if left untreated it can lead to chronic buttock pain that radiates from your mid-back region down into one or both legs on either side of your torso. The good news is that there are some treatments available that help alleviates symptoms by targeting the root cause: your piriformis muscle.

Strengthening exercises involving gentle stretching of this region help reduce inflammation and spasms while increasing range of motion and overall flexibility. Regular low-impact cardio activities are also encouraged to get your body’s natural endorphin flow going — endorphins being nature’s version of morphine!

A physical therapist can also provide targeted stretches and manual massage therapies which help relieve tension, reduce discomfort, and restore movements effectively enjoyed before the onset of symptoms over a long period of time with regular therapeutic intervention or treatment plans incorporating lifestyle habits improvements addressing posture alignment & ergonomics along with other prescribed exercises helping to improve muscular balance along with improved strength & overall conditioning including any other medically necessary evaluations, diagnostics, tests & actual physical treatment plans helpful towards better management & control over current existing Piriformis Syndrome conditions & chronicity related factors.

Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is a condition that causes lower back and hip pain. It occurs when there’s a strain or misalignment in the SI joint, which connects the hip and the upper body. Normally, the joint has a small amount of motion to enable normal movement. However, if that amount of motion increases, pain can result.

In many cases, this type of pain is caused by muscle tension or ligamentous sprain around the sacroiliac joint due to overuse or injury. The triangular-shaped bone located at the bottom rear part of your lumbar spine lies between your hips and makes up the SI joint. Pain from SI joint dysfunction most commonly radiates to your lower back as well as your groin area and upper thigh; although in some cases it can be experienced as far down as your knee.

Treatment for this condition may include rest, over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses on the area for inflammation, physical therapy exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles around the si joint and help you maintain proper posture; then occasionally spinal manipulation performed by a physical therapist or chiropractor.

If home treatments are not providing relief it’s important to check with your doctor who can prescribe more aggressive measures such as steroid injections into the SI joint or other more serious medications if needed.

It’s also important to have a physical exam done so that if there’s any skeletal misalignment this can be addressed with strengthening exercises in order to realign bones and prevent further debilitating problems in extreme cases such as cauda equina syndrome which is an emergency situation often directly related to sacroiliac issues that require immediate attention from medical specialists.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a common cause of both lower back and hip pain, and it can easily be misdiagnosed due to the overlap in symptoms. It’s important to understand what a herniated disc is, to accurately diagnose and treat it.

The spine is made up of bones—vertebrae—separated by disks that act as shock absorbers as we move throughout the day. Over time, these disks begin to break down, thinning out at the center while forming a harder exterior surface. Herniated disks occur when part of the inner center bulges out through a tear in the outer surface. Depending on where this tear occurs and how large it is, it can put pressure on nearby nerves causing pain and other symptoms.

Common signs of a herniated disc include lower back pain along with butt pain, thigh pain that radiates down one leg or both legs, numbness or tingling sensations down the leg(s), or weakness in one or both legs. If you are experiencing any of these painful symptoms it’s important to speak with your doctor so they can accurately diagnose your condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan which could include: physical therapy, hot/cold packs for relieving discomfort, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) for reducing swelling and inflammation; muscle relaxers for relieving muscular spasms; prescription drugs specifically for treating nerve damage associated with disc problems; corticosteroid injections directly into the spine; or even surgery depending on how severe the case is. With an accurate diagnosis, you can find relief from your herniated disk issues without undermining potential health risks.


Arthritis is a common culprit of lower back and hip pain. The two most common types are osteoarthritis, a gradual wear and tear of the joint that tends to affect people beginning at age 40, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is a result of an immune system attack on the joint. Chronic or longer-lasting hip pain can also be caused by bursitis – inflammation between bones and tissues – or other inflammatory conditions.

Regardless of the cause, you should always visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis of your symptoms before any treatment can begin. Treatment for arthritis in the hip typically begins with physical therapy with stretching exercises targeted at relieving pain in the groin area to reduce movement in the affected joint.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help relieve pain as well. For more severe cases, antirheumatic drugs such as corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic medications may be prescribed to reduce pain and manage to swell.

