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Back or hip problem ?

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Old 01-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Back or hip problem ?

I am having pain in my left lower back and hip. It feels like I am getting an injection of medicine in my left buttock and it sometimes feels like my hip or leg is going into a cramp or going to go out from underneath me. This happened getting out of the shower on the morning of Dec 27th and then it felt like I had a knot in my left buttock almost all day. Is this a back or hip problem ? This has been happening on and off for approximately 2 months now. It can figure out what is causing it because it happens sometimes when I am in bed or just sitting in a chair.

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Old 01-07-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

My best guess would be a problem with your lower lumbar spine, probably at L4-L5 or L5-S1. What we perceive as "hip" pain is often radiating pain that is coming from a nerve in one of these two segments that is being irritated or compressed. Another possibility is with the left SI joint. If you enjoy doing a little research on the internet, you can read up on SI joint dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, and just in general, lower back pain.

The nerves that come out of the spine at the levels I mentioned above innervate the buttocks, groin, and outer "hip" area. Again, check out a dermatome map and you can see which nerve innervates which part of the body -- it is almost like a road map that gives the doctor a good idea where to start looking for an issue. If a patient tells a doctor his big toe is numb, the doctor knows to check the L4 nerve, for example.

Your symptoms sound like a damaged disc (perhaps a herniation or a disc bulge)...and as you describe it, at L5-S1.

If you want some answers you can try your family doctor, or you can skip that step and make an appointment with a spine specialist. I don't know how long it has been since you were first bothered by these symptoms. You can try to wait it out to see if it goes away. A great percentage of back problems do resolve themselves. If that is what you choose to do, I would suggest you avoid any activity that involves bending or twisting at the waist, pushing or pulling, lifting anything heavier than about 10 pounds, and just, generally baby your back. Drink lots of water and other fluids. Avoid sitting for long periods of time, and cut back on any strenuous exercise, but keep walking to keep fit. If it is a disc herniation, it can heal on its own, with judicious care on your part and a few changes in lifestyle.

Old 01-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

I have the same pain and was told it's probably a bad disc or the sciatic nerve being irratated.

Old 01-11-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

I agree with Teton. I had almost identical issues as yourself. It went on for almost 2 years. I had fallen a lot and my buttocks burned like hell also. I had all the shots and PT and then finally seen a Neurosurgeon. He did an MRI and yes I had a disc protrusion, Mod/severe DDD at l5-s1 and annular tear. My discogram was positive at l5-s1 so I had a TLIF fusion 1 year ago. I gave it time and after 4 months I had to finally get across to the surgoen that even though my films looked good I still had hip/LBP to the left side and was having falls from weakness. The PM doc finally seen me again and did a diagnostic SI Joint injection and the pain went away instantly. They figured out my SI Joint on the left side had dysfunction(hypermobile). I had cortisone and a RFA with little relief. I have finally decided to have a fusion on my L Si Joint. I can't deal with the pain anymore. I would have needed the fusion at l5-s1 eventually but they feel if the had addressed the SI Joint initally I may have been able to do things to increase the strength there and avoided the problems I now have. Once u are fused at an area the adjacent areas are stressed and in 75% of people with fusion at L5-S1 within 5 years develop SI Joint issues. IMO I would have them looked at regardless of what an MRI shows. Most Dr's dont look at them enough. I would love to have had the option of Prolotheraphy, PT or anything to help them not being forced to have 2 surgeries with in 14 months. Hope u find out what is wrong and always see more than 1 DR for opinions.. Take care.

Old 01-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

Hi. I also had pain, what I like to call, in the middle of my butt cheek, left side. Thought it was my hip. Had an MRI and found out yesterday that I have stenosis of the lower spine, L4 and L5, that is what the pain is. The rest of my spine looks good, just that area. I walk with a limp because of this and it aches all the time. Don't know if this is your problem too but I was thinking it might be.

Old 01-18-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

Hi! I had very similar pain many years ago after having my spine fused from C6-S1. Both my SI joints were moving and causing me lots of pain. Fusing my joints worked perfectly and I didn't suffer any longer from that kind of pain. However.....for the past 5 months I've been experiencing hip pain and pain where my femur and my hip and my lower back come together. I can't put any weight on my right leg whatsoever. I've had every test known to man done and all comes back negative. Not a thing wrong that can be visualized on CT, MRI, bone scan, injections of cortisone and biopsy of cells in my hip itself. I have a hip replacement on that side so it makes it really hard to figure out. The doc tested for MRSI (because I developed it when I had my hip replacement in 07) in my hip joint. My femur looks fine even though I broke it at the time of the hip replacement and it was operated on to fix the fracture and put some metal around it to keep it in position. I've just about given up. On fluroscopy when the cells were taken nothing showed up either. So now where do I turn? I feel your pain!!

Old 01-19-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
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Re: Back or hip problem ?

Hi BrittleBones, thanks for the reply. That is where my back hurts too, lower back, hip. Sounds like you have been through a lot. I'm new to this pain, told it is my L4 and L5 stenosis. I was wondering if yours is from nerves? I was reading some articles on the internet about back problems and sometimes the hip hurts due to nerves, in fact on article as talking about just that, not being able to move one leg, sometimes both, due to the spine pressing on nerves.
Sounds like you have done everything possible to find the cause.
I don't know how but they must be missing something. Hang in there and keep trying to find the answer.
Never give up.

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