AGGGGGH! Red-hot sharp pain for no reason! What the hell is it?

If I stretch or reach certain ways I get a feeling in the left hip, in the muscle that - well, I’ve never been stabbed, but I bet it feels like that. It’s an absolutely arresting, stunning pain, that makes me cry out in agony. It then immediately goes away, although that area of my hip feels a bit numb afterwards.

WTF is wrong with me? I don’t feel sore or as if my movement is restricted in any other way. It’s nothing on my skin. Nothing else has happened to me. It doesn’t persist; it hits me with a shocking stab of absolutely mind-boggling pain. It feel like a hot pain, if that means anything.

This sounds like a pinched nerve.

Pinched sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve is likely being pinched between some vertebra.

I’ve had them several times over the years, and they hurt like a maddening river of fire when they flare up. The only real relief I’ve found is laying on a mat and engaging in extreme spine stretching exercises that manipulate your spine and will eventually pop the nerve back out from being pinched. This mainly involves making back bridges, curling into as tight a ball as possible, and trying to bring your leg as far back toward your head as possible.

Don’t do these exercises if you’ve got spinal issues. It may take several days of stretching to accomplish this. Even strong opiate drugs (Hydrocodone etc) only dull the pain, they cannot remove it. Chiropractors, in my experience, are useless for pinched sciatic nerves. These exercises are the only effective “cure” I’ve found.

I have pretty much the same problem, only in my shoulder. It goes away after about 30 seconds if I hold my arm still, but if I try to move it i’m in agony.

Front or back of the hip?

If it’s in the back it’s probably your sciatic.

If it’s in the front and you can tell that it’s coming from the soft tissue inside the muscle/tendon/workings of the hip then let me know what you find because I get the same pain from time to time.
It always recedes on it’s own after a few days of acting up. Very sharp but hard to pinpoint.

Isn’t it great to be middle aged? (Speaking as a 39 year old.)


Speaking as a 40 year old that passed a kidney stone two weeks ago ( first since 2004! :stuck_out_tongue: ).

The sciatic nerve runs all the way down the back of your leg to your foot. When it’s acting up, a person will feel shooting pains, often all the way down the leg, but definitely deep in the butt and nearer the back than the front.

There are other nerves that run in the area, of course, and depending on where exactly the pain is, and what your particular anatomy looks like, it could be any one of a number of them. The sciatic is one of the more common to have irritation problems with because it runs through a little hole in your muscles. When your muscles are slightly swollen or in spasm, narrowing that hole, then they rub on the body of the nerve itself which is, shall we say, “ouchy”*. Some gentle massage and stretching can relax those muscles and bring down the swelling, but every time you move them (in massage or stretching), you’re risking hitting that nerve again, so take it very, very slow and easy.

Of course, this is only one possibility. You might also have a tumor, a bruise or a rabid weasel in your back pocket. Internet diagnoses are worth every penny you pay for them.

*Read: Ohmigodohmigodohmigodkillmenow!

It’s Omniscient, jabbing a voodoo doll of you in the side with a needle after you pitted him…

[creepy little boy voice]
It might be a toomer.
[/creepy little boy voice.]

You need to talk to someone like my orthopod doctor.

He is a physiatrist. If you find one, tell him/her you would like some physical therapy. Go for a month or so to figure out the routine. And if you are like me, sometime 90 to 120 days out your pain will go away. (IF you do your exercises as prescribed)

Alternately, you could see my arthropod doctor

Ah-Nold Voice
“It’s not a toomer!”
/Ah-Nold voice.

Sounds like nerve pain to me–what nerve I wouldn’t attempt to guess. But, as the recipient of two back surgeries 16mos apart to relieve a severely pinched nerve (kinked like a garden hose) due to a disc gone batshit, that hot, burning “Holy FUCK!” wave of pain is all too familiar to me. The fact that it goes away only means, well, it’s not there all the time.

Depending on other symptoms and your personal appraisal of the situation, you might want to see a doctor and/or pursue an MRI just to know what’s going on.

And FTR, I’m 35. I heard “You’re too young for this” a lot. A lot.


I suggest that you try again, based on my personal experience. A couple of years ago I had sciatica that felt like napalm running up the back of my thigh, recurring about every ten minutes or so. Three or four chiro treatments later, and I wanted to bear his children. Which would have been difficult considering my lack of female reproductive organs.

I have seen this mini-rant before on the SDMB. Somebody comes in to claim that chiros are charlatans (apparently based on the charlatanish claims of some of them). My advice is, if you go to one and don’t get relief, go to another. Some may be better than others. Don’t go to a chiro to fix your liver cancer: go to a chiro to get your “spinal misalignment resulting in massive sciatica” fixed. Worked gloriously for me.

Don’t let your chiro sell you on his all-new, electronic gizmos for treatment. Insist on the full-magilla manual manipulation. Except for the electro-vibro thingie. I just love that one.