Is it My Back or My Hip? Both Hurt!

The hip joints are in use pretty much anytime we move. So are the joints of the spine. Both areas carry a significant physical load, and they sit in close proximity to each other. So, a back doctor is not surprised when a patient complains of pain in both the low back and the hips. To get to the bottom of pain, it is important to address the correct area.


Here, we discuss three common spinal conditions that can coincide with hip pain.

  1. Herniated disc. A disc becomes herniated when it shifts out of place. The disc is the soft, cushiony structure that keeps two vertebrae from rubbing against each other. The disc also creates the space that is necessary for nerve roots to exit the spinal column. When a disc shifts, it can narrow the space and press on a nerve, causing pain that spreads across the low back to one hip. Herniated disc pain may be managed with medication, rest, posture changes, ice or heat, or physical therapy. If conservative treatments do not resolve pain, spinal decompression may be needed.
  2. Pinched nerve. Technically, the pain that results from a herniated disc is caused by a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves can result from several conditions, though. Examples include local inflammation and acute injury. Pinched nerve pain can feel like tingling or numbness, or it may feel like shooting pain. If the conservative methods mentioned for herniated disc pain do not work, a minor surgical procedure may be needed.
  3. Spinal osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that can affect any joint in the body. Spinal osteoarthritis involves the inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage in the spine. Without proper cartilage structure, the vertebrae may shift and compress nearby nerves. The discomfort of lumbar osteoarthritis can cause a change in gait, which spreads the load of body weight disproportionately to the hips. 

Doctors do all that they can to treat back pain conservatively and without surgery. At our Tampa facility, Dr. Watson relieves nerve compression with a minimally-invasive discectomy and neural decompression procedure. Treatment uses a Thulium laser to treat the posterior annulus of each symptomatic herniated disc for quick results with minimal downtime. 

Get rid of back pain without invasive surgery. Call (813) 920-3022 to schedule your consultation.

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