Common symptoms of arthritis include stiffness in joints after periods of inactivity, tenderness or swelling around joints due to inflammation, warmth around affected joints due to increased circulation, cracking sound (known as “crepitus”) when moving the hip joint, and difficulty sleeping through pain at night.

Pain relievers like acetaminophen may be recommended if NSAIDs are not suitable for long-term use, but these should always be taken under medical supervision as they can cause serious side effects with long-term use.

Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves (or nerve entrapment) are a relatively common condition that causes the nerve fibers to become compressed due to too much pressure, in some cases, causing pain and discomfort. This can be caused by repetitive movements and even previous injuries that result in inflammation around the nerves and pain signals sent to the brain instead of proper movement signals. Pinched nerves are usually temporary and can be relieved with physical therapy or taking anti-inflammatory medications for short periods.

In severe cases where persistent pressure remains on a given nerve, there may be permanent nerve damage that affects movement and sensation in various parts of your body. In some cases, scar tissue can develop between vertebrae as part of healing from an injury or illness, leading to a pinched nerve and further chronic pain.

In addition to sprains or other injury-related causes of pinched nerves, age-related changes in the spine can cause compression of the spinal cord giving rise to a more severe form of lower back or hip pain called sciatica. Sciatica is one of the most common causes of pinched nerve symptoms down into the lower legs, feet, and toes. It’s important to seek out medical advice if you’re dealing with ongoing sciatica as oftentimes long-term relief will require treatment beyond medication while permanent discomfort may require surgery if no external cause can be identified or treated medically.

Treating any injury-related pinched nerves typically requires rest and possibly anti-inflammatory medications while undergoing physical therapy exercises designed to correct muscle imbalances leading up to your condition allowing them time to rest without bringing on further irritation

Muscle Strain

Lower back and hip pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strain or other trauma to the area. When muscle strain occurs, it may result in possible tearing of the fibers. As with most injuries, muscle strains can range from mild to more severe issues that require immediate reaction and proper treatment.

At the onset of lower back and hip pain caused by a muscle strain, many people experience dull aches along with occasional sharp pains. If untreated or aggravated further, the pain worsens and becomes intense; this is due to inflammation caused by possible tears to the strained muscles. It is important to seek proper treatment before the injury becomes more serious or severe as this could include physical therapy for torn muscles and ligaments.

Treatment for lower back and hip pain caused by muscle strains includes rest and proper stretching; hold each stretch for a minimum of 10-12 seconds on each side per day as well as on both sides every day until recovery is complete.

Additionally, an acute back support belt may help provide instantaneous relief from these pains during episodes of suffering – common symptoms are often worse when standing up than when you are seated or lying down flat. Be sure to consult with a doctor if pain persists over an extended period of time despite taking precautionary measures such as those listed above.

Doing so will ensure that you receive a proper diagnosis because there may be a possibility that your initial injury has developed into something more severe than just a simple muscle sprain or strain on one hand

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a common cause of lower back and hip pain. It’s more common in people over age 60 as degenerative changes can occur in the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, often due to thickened ligaments and other changes that can develop with age. This narrowing places pressure on the nerves, leading to back and hip pain that is more constant than typical muscle aches.

Typically, the root canal at one or more levels becomes narrower as bone spurs or a herniated disc material extends into it, causing it to become compressed. Thus, when this happens, spinal stenosis is said to exist in your back. As your bones become thicker and denser due to age-related wear-and-tear changes, warm space for these nearby nerve roots decreases — thus escalating symptoms of pain in and around your spine.

In cases exhibit of spinal stenosis, the pain increases with standing or walking, as gravity puts even more pressure on your vertebrae and nerve roots as your back narrows over time. You may experience additional symptoms such as numbness or weakness in one or both legs — especially during walking — shooting pains from the waist down a particular side of the leg to the toes or ankle cramps or an inability to walk for any extended period of time because fatigue sets in quickly.


Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine has an abnormal curvature, resulting in an S-shape or C-shape when viewed from the side. It can occur in any part of the spine area but is particularly common in the lower back and hip areas. In most cases, individuals experience mild scoliosis with no significant stress placed on their spine. However, there are more severe cases of scoliosis that may require medical intervention.

When diagnosing scoliosis, doctors typically use X-rays and CT scans to look at the patient’s bone structure and determine any curves present. The perfect curvature should be 30 degrees or less on both the left and right sides when viewed from a side view. If it exceeds this level then it may be classified as mild scoliosis or more severe cases (over 70 degrees).

In milder cases of scoliosis, treatment often does not involve surgical procedures and instead focuses on physical therapies to help reduce back pain associated with this ailment. This could include exercises that help to strengthen back muscles along with stretches that promote flexibility in skeletal alignment. If a patient experiences more severe curvature accompanied by significant pain then surgery might be necessary to correct the issue.

In these cases where surgery is required, your doctor will work with you on a customized plan that meets your individual needs as every case of scoliosis is unique and there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to addressing this condition. With proper care and monitoring, patients can find relief from both lower back pain and hip discomfort caused by scoliosis so they can regain their quality of life!


Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the vertebrae slips forward onto the bone below. In most cases, this condition is asymptomatic, but frequently people experience lower back and hip pain from spondylolisthesis. This type of pain can range from mild to debilitating and can be caused by something as simple as walking or standing.

The most common type of spondylolisthesis is degenerative spondylolisthesis, which occurs due to repeated stress on the spine resulting in an overstretching or tearing of vital ligaments. A birth defect known as congenital spondylolisthesis may also result in the lower back and hip pain – this occurs when a person’s vertebra has fused together improperly during their development in the womb. Additionally, athletes may develop this condition through repetitive trauma that weakens the spine over time which then leads to vertebral slippage.

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis vary from person to person but often include lower back and hip pain that can be felt through activities such as running, bending, twisting, and lifting heavy objects. Other common signs of this condition include stiffness along with a reduced range of motion, muscle tenderness or spasms around the area of dysfunction (the lumbar region), tingling sensations radiating down into one’s legs or buttocks, and difficulty maintaining proper posture when sitting for prolonged periods.

It’s important to seek medical treatment when experiencing any symptoms related to scoliosis so that an early diagnosis can be made before it causes more significant damage later on down the road!

Frequently Asked Questions

Lower back and hip pain can have many causes, including injury, poor posture, muscle strain, arthritis, and disc problems. It is important to consult a medical professional to determine the cause of your pain and the best treatment plan.

If your lower back pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately: numbness or weakness in your legs, difficulty standing or walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, fever, or a history of cancer.

If you are experiencing pain in your hip or lower back, you may experience a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the hip or lower back area that is worse when sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Pain that worsens when walking, climbing stairs, or performing other activities
  • Aching or stiffness in the hip or lower back area
  • Pain that radiates down the leg or into the buttocks
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Limited range of motion in the hip or lower back area
  • Swelling or tenderness in the hip or lower back area
  • Weakness or numbness in the hip or lower back area

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Lower back and hip pain is a common ailment that can range from minor irritating pains to more serious medical conditions. Pain in the lower back may radiate down the legs, while hip pain may be localized in one area or move to other parts of the body. Thankfully, there are many treatments for lower back and hip pain depending on what is causing the discomfort.

If you have been experiencing any sort of lower back and/or hip pain, it is best to consult with a doctor as soon as you can. Depending on your particular symptoms, they will be able to advise you on which course of action to take. If your pain worsens over time or if an injury has occurred, then medical care should always be sought out right away.

Some of the most common options for treatment are physiotherapy, exercise, and stretching, as well as restorative breathing techniques. Your doctor may also suggest medications like anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids if the situation requires it. It is important to note that all these options serve different purposes and provide benefits depending upon a person’s individual condition.

When it comes down to it, lower back and hip pain can vary greatly between individuals due to different levels of severity or causes of discomfort. It’s important to survey your own condition thoroughly before making any decisions about treatment options and speak with a doctor in order to decide what will work best for you going forward.

Spine Institute NY