There are many possible causes of back pain in women. You can find detailed information about the subject, such as what you can do at home and when to see a doctor.
Is back pain in women serious?
Back pain in women can occur for many potential reasons. Some are related to conditions specific to women, while others can happen to anyone, regardless of gender. Back pain in women is sometimes caused by problems with the menstrual period, but sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious condition that requires treatment.
In this article, you’ll find details on possible causes of back pain in women, diagnosis, treatment, and when to see a doctor.
What causes back pain in women?
Possible causes of back or lower back pain in women are listed below:
1- Premenstrual syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome is a condition that many women experience before their menstrual period. It has many potential symptoms, and not all of them are likely to be experienced. In general, symptoms include:
For example, physical symptoms include:
Emotional and behavioral symptoms include:
- mood change
- cravings to eat
- difficulty focusing
Premenstrual syndrome usually begins a few days before your period and ends a day or two after your period begins.
2- Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder
Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome, in which symptoms significantly affect daily life. Some people with this condition may even have trouble doing their daily tasks when they have symptoms. However, premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is less common than premenstrual syndrome.
The emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysmorphic disorder are also similar to premenstrual syndrome. However, some symptoms may be more severe. Symptoms usually begin the week before your period and end a few days after your period.
If you have a family history of depression and other mood disorders, or if you have a family history of premenstrual dysmorphic disorder, you are at risk for this disorder that causes back pain in women.
Endometriosis, also known as a chocolate cyst , is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus, known as endometrial tissue, grows outside of the uterus. With endometriosis, this tissue often grows in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other tissues lining the pelvis. It can even grow around the urinary tract and intestines.
Back pain in women is the most common symptom of endometriosis. Other symptoms include:
- very painful menstrual cramps
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- back/low back pain
- groin pain
- Pain when defecating or urinating
Endometriosis can also cause bleeding outside of your menstrual periods. Digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea can be common, especially during your menstrual period. Endometriosis can make it harder for you to get pregnant.
Very painful menstrual bleeding is known as dysmenorrhea . Although usually manageable, it can be very severe in some people. The risk of dysmenorrhea may be higher if:
- if you are under 20
- if you smoke
- If you have heavy bleeding during your menstrual period
- If someone else in the family has painful menstrual cycles
- If you have an underlying condition
Dysmenorrhea pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen, back, hips and legs. It usually takes 1 to 3 days. The pain can be either dull or painfully stabbing .
Back pain in women is common during pregnancy . It loosens your ligaments as your center of gravity shifts, gains weight, and your hormones prepare for delivery.
Back pain in women due to pregnancy (which can be on the right, left, or both sides) occurs between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, but can start much earlier. If you already have back problems, you are more likely to have back pain during pregnancy.
The most common place where you have pain is just below your waist and opposite your tailbone. You may also have pain in the center of your back, around your lower back. This pain may radiate to your legs.
Other causes of back pain in women
The causes of back pain that can affect both men and women are listed below:
1- Muscle tension
Muscle tension is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. This may be due to:
- Always lifting something heavy
- Lifting in the wrong position when lifting weights
- making sudden movements
- overstretching of the muscle or ligament
If you continue to do the type of movement that strains the muscles, it may eventually cause back spasms. You have to be careful.
Sciatica is a symptom caused by compression or injury of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body. This is the nerve that runs through your lower spine, hips, and back of your legs.
Sciatica causes a burning pain or a stabbing pain in your lower back. It usually extends to one leg. In severe cases, leg numbness and weakness may also occur.
3- Herniated disc
You could have a slipped disc anywhere in your spine. The lower back is one of the more common areas for slipped discs. Your spine is a complex network of nerves and blood vessels. A slipped disc can put extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it, causing back pain on the right or left side in men and women.
Symptoms of herniated disc, which can also cause back pain in women, include:
- Pain and numbness (occurring mostly on one side of the body)
- pain extending into your arms or legs
- Pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
- pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- Pain when walking short distances
- unexplained muscle weakness
- Tingling, pain and burning sensation in the affected area
Types of pain can be different for each person. If such a pain affects your daily life, it is useful to see a doctor without wasting time.
4- Disc degeneration
As you age, the discs in your spine can begin to wear out. Degeneration can also result from injuries or repetitive movements. Most people experience disc degeneration after age 40. This does not always cause pain, but it can cause severe pain in some people and women.
Degeneration is most common in your neck and back. The pain may extend to your hips and thighs and may come and go.
When does back pain in women require doctor control?
In some cases, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your back pain. If you experience any of the following, you should see your doctor as soon as possible:
- If the pain is so unbearable that you cannot walk
- If your back pain is accompanied by a fever
- If you cannot control the need to defecate and urinate
- If you have pain, numbness or tingling in your legs
- If the pain increases when extending the legs
- If you experience severe abdominal pain
- If your back pain is severe and interferes with your daily life
- If you have symptoms of endometriosis
- If you have vaginal bleeding, fever or pain while urinating during pregnancy
- If the back pain occurred after an accident
- If it does not go away with home treatment on its own
Depending on the cause of your lower back pain, your doctor may provide treatment beyond home remedies or self-care measures.
How is back pain treated in women?
If your back pain is caused by conditions related to your menstrual period or muscle tension, you may want to try the following home remedies to relieve your back pain.
Here are the things that are good for back pain in women:
- Heating pad: A heating pad applied to your back can increase circulation, allowing nutrients and oxygen to reach the muscles in your back.
- Hot bath: A hot bath can increase circulation and reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
- Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help relieve your back pain and other types of pain associated with your period. However, it is still useful to consult a doctor while taking medication.
- Exercising: Staying active can improve circulation and help tense muscles.
- Stretching: Regular stretches can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from coming back.
- Ice pack: If your back pain is caused by a muscle strain or injury, an ice pack can help reduce inflammation, pain, and bruising.
- Pillow: Placing a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side or under the knees if you sleep on your back can help relieve back pain and discomfort.
- Lumbar support: Choosing a chair or armchair with lumbar support can relieve your back pain while sitting.
As a result
Back pain in women can be due to many different conditions and underlying factors. If you experience pain close to your period, it’s probably due to something related to your cycle.
Your pain can also be caused by conditions that can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender, such as muscle strains, sciatica, or a herniated disc.
Treatment for back pain in women depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, you can try home remedies first. However, if your back pain does not improve or worsens, you should consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.