What Causes Lower Back Pain in Females?

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Female anatomy puts women at a higher risk of experiencing lower back pain. Lower back pain in women may have many potential causes; some manifest due to medical conditions, while some causes are related to lifestyle. 

Causes of Lower Back Pain in Women 

Sometimes lower back pain in women is caused due to an underlying medical condition such as -    

1. Endometriosis 

Endometriosis is a medical condition wherein the endometrial tissue lining the uterus grows out of the uterus and on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other tissues lining the pelvis. Endometriosis may even lead to the growth of tissues around the urinary tract and bowel and cause severe low back pain

Excruciating pain is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis. However, some other significant symptoms are -  

  • pain during or after sex 
  • very painful menstrual cramps 
  • lower back pain  
  • pain with bowel movements or urination when you have your period 
  • pelvic pain 
  • Digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea during periods. 

Endometriosis causes bleeding or spotting between periods and may make it hard to get pregnant. 

2. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) 

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is quite a common condition many women experience before their periods and has many potential symptoms, including -  

  • Physical symptoms, like -  
    • headache 
    • lower back and pelvic pain 
    • bloating 
    • fatigue 
  • Emotional and behavioral symptoms, like -  
    • anxiety 
    • mood swings 
    • concentration problems 
    • food cravings 

PMS usually starts a few days before menstruation and ends within a day or two after the period begins. 

3. Dysmenorrhea 

Dysmenorrhea refers to extremely painful menstruation, which is usually manageable but may become severe over time. Some women are at a higher risk for dysmenorrhea. These women may be-  

  • under the age of 20 
  • bleed heavily during the periods 
  • smoke 
  • Having a family history of painful periods 
  • Having an underlying condition, such as: 

Pain due to dysmenorrhea is felt in the lower abdomen, lower back, hips, and legs. One may feel shooting pains, or the pain may be dull and achy and usually lasts for one to three days. 

4. Pregnancy 

Back pain during pregnancy is caused as the center of gravity of the body shifts, one gains weight, and the hormones relax the ligaments to prepare the body for delivery. Although back pain can start from the beginning but for most women, lower back pain is felt between the last few months of gestation. Women with lower back issues are more likely to experience back pain during pregnancy. The most common pain point is right below the waist and across the tailbone and may radiate into the legs. Some women also feel pain in the center of their back and around the waistline. 

Causes of Lower Back Pain – Not Specific to Women 

Some other causes of lower back pain are not exclusive to any specific gender. The most common causes include - 

1. Muscle Strain 

A muscle or ligament strain can cause lower back pain. Muscle strain can be a result of: 

  • repeated heavy lifting 
  • a sudden awkward movement 
  • bending or twisting awkwardly 
  • overstretching the muscle or ligament 

Not restricting the movement that strains the muscle can eventually lead to back spasms. 

2. Sciatica Back Pain 

The symptoms of sciatica caused due to compression or injury include burning or shocking pain in the lower back and usually extending down one leg. When the sciatic nerve, one of the longest nerves in the body, is pinched due to a bone spur or a herniated disk, sciatica pain in the lower back is felt. The nerve may also get compressed due to a tumor or disease like diabetes. 

3. Herniated Disc 

A spinal disk is a rubbery cushion sitting between the bone that stacks to create the spine. When the nucleus pushes out via a tear in the annulus, it is known as a slipped disk, a ruptured disk, or a herniated disk that can occur in any part of the spine, but the most common place is the lower back, causing throbbing pain in the lower back. 


Treatment for Lower Back Pain in Women 

It is advised to consult a doctor to find out the root cause of the lower back pain. Apart from prescribed treatment, one can also use the following to ease back pain.  

1. Hot Pack or Heating Pad 

Heat pads deliver warmth to the painful back muscles and boost circulation, letting nutrients and oxygen quickly get to the pain area. Hot packs relax the muscle, relieve inflammation and pain, and help one get back to the normal routine.   

2. OTC Painkillers  

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e., ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin) help ease lower back pain and other pain associated with the period. One can also use topical analgesics such as a pain-relieving gel or spray for instant relief from lower back pain

3. Exercise and Stretching 

Physical activity helps improve circulation and ease tense muscles. Regular stretching also helps reduce lower back pain and even prevents the pain from coming back. Use of a back brace while working or exercising can also help get one back to their regular routine. 

4. Cold Pack  

Ice packs are the most effective within the first few hours of a muscle strain or injury. Lower back pain caused due to a muscle strain, or an injury is often relieved by an ice pack and may help reduce inflammation, pain, and bruising.  

5. Lumbar Support Pillows  

Placing a normal pillow between the knees when sleeping on the side or under the knees when sleeping on the back helps ease back pain and discomfort. A lumbar support pillow improves the quality of sleep and minimizes the chances of lower back pain in females. Using a backrest pillow while sitting for a long duration can also reduce the chances of low back pain by minimizing the strain on the lower back. 

Depending on the cause of the lower back pain, a doctor can offer the most suitable treatment for your medical condition. 

Lower back pain in females is caused due to several underlying causes. In many cases, home remedies alone work wonders in curbing the pain. However, if the back pain does not improve or worsen, discuss it with your doctor and seek a more elaborate treatment plan. 


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