Health Blog

Are Your Hips Killing Your Back?

hips

Are you like many people, with an aching back at the end of the day or worried about lifting an object due to your back going out? You are not alone, over 80% of the population will suffer back pain at one time or another in their life according to CDC data. It is the price we pay for walking upright on two legs. However, the majority of back pain is non-specific, meaning that there is not a primary cause, such as a fracture or disc protrusion. In fact, the mobility and strength of your hip joints is often a major player in the causes of back pain.

 

As physical therapists, we know that a high percentage of people suffering with back pain actually have 3 common problems or a combination of them all:

 

  1. Poor posture
  2. Weak core and gluteus muscles
  3. Poor hip flexibility

 

How hip ligaments hurt your back

Your hip joints have to travel through a very large range of motion. There are thick Y shaped ligaments that surround the hip joints called the iliofemoral ligaments, which provide support. However, with prolonged sitting over weeks, months or years, these ligaments shrink, reducing the natural movement of the hip joints.

 

Whenever you walk, instead of your hips moving naturally, the ligaments yank and pull on the pelvis, which is attached to your spine. This causes inflammation, strain and pain to the back muscles. Furthermore, the loss of hip motion can even cause your pelvis to tilt, altering the posture of your spine and increasing strain. By improving hip mobility, back pain can typically be relieved quite quickly.

 

When you suffer from back pain, make sure that you have an expert physical therapist look at your movement. Even though your back may ache, it may not be the source of your problem. Call Orthopedic and Balance Therapy today to discover how our SPINE Program can pinpoint the cause of your pain, relieve it quickly and teach you how to maintain a healthy spine.

 

Two simple tests to see if your hips are causing your back pain

 

You can easily check your hip motion by doing the following tests. If you discover your hip motion is limited, or you feel pain or strong discomfort, it’s time to get your hips checked by our physical therapy professionals at Orthopedic Balance and Therapy. Try these tests and see how mobile your hips are:

 

Hip Mobility Test

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight out.
  • Cross one ankle above the other knee cross-legged in a figure 4 position.
  • Keep your ankle pressed on the other leg, but now lower the raised knee to the side. Does it lower close to the ground?
  • Repeat on the other side and see if there is a difference.
  • If so, this might indicate a hip motion problem and cause pain in the back on that side or even the opposite side.

 

Hip Squatting Test

  • Stand next to a counter for balance and gently hold on.
  • Keep your knees parallel facing forward.
  • Squat down as far as you can keeping your feet and heels flat on the floor.
  • If you feel a lot of pressure in your knees or calf muscles, you could have a hip movement problem.
  • Try again in front of a mirror. Does your body want to go to one side? This can indicate a hip motion problem on one side.

 

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Our Reviews
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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