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back or hip pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
how can one tell the differance between hip and spine pain? My lumbar pain started off feeling like my right hip was falling apart. until I had the MRI I was positive it wa hip problems.


  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've wondered the same thing. Sometimes I think my hips hurt worse than my back but the hip joint doesn't hurt to walk. Did you also have an mri of your hips?
    I hope someone can answer your question.

  • actually radiates in to my hip area. I was also sure that I had hip issues but xrays showed them to be clear. When I tell my doc that I have pain in my hip he usually corrects me to say hip area. I think that you would need tests to be sure.
  • Even as recently as this last episode. But my problems all stem from my lumbar spine. Have your doctor at least do xrays to see if there is any problem with your hips, it still took my doctor about 3 months of complaining with my hips before he ordered an MRI on my back, took the loss of feeling in my legs to get the 1st MRI.

    Hope things improve for you soon.
  • i've had 2 mris of lumbar spine and had two rounds of steroid injections and now a discogram to find out i have 4 of the 5 lumbar discs that are crumbling and will need to be fused. can't wait for this surgery, 5 days in the hospital flat on my back, oh joy! can anyone tell me what i'm in for while in the hosp.?
  • its easy for dr to tell if your hip has deteriorated. a simple xray will show. grinding pain when standing is a symptom. groin pain is another hip symptom. if your lucky it will be one or the other. i was unlucky and it turned out to be both hips and the back.
  • Hi Debi

    I couldn't agree more! For years I thought mine was hip pain and it turns out it was all coming from the lumbar region of my spine! Even the professionals couldn't tell and the question of pain being referred from my spine wasn't mentioned.


  • I think what most of us refer to as "hip pain" is actually not coming from the hip socket. It is from soft tissue attachments that extend from the sacral area over to the attachment site near the "hip."

    If you take a moment and look at an anatomy chart, you'll see where the actual hip socket is. Another problem is that many nerves, ligaments, etc from the pelvis are also closely attached at and near these same points. Sometimes when you think you have a lower back problem, in reality it can be a problem with loose pelvic muscles. Pelvic floor dysfunction can mimic the symptoms of lower lumbar disc problems.

    It is common to have pain in the buttocks/"hip" area when there is a lower lumbar problem -- a disc problem, stenosis, and of course, sciatic pain. If you check a dermatome map you will see how the lower lumbar spinal nerves refer pain out to the lower limbs in predictable patterns. The pain can run from the lower back, through the hip, through the thigh, calf and even down to the foot and toes.

    It is easy enough to have a hip X-ray to rule out hip issues. So many of us with lower lumbar problems have pain in the hip area. And you do not need to have ANY back pain, either!! My pain is all in my legs and hip area...nothing in the back.

    Debi, you can read about lumbar fusion here:

    If you look on the part of the forum under Back Surgery and Neck Surgery you will see there are many threads pertaining to lumbar fusion. Feel free to ask any questions -- many of us have been through this experience...at least one time. :<

    Again, welcome.

  • after many MRIs and discogram they found it is lumbar problem. They will go in on the 22cd of Oct and fuse the lower part of lumbar to S1-L5-L4-L3 into a hard cage. I was hoping for a soft cage with some flexablity but there is too much damage. I don't know what to expect but the Dr. is pretty possative about the outcome. Is there much pain from the procedure? Do I have to stay flat on my back? What am I in store for?
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