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Functional Medicine Explained
Categories: ChiropracticSciatica

Hip Pain and Sciatica

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People will often visit the doctor looking for hip pain relief while other people will often attempt to take care of it themselves. Hip pain can frequently occur due to an injury or underlying condition as well as a variety of health issues. However, not many people who visit the doctor or attempt to take care of their hip pain expect it to originate as a result of sciatica. Many people’s misunderstanding concerning the origin of their pain is due to not understanding back and hip anatomy.

Understanding Back Pain

Because of the complexity of the spinal cord and its nerve roots, back pain can often radiate or travel down buttocks, hips, and thighs, sometimes even extending as far down into the legs, knees, and feet.  Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is a collection of symptoms, rather than a single injury or underlying condition, caused by the compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is characterized by pain, tingling sensations, and numbness along the length of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the human body. It extends from the lower back, down the buttocks, hips, and thighs, into the legs, knees, and feet. The irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve may also cause painful symptoms in the upper extremities. It’s essential to understand that an injury or underlying condition, as well as a variety of health issues, can cause back pain and sciatica. Sciatica is generally a symptom associated with numerous other medical problems.

By way of instance, a herniated disc can cause back pain and sciatica. People may experience “hip pain”, however, the painful symptoms may not necessarily be indicative of a hip joint health issue. Degenerative disc disease can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal, referred to as spinal stenosis, which may cause hip pain. Spinal stenosis can cause hip pain with physical activity and fatigue. Spinal stenosis symptoms are relieved with sitting and will re-occur when physical activity is resumed.

You will find differences in painful symptoms involving a herniated disc, spinal stenosis pain, and other health issues. Painful symptoms associated with a herniated disc often worsen when sitting and improve with physical activity. A herniated disc, much like spinal stenosis, can also cause sciatica and it may often be due to degenerative disc disease. Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, will generally radiate or travel down the buttocks, hips, and thighs into the legs, knees, and feet.

Understanding Hip Pain

If the health issue originates in the hip joint itself, common painful symptoms may often include groin pain on the affected side, which can occasionally radiate down the inner region of the thigh into the front of the leg. The painful symptoms can also travel to the knee, making healthcare professionals and patients believe their pain is associated with a knee problem rather than a hip problem. Walking worsens the pain and with continued physical activity, the pain increases.

Hip pain caused by health issues, such as arthritis, can cause painful symptoms to gradually worsen over time.  Minimal physical activity, even slight movements while in bed, can also ultimately worsen the painful symptoms. Other health issues, such as advanced congenital hip dysplasia or avascular necrosis of the hip, can also cause these painful symptoms. When the hip pain originates due to arthritis, the movements of the hip joint may often be limited or restricted.

Occasionally, hip pain can be a result of another health issue referred to as bursitis. A weak abductor muscle, a leg length discrepancy, overuse, and a deteriorating hip joint can ultimately cause bursitis. Often times, the true source of a patient’s bursitis cannot be determined. Painful symptoms associated with bursitis include pain and discomfort on the side of the hip with prolonged walking, lying sideways in bed or when rising or standing from a chair as well as with similar movements.

Sciatica Diagnosis

A comprehensive medical history and physical evaluation can help healthcare professionals determine the source of the patient’s symptoms. X-rays demonstrate specific bony/cartilage modifications, however, x-rays don’t always necessarily demonstrate health issues associated with soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, and even nerves. X-rays may also help diagnose degenerative disc disease when the patient is feeling well and not experiencing any painful symptoms.

As previously mentioned above, because x-rays only demonstrate certain bony/cartilage changes, it’s essential for healthcare professionals to also request the patient to have an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, to confirm the presence of health issues associated with soft tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerve roots. That’s why it’s essential to undergo the background and physical evaluation which could confirm the diagnosis before beginning with the best treatment.

Sciatica Treatment

The two types of health issues are frequently treated utilizing anti-inflammatory drugs and/or medications, especially in mild to moderate instances. Some types of analgesics can also be utilized intermittently. It is essential to understand that both health issues can be improved considerably through weight loss, stretches and exercises. Epidural blocks will help several types of spine health issues. Utilizing a cane when walking might help improve back pain, hip pain, and sciatica.

Surgical interventions, whether if it’s a hip replacement for hip arthritis or spine surgery due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or any other type of health issue, is generally considered to be the last resort for treating back pain, hip pain, and sciatica. Full physical evaluations are recommended and conservative treatment approaches are often tried first. Remember, there are many treatment options for hip pain and sciatica. Diagnosis is the first step to effective treatment.

Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is a collection of symptoms, rather than a single injury or condition, characterized by pain and discomfort, tingling sensations, and numbness anywhere along the length of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body which extends from the lower back, down the buttocks, hips, and thighs, into the legs, knees, and feet. The compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve and irritation due to a herniated disc, among other health issues, can ultimately cause sciatica symptoms and low back pain. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight


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The purpose of the article was to discuss and demonstrate hip pain associated with sciatica. Sciatica is a collection of symptoms characterized by pain and discomfort, tingling sensation, and numbness. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topic Discussion: Foot Orthotics

Low back pain and sciatica are common health issues which affect many individuals worldwide. However, did you know that chronic pain may be due to foot problems? Health issues originating in the foot may ultimately cause imbalances in the spine, such as poor posture, which can cause the well-known symptoms of low back pain and sciatica. Custom foot orthotics, individually designed with 3-arch support can help promote overall health and wellness by supporting and promoting good posture and correcting foot problems. Custom foot orthotics can ultimately help improve low back pain and sciatica.


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Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sport Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We a focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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