Hip and Lower Back Pain

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Hip Pain


Lower Back and Hip Pain
The lower back and hip are closely connected

If you have lower back and hip pain, then it helps to know that the two probably linked. Why? Well, your hip is closely connected to your lower back both geographically and by nerve referral. An awareness of this fact makes it easier to understand why you may have hip and lower back pain at the same time.

In my experience, this type of pain commonly arises from one of three areas -

  • from the muscles connecting your back to your hip;
  • from the ligaments connecting your back to your pelvis;
  • nerve impingements from the lumbar spine.

Now, let’s look at each one in turn:

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Hip and lower back pain - the connection

  1. Muscles connecting your back to your hip: When your gluteal muscles become overactive and tighten, it can result in excess strain being placed on your lower back and hip resulting in pain. This tightness can be due to poor posture over time or your muscles becoming tight due to lack of stretching.

    Injuries directly to the gluteal muscles may also result in tightness and subsequent lower back and hip pain if not managed well during recovery. Sourcing the causes of the pain is the key to a good recovery. Treatment in this case should be to the gluteal muscles directly and posture correction as required.

  2. Ligaments connecting your back to your pelvis: Straining the ligaments around your buttocks and pelvis may result in this type of pain. This area can also be referred to as the sacro-iliac joint. Due to this area linking your lower back and hip you may feel your pain from your lower back through to your hip. Treatment in this presentation should be primarily to the ligament that is strained and addressing posture as well as back stretching exercises when indicated.

  3. Nerve impingements arising from your lumbar spine: Your lower back can refer pain anywhere into your buttocks and legs. The area it refers to depends on which joint in your spine is at fault. If it is a joint high in your lower back you may feel pain in your hip also. This relationship is due the referral pattern of the nerve impinged. Treatment in this case should be by a suitably qualified physiotherapist or medical professional to the joint in your spine that is impinging the nerve.

If you would like to learn more about hip pain, click here, or if you would like to learn more about lower back pain, click here


While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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