The Morning MIX

Hi Dr. J,
I thought I would ask you this question to get your thoughts.
I have had lower back problems since I was a teenager.  I am in my mid 30’s now.  I was diagnosed with DDD and Occult Spina Bifida in the L4 and L5 area about 5 years ago.  Since then I have had epidural injections to try and relieve the pain.
The first set I had was 5 years ago and it actually gave me relief for 2 years. (Along with exercising, stretching, etc)  The pain started coming back and was causing a lot of problems with new pain in my hips so I got another set of injections.  Those only lasted about 6 months.  I waited to get more injections until it was really severe pain.  For the past 8 months my hips have been hurting really bad.  It is on the outside and is worse when sitting and sleeping.  I constantly wake up all night long having to switch back to laying on my back but I do not get any relief. 
The last time I received the injections they said if it does not give me relief in my hips that they may have to do other tests to see if there are other issues going on.  My question is, can having the DDD in the lower back also cause hip pain?  I don’t think it is my sciatic because it does not shoot down in my butt or legs.  The pain is more of a burning pain or it feels like my muscles need to be stretched, but the muscles are not tender to the touch so it does not feel like a pulled muscle.  I don’t have any increase in  pain when walking or any sharp stabbing pains.  It is a constant ache that doesn’t go away and gets worse when sleeping.  I exercise on a regular basis and do stretching but this does not give me any relief.
Thank you for your thoughts.
We also had a caller mention that physical therapy can be very helpful in some cases.
Click below to hear Dr. J talk about this letter and chronic pain on today’s show.

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