How to tell the difference between lumbar spine pain and hip pain

Centro de la columna Vertebral: August 20, 2019

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How to tell the difference between lumbar spine pain and hip pain

In this article we will briefly explain the differences between lumbar spine pain and hip pain.. Remember that this information is not a substitute for medical consultation and that only a health professional can help determine the causes of your health problem.

On many occasions and unconsciously we tend to confuse hip pain and low back or lumbar spine pain due to certain customs or lack of anatomical knowledge. This is why it is the responsibility of our doctor to clarify certain terminology in order to understand the origin of our pain.

The lumbar spine

The term “lumbar spine” refers to the lower back, where the spine curves into the abdomen. It begins about two or three inches below the shoulder blades, connects to the thoracic spine at the top, and extends down to the sacral spine. The word "lumbar" is derived from the Latin word lumbus, which means lion. It is designed to support energy and flexibility: elevation, torsion and flexion.

The hip

The hip is a joint. But the joint is an abstract entity, it does not exist by itself: it is not the head of the femur, nor is it the acetabulum... it is not even the cavity. The joint is everything: the ends of the bones with their articular cartilage, the synovial and the articular capsule that surrounds it, the ligaments that hold it and the muscular insertions, which more or less tendonous, that move it.

Its functions are basically to support the trunk, transmit the body weight to the feet and allow the movement and displacement of an individual. The hip moves in all planes of space.

Characteristics of the pain

Taking into account the anatomy, functions and differences of these two important body structures, we have differences in the types of pain that can originate from them.

The pain produced or originated in the hip is known as coxalgia. The main symptom is pain although it also appears as stiffness and impaired functionality (mobility).. In the case of osteoarthritis of the hip, which is an example of classic hip pathology, the pain is located in the groin area. Sometimes the pain goes down the anterior side of the thigh and it can also cause pain in the knee, which can make the patient think that the problem is in the knee. Therefore, it is very important to know that hip pain is often not located in the area of the body popularly known as "the hips”.

On the other hand, depending on its origin, lumbar pain can be defined as the painful sensation limited to the lumbar spine that prevents normal mobility. The painful sensation can be limited exclusively to the lumbar region or include one or both lower extremities. Therefore, lumbar or vertebral syndrome is known as pain that is accompanied by paraspinal muscular contractures and affections to most of the vertebral movements (flexion-extension, rotations, etc.).

Visit the Centro de la Columna Vertebral for a Medical Consultation

At the Centro de la Columna Vertebral we are experts in pain management and can help you with joint pain. Schedule an assessment appointment at any of our centers and a group of health professionals will help you with your problem.

Schedule an appointment online here

"The information contained in this blog is of an informative nature; it seeks to promote good health habits in the population and by no means replaces medical consultation. Content reviewed and corrected by Dr. Armando Acevedo Mendez, orthopedics and traumatology specialist. Professional license: 602691".

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