In our office, we often have patients who struggle to verbalize where their bodies are hurting. We overuse the words “hip” and “shoulder” and it sometimes leads to misunderstandings in which areas the doctor needs to investigate and often asks you to “put your finger on it”.

Here are some more specific terms and important differentiations that you can use when you are describing your pain so that you are heard more effectively.  Either way, we will find it and hopefully fix it!

Hip vs Pelvis Your pelvis is the area from the bottom of your low back to the bottom of your bum cheek. 
Hip pain is usually felt on the side of the leg OR at the front of the hip.
Shoulder vs “Trap” (trapezius muscle area)

The side and front of the shoulder is what we describe as the shoulder. The “trap” muscle is the area of connection between the shoulder and the base of the neck.

The tailbone is the very bottom bone in your pelvis, and a sore tailbone is felt often when you sit. It is not a very common bone to adjust unless you fall or have given birth. The bone above the tailbone is called the sacrum and is a common bone to adjust.
Pain down the leg: Front vs back 
Differentiating where the pain down your leg is located is important, as the nerves that innervate the front, side and back of your leg are all involved with different parts of your spine. Make sure to tell us which part of your leg is hurting.
Shooting/tingling in hand: Which part of hand?
It is important to find which part of the hand is tingling, as different nerves and structures are involved in each part of the hand. Common “chunks” to be involved are the pinky and ring fingers (both sides of hand), and the thumb, pointer and middle finger (on the palm or backside of hand)