Hip & Buttock Pain

Pain, discomfort or tightness in the hip and buttock region is very common. We see it across all adult age groups and across all sorts of levels of fitness and health. Patients who present with symptoms in this area are most often concerned that the problem is in the hip joint itself. However, what we tend to find is that symptoms in this region are most often relieved by treatment directed at the lumbar spine, sacrum and pelvis. Other possible drivers of symptoms in this region is an irritated and sensitive greater trochanteric bursa, irritation (and possibly an acute tear) of the acetabular labrum in the hip joint.

If you choose to see a health professional with a view to addressing symptoms in the hip and buttock region, the consultation should include an assessment of your lumbar spine, sacroiliac joints and the hip joints. My preference is to carry out a series of active movement and passive movement tests to help identify which regions of the lumbopelvic-hip region aren’t moving with the freedom we would expect for your age, fitness level, health status etc. When we marry up information gleaned from the clinical assessment with all your personal information (age, health status, history of injury, aggravating factors, easing factors), we can begin to see a clinical picture emerge that points towards a particular diagnosis. These diagnoses are necessarily tentative, since our main outcome measures are changes in the patient’s report of symptoms such as pain, and we know that the experience of pain is personal and variable.

So I tend to proceed from a provisional diagnosis, with a treatment plan that is low risk. We can use within session and between session changes in symptoms to guide the progress of manual therapy treatment, and the transition to exercise interventions and beyond. The response to treatment is also useful for identifying “red flags”. Red flags are an indicator that there might be something more sinister or pathological driving your symptoms. Although very rare, it is important that we remain vigilant and when we see a set of symptoms that aren’t behaving “as they should”, we liaise with your GP or other specialist to arrange a referral and testing if needs be.

If you’re dealing with pain in the hip and buttock region, and you’re not sure about what is causing it, or how to manage it, give us a call on 9665 9667. We can discuss your specific scenario over the phone and make some initial decisions about how best to proceed.

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