Hip & back relationship

by Jane
(Central West NSW, Australia)

Hello Sarah,
My husband has a strong back and has used it as such all his life (60yrs) - grew up on the land & has always been physically active & fit. He has for many years experienced relatively frequent episodes of lower back pain, which he is usually able to relieve (temporarily) with stretching. He's now in a bit of trouble with hip pain which he feels is linked to hs back....
We'd be v interested to hear your thoughts please
Kind regards,

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Sep 30, 2013
hip and back relationship
by: Sarah

Hello Jane,
First of all, allow me to apologise that some of the posts including yours, seem to have escaped my notice.
If it's not too late, I will reply now.
There is indeed a very close relationship between back and hip. Not only does the back have a habit of referring pain out over the hip, but after this is been happening for a long time, the structures underlying where the pain is develop symptoms in their own right. The underlying muscles and the fascia (the fine film of tissue that encapsulates each muscle like a plastic bag) become much tighter and start to make everything less comfortable.
However, from what you say, it just may be possible that your husband is starting to develop hip degeneration (sorry to be depressing!) at the ball and socket joint. This can be speeded up in effect by the back problem because of the business of 'residual raised tone' of the muscles because of what's going on in the back. What I'm saying here is that the back problem causes the muscles of the hip to clench slightly which jams the head of the femur (thigh bone) into the socket more. This speeds up hip breakdown.
There's lots of things you can do about this yourself, especially in the early stages, when you can keep the hip muscles loose and stretchy, while at the same time up in the lubrication of the ball and socket joint. It may sound like a ghastly plug but there is a chapter in the book 'Body in Action' which he really should read.
Hope this helps and once again please excuse my oversight.

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