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Mobility in This Joint Can Be a Reason for Back Pain

Publish Date
November 22, 2021

Mobility in This Joint Can Be a Reason for Back Pain


Believe it or not, your hips play a significant role in the health of your back, and limited hip mobility can cause back pain. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, more than 80 percent of the population will suffer from back pain at least once in their life. It is the price we pay for walking upright on two legs. However, most back pain is non-specific, meaning that there is no primary cause, such as a fracture or disc protrusion. The mobility and strength of your hip joints are often a major player on the grounds of back pain.


As physical therapists, we know that a high percentage of people suffering from back pain have three 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 an extensive range of motion. There are thick Y-shaped ligaments called the iliofemoral ligaments that surround the hip joints and provide support. However, with prolonged sitting over weeks, months, or years, these ligaments tighten, reducing the natural movement of the hip joints.


Whenever you walk, instead of your hips moving naturally, the tightened ligaments pull on your pelvis, which attaches to your spine, and this causes inflammation, strain, and pain to the muscles in your back. Furthermore, the loss of hip motion can even cause your pelvis to tilt, altering the posture of your spine and increasing strain. Improving hip mobility can relieve back pain rather quickly.


When you suffer from back pain, make sure that an expert physical therapist examines your movement. Even though your back may ache, it may not be the source of your problem.


Two Simple Tests to See If Your Hips are Causing Your Back Pain


You can quickly check your hip motion by performing the following tests. If you discover your hip motion is limited or feel pain or intense discomfort, it is time to get your hips checked by our physical therapy professionals. 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 four 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 limited hip mobility, which can cause back pain across your pain, on one side or 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 mobility problem.

∙ Try again in front of a mirror. Does your body tend to lean to one side? If so, this may indicate limited hip mobility on one side.


Physical therapists commonly treat back pain and help build the correct program to address your goals.So please do not wait and schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists to address your pain or prevent these injuries from occurring. Call Comprehensive Physical Therapy today at (985) 869-7221 or visit our website at www.cptnola.com and schedule your personalized evaluation with one of our physical therapists.

By Dr. Billy Beaudreau, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT


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