Manage Back Pain

Lower Back and Groin Pain.

How are your lower back and groin pain related to each other?



Clients present to me with various cobinations of groin and lower back pain at my physiotherapy clinic on a regular basis. While the link between these two locations of pain may not be quite apparent at first, the reasons become more obvious when we look at different types of groin pain.

So, to make this presentation as straightforward as possible, I will explain lower back-related groin pain by dividing it into four types - and then we will look at where treatment for each type of pain should be directed.

As always, please ensure a correct diagnosis by working with your Physiotherapist or other qualified health professional.



Four Types of Lower Back and Groin Pain:
  1. Coming from your hip.
    This type of groin pain is due to the hip referring pain into your groin. Often people feel deep groin pain which is originating from their hip. Because the hip is a relatively large joint it often refers pain into the lower back area and this can result in buttocks pain also. Treatment needs to be directed towards the hip joint in this instance.


  2. Lower Back and groin PainComing from your lumbar spine.
    This type of groin pain is due to the lumbar spine referring pain into your groin. Each level of your spine refers through nerve connections to different parts of the body. It is your upper lumbar spine which will refer pain to your groin. You may or may not feel pain in the lower back also. Treatment needs to be directed towards the lower back in this instance.


  3. Coming from your adductor muscles.
    This type of groin pain is due to the location of the adductor muscles. When you strain or tear an adductor muscle or tendon you will feel pain anywhere from the midpoint of your inner thigh to deep under your pubic bone. Treatment needs to be directed to the damaged adductor muscle in this instance.


  4. Coming from your sacro-iliac joint.
    This type of groin pain is due to the sacro-iliac joint of your pelvis referring pain into your groin. Referral of pain arises from the muscular, ligament and nerve tissues connecting your pelvis to your groin. Treatment needs to be directed to your pelvis in this instance.

If you have groin and lower back pain it is essential to seek a correct diagnosis to ensure that the correct structure in your body is being treated.



Kelly's Story.
I would like to share a case study that presented to my Physiotherapy clinic recently. Kelly was a road runner who complained of right sided groin pain. His groin pain had been present for 6 weeks and was gradually getting worse. His pain was worse after running and he was stiff and sore in the early mornings. As the day went on his groin pain eased off unless he went running.


Lower Back and groin PainWhen further questioned he reported a mild intermittent ache over the right side of his lower back and buttock. This had been there for almost six months. This did not concern him as it was never severe and always eased with rest. He associated it with bad running posture and sometimes overtraining.


Manual assessment of his hip suggested a hip joint problem. His hip was stiff and painful on joint testing. I arranged an x-ray and it confirmed a moderate degree of osteoarthritis in his hip.


Although Kelly was initially disappointed he quickly realised how lucky he was to have discovered the problem. I advised him to stop road running completely. It is my opinion that if Kelly had continued road running at the same intensity he may have faced a hip replacement within 2 years!


With a good home exercise programme Kelly is enjoying a pain free existence and has taken to swimming and cycling instead!! Never ignore groin pain as early intervention is always better!


Remember, if the root cause of your problem is not found and treated, then your pain is likely to re-occur. Diagnosis is the key!


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The information on this web site does not replace specific medical advice. It should only be used to complement advice from your doctor. Always seek in-person advice from a doctor or other qualified health provider for your particular condition.