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Referred Pain (Hip & Groin)

Injuries > Hip & Groin > Referred Pain

 

What is referred pain?

Referred pain is a term given to pain that is felt in one region of your body although it originates from another. This is commonly seen in clinical practice.

There are several structures in the body that, when injured, may cause the patient to experience pain in the hip or groin. This can occur even though there may be nothing wrong with the hip or groin itself.

Causes of referred pain to the hip and groin

The lower back and sacroiliac joints are some of the most common areas of the body that, when injured, may cause pain that is referred to the hip or groin. Some of the more common conditions which may cause these symptoms include:

Signs and symptoms of referred pain to the hip and groin

Patients with hip or groin pain that is referred from another source may or may not experience symptoms from the originating source. Patients typically experience a dull ache in the hip or groin that is poorly localized and may vary in severity or location. They may also experience pain or stiffness in other locations in the body such as the lower back, thigh, or lower leg. Occasionally pain may also be felt in the ankle or foot. These symptoms are usually experienced on the same side of the body as the hip or groin pain, although sometimes, the opposite side or both sides may be affected. Occasionally patients may also experience pins and needles or numbness in the affected leg. This most commonly affects the foot and can sometimes affect the other leg or both legs.

Patients with referred pain to the hip or groin normally experience restricted movement and abnormalities on assessment (such as tenderness on palpation) in the specific region of the body causing the pain. Local assessment of the hip and groin may demonstrate no significant abnormalities although patients may experience tenderness on firmly touching the hip or groin regions. In long standing cases of hip or groin pain that is referred form another source, patients may develop muscle tightness in the hip or groin muscles.

Diagnosis of referred pain to the hip and groin

A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist is usually sufficient to diagnose referred pain to the hip or groin and the underlying cause of symptoms. Further investigations such as X-rays, MRI or CT scans are often required to assist with diagnosis.

Treatment for referred pain to the hip and groin

Treatment for patients with hip or groin pain that is referred from another source varies greatly depending on the cause. Accurate diagnosis from a physiotherapist or doctor is therefore required to determine the most appropriate treatment. Treatment of the underlying cause of symptoms should result in improvement in the hip or groin pain.

Find a Physio

Find a physiotherapist in your local area who can assess and treat pain that is referred to the hip or groin.

 

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Referred Pain (Hip & Groin)

 

Figure 1 - Areas of the body causing referred pain to the hip and groin.

 

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