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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

An Unexpected Cause of Lower Back and Hip Pain

Dec 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Brenda Heinecke
It is commonly known that most people will suffer from some form of low back and hip pain over their lifetime. Because this pain can be so limiting, people so affected will try various treatment modalities, exercise routines and lifestyle changes to resolve it; however, most people have never considered that their pelvic floor could be a cause. When trying to resolve such pain, this group of muscles is often overlooked.

How Pelvic Floor Muscles Can Cause Hip and Back Pain

  • One of the hip muscles is also a pelvic floor muscle. It performs hip rotation in addition to stabilizing the hip and pelvis.
  • The pelvic floor muscles attach to the pelvis, tailbone and spine, so they have a direct action on these areas of the body. If the pelvic floor muscles are tight, they can “pull” on these structures, leading to improper movements and pain.
  • As a group, the pelvic floor muscles function to stabilize the spine, pelvis and hips during movement. If these muscles aren’t working properly, it can lead to pain.

In a 2018 study published on, 95 percent of people that had lumbopelvic pain also had some form of pelvic floor dysfunction. If there is pain around the hip, low back, sit bones and/or tail bone, plus at least one of the following symptoms, it is likely that the pelvic floor muscles are involved in the hip and back pain being experienced.
  • Difficulty pinpointing the exact location of pain
  • Changing pain symptoms
  • Pain that doesn’t fully resolve, or returns repeatedly
  • Any pelvic floor dysfunction symptom, including urinary urgency, urinary or fecal leakage, constipation, pain with intercourse, pelvic heaviness, or pain using a tampon or during a pelvic exam.
An assessment by a pelvic floor physical therapist can help people with the above symptoms determine if their pain is related to their pelvic floor muscles.

Brenda Heinecke, PT, DPT and CSCS, is a pelvic floor physical therapist and the owner of Revitalize Physical Therapy. She specializes in helping women through a hands-on, personalized, cohesive approach to living a healthy and active life. She works with women in all stages of life—including preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, and everything in between—to resolve common pelvic floor issues. For more information, call 414-331-2323 or visit