A common complaint from individuals who have chronic pain is that it moves from one area of the body to another. This said, it becomes difficult in these situations to determine where the pain originated and what may be its cause.
In instances where back pain is the main culprit, these discomfort most commonly radiates to nearby areas of the body, causing hip pain, groin pain, and even leg pain.
While there are many instances in which this kind of pain is the cause of a low-risk injury or condition, there are some instances in which the pain might be the side effect of something far more serious.
Keep reading to understand more about radiating pain, what it may mean for you, and what are some possible treatment options.
What is Radiating Pain?
Radiating pain is a term used to refer to pain that is showing up in more than one location but originating from a single source. These kinds of pain often occur with back injuries and hip problems due to the large concentration of joints, ligaments, and nerves contained in that area of the body.
An example of radiating pain could be a muscle strain in the back radiating into the groin area. Because the network of muscles are so interconnected, experiencing lower back inflammation would likely cause pain in this neighboring area of the body.
Possible Causes and Treatment Options
When you are experiencing pain, either acute or chronic, you want to know two things– what is causing the pain and how to get rid of the sensation.
Below is a more in-depth look on the conditions which may cause back pain to radiate to the groin and other areas of the body.
One of the most common causes of radiating pain is from muscle strain. This occurs when the muscles and tendons in the back are moved in a way which damages the tissue, thus resulting in pain and inflammation. This pain can be either sharp or dull, depending on the location and conditions of the injury.
Depending on severity, muscle strain is treated most commonly with rest, over the counter pain medication, or in more severe cases, physical therapy.
Pinched nerves occur when a nerve is compressed unnaturally by surrounding tissue or bone. This compression sends a pain signal to your brain and can cause reactions ranging from a numb, tingling sensation, to sharp pain.
Like muscle strains, the severity will determine your course of treatment. Because pinched nerves usually cause short-term discomfort, rest is often the best medicine. In more severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication.
Arthritis is a common condition many individuals begin to experience as they age. While there are many types (over 100, in fact), many of the most common are caused by wear and tear on the body as you age. This can cause pain and limited range of motion, sometimes beginning in the back and radiating into the groin area.
Arthritis is a complex condition requiring a physical exam and discussion with your healthcare provider on how to move forward. Depending on what is right for you, medications, physical therapy, and different types of surgery may be utilized to manage or solve arthritic pain.
Spinal vertebrae are made of two parts– a soft inner substance and a hard outer shell. This combination allows the vertebrae to move freely and without pain. In cases where the inner lining of a disc becomes misplaced and begins to prolapse, the disc becomes herniated. Suffering from herniated discs, depending on the location, can cause pain, tinging, and a fair amount of radiating pain due to the collection of nerves collected around the spinal column.
Physical therapy and temporary pain medication is the most common treatment for herniated discs. Physical therapy aid in re-strengthening the spine muscles which can help hold the discs in their correct position while the pain medication lessens the immediate pain and poor range of motion caused from the hernia itself.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
This condition can cause a great deal of pain but also be relatively difficult for individuals to pinpoint. This is due to the fact that the location of the sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is not well known.
Looking at the graphic above, the SI joint region sits within the pelvis on either side of the sacrum. SI Joint Dysfunction is a condition in which these joints, either from overexertion or lack of movement, become irritated and inflamed. This pain then commonly radiates to the front of the groin area.
The cause of SI joint pain determines its treatment. In cases where pain is caused by too much movement, icing the lower back and pelvis and refraining from exerting physical activity can lessen symptoms and allow the joint to heal. In cases where SI pain is caused from too little motion, physical therapy can help alleviate symptoms. Both instances often take advantage of some kind of pain medication be it over the counter, prescription, or via injections.
When Pain Indicates a Serious Problem
While back pain is usually the cause of a strain or low-risk condition, it is always best to speak with a doctor for medical advice. This rules out more serious medical conditions such as kidney infections, internal cystitis, and even malignancy.
A Treatment Center Near You
Pain, especially pain that is severe and in several regions of the body, can be anything from uncomfortable or debilitating.
The Arizona Pain and Spine Institute boasts a full team of seasoned professionals who specialize in minimally invasive and clinically proven modalities to help manage both long and short-term pain. We make a point to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies to help reduce pain and increase quality of life.
Contact us at (480) 986-7246 for more information on the service we provide, find which doctor is right for you, and get on the path to discussing your next treatment options.