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Lower Back and Hip Pain

Updated on June 28, 2011

Lower Back and Hip Pain

Here are some simple tips and ideas to help with your lower back and hip pain. If your pain is severe or persistent please make sure you consult your doctor.


Massage can be a great help with acute and chronic lower back and hip pain in various ways.

Massage induces deep relaxation, reducing tension in the affected muscles. Massage increases endorphin levels, endorphins are the body's natural painkillers. Massage helps to increase the circulation of the blood in the affected area which again helps to reduce pain.

There are many schools of massage therapy from Swedish massage to shiatsu and they are all effective to varying degrees. My personal favourite and the one I find most effective is Chinese energy massage (an mo). However any form of massage will help with the pain, get a friend or partner and some walnut or grape seed oil, get them to massage gently down the back and sides of the body towards the feet. Avoid massaging the spine directly.

Massage Chairs

Massage chairs have improved beyond recognition in the last few years, manufacturers like Sanyo, Panasonic and Human Touch have created chairs which can perform various massage techniques such as percussion, kneading and grasping, shiatsu and vibration, many come with heating integrated which can be of extra benefit to those suffering from back pain. After even a short session in a good quality chair you'll feel like you are floating on air.

Video of a good Massage Technique for Back Pain

This video shows some techniques which are good for the back. The last segment shows a particularly good one for reducing lower back pain.

Acupressure and Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be very effective for treating lower back pain. However in my experience finding a practitioner who fully understands the principles can be difficult. Many practitioners of acupuncture and acupressure (especially western doctors who have added acupuncture to their resume) have learnt it by rote, relying on a chart and a list of symptoms to apply the needles whilst not understanding the underlying principles. There are Chinese Medical Centres in the major cities of most countries using these or practitioners who had been personally recommended to you may be the best way to proceed.
A simple technique which can be very effective and easily done by a friend or partner is to apply pressure to an acupuncture point found at the base of the buttock at the centre of the back of the leg (see illustration below). A knot or lump will often be found at this point and applying gentle yet firm pressure for five minutes every day will greatly increase the circulation in the lower back muscles and reduce pain.

Salves and Balms

There are many proprietary salves and balms available on the market. Most of these work as counter-irritants, the main active ingredient is usually some form of Menthol (extracted from mint or synthesised) or Capsasin (extracted from chilli). These work by irritating the skin surface and thereby increasing the circulation to the underlying areas. They can be quite effective in reducing lower back pain but avoid overuse and do not use just before bed if you are sensitive to them, as they can have a stimulating effect on the body.
Tiger balm, Icy Hot, and the Chinese tincture Zheng Gu Shiu are all inexpensive and effective.

Hot and Cold Packs

Another good method is to alternate mild heat and cold on the affected area. Gel packs which can be heated or cooled are inexpensive and easy to use. Heat one pad as recommended by the instructions and cool the other in the fridge or freezer. First apply the cool pack to the painful area of the lower back for two or three minutes then replace it with the hot pack for a further two or three minutes. Repeat this procedure three or four times. This will increase the circulation to the area and reduce the pain.

Good shoes

An important aspect of reducing lower back and hip pain that is often overlooked is making sure that you have good shoes. Wearing high heels or ill fitting shoes can quickly cause back pain. A very good article on the subject can be found here -

Lose Weight

Another factor in lower back and hip pain can be excess weight. If you are overweight for your height this can contribute to back pain. Obesity is a growing problem in the world and amongst the many health hazards that it can cause, back pain is often forgotten. Losing a few pounds might well contribute to reducing the pressure on your back and hips thereby reducing the pain.


Exercise is also important in preventing back pain. People suffering from back pain often avoid exercise but simple stretching exercises or yoga can greatly contribute to reducing the pain. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime.


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    • profile image

      DePuy Pinnacle Recall 7 years ago

      Thanks for the tips that you've shared here. I personally use hot or cold compress at night time to relieve muscle tension of my back and hips.

    • DePuyRecalledHip profile image

      DePuyRecalledHip 7 years ago from National Support

      The combination of all these things with a great emphasis on having an improper work environment have contributed to much of my joint pain and aches. The chair was mentioned and another big one can be computer height and lighting.

      Here is a really cool video on how to use your computer at home,

      And it has a tip for every type of user.

    • Best Chiropractor profile image

      Best Chiropractor 8 years ago

      Nice very interesting.

      Hope to see more. It is always nice to have a chiropractor that knows how to relieve back pain. Massaging is the best part.

    • Hilly Chism profile image

      Hilly Chism 8 years ago from Holland

      inca, massaging will always help the back pain, if nothing else.

    • profile image

      inca 8 years ago

      i am a mail carrier and my lower back and my hip is in great pain i had a mri taken of my lower back it came back L-4-5 50% and L 5-S1 30% well massaging help me.

    • profile image

      Bob Wright 8 years ago

      Greetings....I work in law enforcement and as a result of the stuff I wear on my belt I'm starting to experience really sore hips/lower back pain.....anyone else been through this and did they overcome the problem????

    • Hilly Chism profile image

      Hilly Chism 8 years ago from Holland

      Thanks for the positve feedback everyone :)

    • bala99 profile image

      Bala Subrahmanyam Vishnubhotla 9 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

      Very helpful video. Keep it up!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      We have to be aware with this pain. especially for us who getting old. Nice tips.

    • RooBee profile image

      Arby Bourne 9 years ago from USA

      Great hub, esp for a first!!! Look forward to more..

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 9 years ago

      I have been having some hip issues over the last few years. A good friend is a massage therapist and he has done wonders in helping me out on this.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 9 years ago from Central United States of America

      Hilly, thanks for the info and particularly the shoes and accupressure. I found out about supportive shoes the hard way, but I did not know of the accupressure. The video was interesting - especially the positioning of the massuse. Good start on your hubbing, so keep it up! Best wishes all around!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great hub- good job for mentioning having good shoes- so important. I spent 10 years waitressing with 'cute' shoes, and now pay the price with problems. Acupressure interested me too.

    • Hilly Chism profile image

      Hilly Chism 9 years ago from Holland

      Hi Buzzler, nice hub for a first go! It's Nederland although I am English.

    • Buzzler profile image

      Buzzler 9 years ago

      Hi Hilly, Great to get a comment on my first hub that soon! I see you're from Holland. Do you mean Holland Michigan or Holland, the Netherlands? Im from the latter and also new to HubPages.

      Very useful info you've got here.


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