Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Lack Of Hip Mobility Impacts Low Back Pain Symptoms

May 23, 2023

Do you have low back pain? At our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we often examine your hip mobility even though your low back is your area of complaint. Adjacent areas to the back, including the hip, can influence how we move and perform each day.

A recent study investigated the relationship between hip extension range of motion, hip extension asymmetry, pain intensity, disability index, and compensatory lumbar movement in individuals with nonspecific chronic low back pain. The results revealed a strong correlation between hip extension asymmetry and both pain intensity and disability index, indicating that hip extension asymmetry may play a significant role in the manifestation and severity of low back pain. Furthermore, limited hip extension was associated with compensatory lumbar rotation, suggesting a potential risk of micro-trauma due to compensatory movements. These findings highlight the importance of considering hip extension asymmetry and promoting balanced hip joint mobility in the management of chronic low back pain.

The study emphasizes the relevance of the hip joint in understanding and addressing nonspecific chronic low back pain. The presence of hip extension asymmetry was found to have a substantial impact on pain intensity and disability, indicating its potential contribution to the development and persistence of low back pain. Furthermore, the association between limited hip extension and compensatory lumbar rotation suggests the potential mechanical strain on the lumbar spine due to compensatory movements. Incorporating interventions that address hip extension asymmetry and facilitate optimal hip joint function may have significant implications for reducing pain and improving functional outcomes in individuals with chronic low back pain.

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1. Kim WD, Shin D. Correlations Between Hip Extension Range of Motion, Hip Extension Asymmetry, and Compensatory Lumbar Movement in Patients with Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain. Med Sci Monit. 2020 Sep 24;26:e925080. doi: 10.12659/MSM.925080. PMID: 32968039; PMCID: PMC7523415.