What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain in Women?
Aug 31, 2021
Lower back pain is a very common health ailment that affects tens of millions of adults each year. While there are common causes of back pain that everyone may experience, there are also some others that are specific causes of lower back pain in women.
Today we’re exploring common causes of lower back pain in women and a few potential relief methods you may choose to try. If your back pain worsens beyond normal levels or becomes too much, be sure to consult a doctor right away for guidance.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain in Women
Lower back pain in women can originate from their reproductive systems or spinal column. While some causes of back pain in women, such as sciatica or a hernia, are universal to both sexes, others are specific to women meaning men may not have to worry about them as much, if at all.
Some specific causes of lower back and hip pain in women include:
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD)
- Having had a C-section
PMS Back Pain
The first item on our list of common causes of lower back pain in women is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is a combination of symptoms women may experience one to two weeks before their period. If you experience these, you’re certainly not alone as statistics show over 90% of women report experiencing them. While you’re likely to experience one or more symptoms of PMS, you likely won’t experience them all simultaneously.
One of the most common causes of back pain in women, PMS may have other physical symptoms such as:
In addition to physical symptoms, mental symptoms of PMS may also be experienced such as:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and stress
- Food cravings
- Difficulty concentrating
While PMS may begin as early as a week or two before your period, most women report experiencing symptoms starting a few days before. In most cases, symptoms end within a day or two after your period ends, as well.
Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder Causing Lower Back Pain in Women
Next on our list of causes of lower back pain in women is premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a more severe type of PMS noted when symptoms begin to interfere with daily life. Some women may experience physical pain, mood swings, or other heightened symptoms of PMS.
While fewer women experience PMDD than PMS, those with a family history of PMSS or mood disorders like depression may have a higher risk. Similar to regular PMS, most cases of PMDD begin within a few days of your period and end within a few days after it stops.
Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of lower back and hip pain in women. It’s not surprising, really, as you’re taking on the monumental task of growing another person within your body! The physical reasoning behind pregnancies as causes of back pain in women is that your center of gravity shifts, you gain some weight, and your hormones begin to relax ligaments in your body in preparation for the act of childbirth.
Many women report beginning to feel lower back pain during pregnancy between the fifth and seventh months. It’s not unusual or immediate cause for concern, however, if pregnancy causes lower back pain in women earlier than this, however.
The most common places of hip and back pain during pregnancy are right below the waist and across the tailbone. Other common pain points during pregnancy are in the middle of the back, around the waist, and even radiating down into your legs.
Dysmenorrhea Lower Back Pain in Women
Another entry on our list of common causes of lower back pain in women is dysmenorrhea. This condition is characterized by severe or frequent menstrual cramps or pain during your period. It differs from premenstrual dysmorphic disorder as dysmenorrhea refers specifically to the intense pain symptoms themselves.
Dysmenorrhea may be a primary ailment, stemming from the beginning of a woman’s period, or secondary, stemming from an underlying health condition. Some methods for treating dysmenorrhea include the benefits of heat therapy, getting a massage, and exercising. For those who experience dysmenorrhea regularly, some of the benefits of owning a massage chair at home are that they allow self-care in privacy and on your own schedule.
Lower Back Pain After C-Section Childbirth
Potentially lesser known causes of lower back pain in women include having back pain after C-sections. A C-section is a major surgical procedure that extends childbirth beyond regular bodily limits. Whether elective or emergency, having a C-section birth disrupts the muscles in your core. These muscles are responsible for maintaining your spinal health, meaning you may be more susceptible to lower back pain down the road as your core muscles are slightly compromised even after healing.
The best thing to do in order to try and counteract this is to practice core strengthening exercises regularly. You should also take precautions to keep a healthy spine. In addition to exercising, you can achieve this with regular massage therapist appointments, experiencing health benefits of massage at home, applying heat to muscles whenever they start to feel sore, and being sure to stretch properly before and after physical activity.
Endometriosis Lower Back Pain
Last, though certainly not least, as we explore causes of back pain in women is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful disorder wherein tissue similar to that found inside your uterus begins to grow outside of your uterus. It most commonly affects your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining your pelvic region.
This tissue acts like the tissue inside the uterus, thickening, breaking down, then bleeding during your menstrual cycle. The issue is it has nowhere to go and becomes trapped. When around the ovaries, it may form endometriomas. Endometriosis is a very serious health condition that can cause intense pain and could affect fertility. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of endometriosis you should consult your gynecologist immediately for treatment options.
Treating Causes of Back Pain in Women
Whether your back pain is a symptom of your menstrual cycle or you’ve pulled a muscle from physical activity, there are a number of home treatments you can try that may help alleviate your symptoms. Some home treatments for the causes of lower back and hip pain in women include:
- Heat Therapy such as heating pad or heated massage chair features
- Warm baths to reduce muscle stiffness
- Using a pillow to improve posture while sleeping
- Exercising and staying active to boost energy levels and ease muscle tension
- Sitting in a chair with lumbar support
Taking care of yourself while having lower back pain is essential to your mental and physical health. If you experience any of these causes of lower back pain in women, starting a self-care routine right away is your best bet to potentially find some relief.
There are numerous causes of lower back pain in women though most are treatable. Before beginning any major home treatments, you should always consult a doctor to ensure it's safe to do so. We hope our guide has given you better insight into some of these causes of lower back and hip pain as well as a few potentially effective methods for how to treat them. Pour that warm bath, choose a massage chair for home, stay active, and take care of yourself to see how it may make a noticeable difference.
Curious about more benefits of massage therapy at home? Check out these resources: