We often get clients complaining of hip and back pain when squatting in the gym, especially when under significant load. When it gets really flared up, it becomes a constant pain that gets even more irritable in positions such as sitting which involves a great amount of hip flexion.
When assessing any client either complaining of pain or just wanting a strength and conditioning program, it's important to look at technique as well as address side to side asymmetries.
For instance, your squat may look impeccable, but when we look at your single leg balance or even squat you in a split variation... there is an OBVIOUS asymmetry. Whether it is due to strength, mobility, flexibility or neuromuscular control... it needs to be addressed if you want to be able to lift the types of weights you are used to.
One of the most common movement dysfunctions we will see with a single leg balance or split variation is a Trendelenberg Sign. Basically, the hip is too weak and is not coordinating with the trunk to stabilize you correctly. This will affect you in all your weight-bearing functional activities including walking, running and taking the stairs. Imagine every step you take your hip drops in this way, it's no wonder you are dealing with some type of discomfort.
You might be asking, how does this impact my squat? I have both legs parallel on the ground.
It probably will not bother you if you are squatting with minimal weight, but if you start to load more than both your hips can evenly support, one may end up giving up.
It's mighty important to get assessed properly to find out why you are having the specific pain you are feeling. In addition to looking at the hip, examining the trunk, knee, and foot/ankle will be integral parts as well.
Let's get you back in the gym and help you reach your health's potential.