Hip & Lower Back Pain

Our experience gets results

Hip and lower back pain are the most common issue patients come and see us about.

It can be a tricky thing to treat as these areas are closely linked by the same nerves. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be hard to identify the cause of your pain.

For example, long-term back pain can cause weakness in the hip muscles which over time will affect the hip joint. Or your back can be sore because it’s trying to compensate for a weak hip joint caused by wear and tear.

If you suffer from sciatica pain, your back or hip pain can be accompanied by weakness in your legs as well as tingling or numbness in your feet. But similar symptoms can be found with arthritis or a trochanteric bursitis. So finding and identifying the reason for your pain is vital to help you get better.

Time to take control

Getting to the root of things is our specialty. That’s why we will always look at both your hip and back to find the underlying cause of your problem and treat it effectively.

There are different types of back and hip pain with different causes. But whether you feel acute pain from a recent incident or suffer from long-term pain, our expert physiotherapists will determine the cause and the right treatment for you.

Watch as Benji explains some of the causes of back pain

Physiotherapy for acute hip & back pain

Acute back pain is often triggered by something as simple as lifting a plant pot from the cupboard, brushing your teeth or a sneeze. One wrong move can cause painful muscles spasms and restrict your movements significantly. This is your body protecting the injured area to give it a chance to heal.


The reason for acute back pain is generally a bulging intervertebral disc and/or when a joint between two vertebrae is inflamed. As scary as this may sound and as painful and limiting it can be – a bulging disc is perfectly normal and treatable with physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy for chronic hip & back pain

If acute back pain is not treated properly or your back is suffering from wear and tear, your pain can get chronic. Any pain lasting longer than a few weeks, even if there are periods of relief, is considered and treated as chronic pain.


Which means that chronic back pain is always there in the background, sometimes better, sometimes worse. But it’s something you carry with you every day.

The NHS’s response to back pain often only delivers a short relief, with painkillers from your GP or unspecific exercises which offer no relief in the long-term. But chronic back pain is treatable with good physiotherapy, there’s no need to accept the pain.

To help you with your long-term back pain, we will start by identifying the source of your discomfort – which is half the battle. Then the wide range of treatments at our disposal, commitment & patience will do the rest.

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What happens next?

During your initial assessment in our physiotherapy clinic in Dunfermline, Fife, we will talk about you, your pain and how it affects your life.


Our physiotherapist will then assess:

  1. Your joints: Your range of movement tells us what joints are affected. 
  2. Your muscles: Your muscle strength and agility shows us what muscles are affected and if there are any trapped nerves.
  3. Your reflexes: If required, this helps us find out where in your back or hip the nerve is trapped.
  4. Your hips: If your back is not the cause of the pain, we run extensive tests to help us determine the source.
  5. Your diagnosis: After getting to the root of your pain, you get a diagnosis, we explain to you what’s going on and put together a treatment plan for you.
Acupuncture for back & hip pain Fife
Physiotherapy for back and hip pain

What can be done about it?

In general, your treatment depends on the severity of your pain and the integrity of the tissue. We have a wide range of treatments available to relieve your hip & back pain:


  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Ultrasounds
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Taping


To help you recover, we will also devise an exercise plan for you, specifically targeting your injury. Once the pain lessens, we will put a specific strengthening exercise programme in place for you to bring you back to your full fitness.


We strongly believe that if you understand your pain, you can manage it better. So we will always explain to you what’s going on and what you can do to get better.


Regular massage and acupuncture might be required during that period to help you keep the symptoms at bay. Finally, you will be discharged with the knowledge and the exercises to prevent the problem from coming back.


In rare cases, we might need an X-ray or MRI to check the extent of the injury.

Common causes for hip & back pain

As mentioned above, ether are many injuries that can lead to back or hip pain. Here are the most common ones:


  • Discogenic back pain (with or without nerve pain): which means pain coming from an intervertebral disc bulge in your back
  • Back facet joint pain (with or without nerve pain): when the joint between two vertebrae in your back becomes inflamed (very commonly seen after a car incident or a violent rugby tackle)
  • Spondylitis and arthritis in the back due to wear and tear.
  • Spondylolisthesis: when one back bone slip over another. It sounds horrible but it is a very common problem and not as painful as you think.
  • Muscle tension due to stress.
  • Hip arthritis
  • Hip muscle weakness and tear (groin muscles tear, for example).
  • Gluteal/Trochanteric bursitis
  • Hip impingement
  • Pubis symphysis joint pain
  • Back and hip pain caused by other part of the body such as knees or feet.