Are you experiencing discomfort in your groin and hip area? It’s possible that what you’re feeling is thoracolumbar pain.

Groin and hip discomfort can sometimes be attributed to thoracolumbar pain, a condition that affects the thoracic spine located at the back of the chest and extends from the bottom of the neck to the start of the lumbar spine. This type of pain, although not the most common form of back pain, can have serious causes and should not be ignored.

Let us understand what thoracolumbar pain is, its causes, symptoms, and why physical therapy might be your best bet for relief.

What is Thoracolumbar Pain

Thoracolumbar pain affects the thoracic spine at the back of the chest, extending from the neck to the start of the lumbar spine. This type of pain can feel like a stabbing sensation and, though not the most common, can signal underlying issues.

Causes of Thoracolumbar Pain

Inflammation: The most common cause, which can stem from a sudden sprain or strain, poor posture, prolonged sitting, lack of muscular strength, or repetitive movements involving the thoracic spine.

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Less Common Causes: These include thoracic stenosis, slipped discs, vertebral fractures, osteoporosis, spinal infection, shingles, spinal osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Scheuermann’s disease, and spinal tumors.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms: Pain in the thoracic spine is often described as a stabbing sensation. Red flag symptoms include serious injury, persistent or worsening pain, changes in spine shape, numbness or weakness in the legs, and incontinence, among others.

Diagnosis: For persistent, severe pain, especially with ‘red flag’ features, clinicians may suggest tests like blood work, X-rays, and MRI scans.

What is the relation between thoracolumbar pain and hip and groin discomfort?

Thoracolumbar pain, which affects the thoracic spine, can sometimes lead to referred pain in the hip and groin area. This occurs because the nerves in the thoracic spine can affect other parts of the body, including the hips and groin. Men and women both can suffer from this type of pain. 

When there’s an issue in the thoracic spine, such as inflammation or nerve compression, it can manifest as pain or discomfort in these areas. This relationship highlights the interconnectedness of the spine and other body regions, making accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment, such as physical therapy, crucial for relief.

Physical therapy for groin pain

What is referred pain?

Referred pain is a phenomenon where pain is perceived in an area of the body that is distant from the actual source of the pain. This occurs because the nerve pathways from different parts of the body often converge as they enter the spinal cord and travel up to the brain. As a result, the brain may have difficulty pinpointing the exact source of the pain and mistakenly interprets it as coming from a different location. This is why issues in one part of the body can lead to pain sensations in another area.

This explains the relationship between the thoracolumbar pain and pelvic discomfort better. 

How Physical Therapy Helps with Hip and Groin Area Pain 

Physical therapy for thoracolumbar pain is relevant to hip and groin area pain because the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine are interconnected with nerves that affect the hips and groin. it targets the underlying causes of discomfort rather than just alleviating symptoms. Physical therapy for groin pain includes:

Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

Strengthening Exercises: These build support in the spine and hip region, reducing strain.

Flexibility Training: Enhances range of motion, reducing stiffness and discomfort in hips and groin.

Posture Improvement: Correct posture reduces stress on the spine and, by extension, the hips and groin.

Pain Management Techniques: Used in physical therapy for hip pain and groin can directly target and alleviate hip and groin pain linked to thoracolumbar issues.

Many individuals have endured years of groin pain, often trying various treatments without lasting relief. However, a significant number have found a successful remedy in physical therapy. This approach, focusing on the interconnectedness of the thoracolumbar spine, hips, and groin, offers exercises and techniques specifically tailored to address the root causes of their discomfort. By strengthening and increasing the flexibility of relevant muscle groups, improving posture, and utilizing targeted pain management strategies, the best physical therapist in Southfield has provided these individuals with a much-needed path to recovery and a return to a more comfortable, active lifestyle.

Find the Right Remedy 

Are you in Southfield, Michigan, and struggling with persistent groin or hip pain? 

Don’t let discomfort dictate your life. Synergy Rehab offers a specialized physical therapy program tailored to address thoracolumbar pain, which could be the root cause of your distress. Our expert team is dedicated to providing personalized care that focuses on strengthening, flexibility, and pain management, aimed at bringing long-term relief and improved quality of life. 

Take your first step towards a pain-free future – contact Synergy Rehab today and discover the transformative power of physical therapy!