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Is Hip Pain linked to Sciatica?

Updated: Apr 26, 2023


hip pain

Hip pain is a common complaint among people of all ages, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common types of hip pain is sciatica, which is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back down to the feet. When this nerve becomes compressed or irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hip and refer pain to other areas of the body. In this blog post, we will explore the link between hip pain and sciatica and discuss some ways to manage this condition.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. This can happen due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a bone spur. When the nerve is compressed, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hip, buttock, and leg. The pain may be severe and can affect your ability to walk, sit, or stand for long periods of time.

How is sciatica related to hip pain?

Hip pain can be a symptom of sciatica, as the sciatic nerve runs through the hip and down the leg. When the nerve is compressed or irritated, it can cause pain in the hip and other areas of the body. The pain may be dull or sharp and may radiate down the leg. You may also experience numbness or tingling in the hip and leg.

In addition to hip pain, sciatica can also cause pain in the lower back, buttock, and leg. The pain may be worse when you sit, stand, or walk for long periods of time. It may also be worse when you cough, sneeze, or laugh.


However, sciatica is often misdiagnosed as another form of hip pain, Piriformis Syndrome has a referral pain pattern very similar to that of sciatica. In this instance the sciatic nerve does get impinged by tightness in the piriformis muscles as it runs underneath it travelling through our buttocks and down the legs. This syndrome can be very effectively treated with soft tissue to work to the lower back, gluteal muscles and legs.

How can you manage hip pain caused by sciatica?

If you are experiencing hip pain due to sciatica, there are several things you can do to manage the pain and improve your quality of life. Here are some tips:

1. Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help to relieve tension in the muscles around the hip and lower back, reducing pain and discomfort. Nerve flossing may also be very effective movement to ease the symptoms of sciatica. Nerve flossing gently mobilises compressed or irritated nerves through a set of simple exercises. It may also help relieve the pain and help increase the range of mobility in the joint. A great article explaining the exercises can be found at Medical News Today.


2. Heat therapy: Applying heat to the affected area can help to reduce pain and inflammation. You can use a hot water bottle, a heating pad, or even take a warm bath or shower.


3. Treatment: Myofascial release and trigger point therapy work which targets the affected muscles and soft tissue may help to relieve tension in the muscles and increase blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing. A tailored movement and mobility program can also be provided at the same time so that you can continue to help yourself between treatments.


4. Rest: Even though I don’t advocate rest over movement it is important to stop whatever movement is aggravating the symptoms. You may need to stop or alter your exercise routine for a while, doing less intensive exercise such as yoga or qi gong, but continuing to move in a gentler way so as not to exasperate the problem.


In conclusion, hip pain can be a symptom of sciatica, which is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve. If you are experiencing hip pain, it's important to determine the underlying cause, seek help and develop a treatment plan. With proper care and management, you can reduce pain and improve your quality of life.






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