8 Back Pain Conditions That Mainly Affect Women
We all know at least one woman in our family who suffers from one of these conditions of back pain, whether from a slipped disc, sciatica, hormonal lower back pain, or pregnancy-related back pain. Recent studies have shown that women are more susceptible to several back pain conditions. Women are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain conditions, some exclusively affecting only women.
Higher incidences of women's back pain can be because by these reasons- changes in pelvic musculature during pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes throughout the reproductive phase, and changes after menopause. Another factor is that most women have to perform the duties of a caregiver, a mother, or maternal authority in a household. This often begins a cycle of overuse injuries to the back musculature.
Here are 8 Back Pain Conditions That Mainly Affect Women:
Coccydynia, or pain in the tailbone at the end of the spine, is four times more common in women than in men. The area of pain often feels tender on touching and can be painful. It can be caused by accidents, falls, pregnancy-related injury, or poor posture. The pain can severely affect daily activities like sitting, driving, and household chores.
2. Women's Back Pain During and After Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes the secretion of the relaxing hormone, which allows the muscles around the pelvis to relax. This allows the muscles to relax as the fetus grows during pregnancy. The radical shift in weight distribution and center of gravity can increase pressure around the spine and cause women's back pain, hormonal lower back pain, and even sciatica. After childbirth, the secretion of relaxation stops, but the loss of adequate muscle support to the spine can make the body vulnerable to backache. Hormonal lower back pain is one of the most common pregnancy complications, especially in the later months. The pain usually subsides when the baby is born. However, for many women, hormonal lower back pain persists for months after giving birth. A hormone relaxes the ligaments in your pelvic joints to make them more flexible in preparation for the baby's passage through the birth canal. Hormonal lower back pain can occur if the joints become over flexible.
3. Compression Fracture
Postmenopause, the demineralization of bones in women, occurs faster. This causes a condition known as osteoporosis. The bones lose their structural integrity and become prone to fractures. The most common site among women is the compression fracture at the spine. This may often go unnoticed until loss of height becomes evident. However, pain due to pressure over surrounding structures can cause severe back pain in women.
4. Spinal Osteoarthritis
Arthritis in the spine occurs as age-related changes cause the wearing of cartilage layers. The height of intervertebral discs reduces with their desiccation. Degenerative changes at the facet joints cause a loss of cushioning. This causes women's back pain, particularly after the age of 45.
5. Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis syndrome in women is expected due to pregnancy-related changes and hormone level fluctuation. The piriformis muscle gets inflamed and causes compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve. This pain radiates to the leg and makes routine activities painful.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain throughout the body. This usually happens after medical treatment, surgery, an accident, or psychological stress. The symptoms begin gradually and may not have a specific triggering event. The pain is also accompanied by fatigue, tension headaches, TMJ disorder, depression, or anxiety.
7. Degenerative spondylolisthesis
Women are likely to develop degenerative spondylolisthesis after the age of 50. One of the vertebrae slips forward over the other. This may or may not be accompanied by a fracture of the pars interarticularis. The spondylolisthesis causes increased pressure over the structures around the area involved. This results in severe pain in the back and leg pain if an exiting nerve root is compressed.
8. Tailbone Pain in Menopause
Falling estrogen levels deplete vitamin D levels, which can be painful if not managed properly. Many symptoms, including tailbone pain, are connected with the perimenopausal period. There is a link between tailbone pain and menopause, according to research. The severity of tailbone pain after menopause is linked to vitamin D insufficiency. After an impact to the area near the end of the spine, tailbone pain in menopause might develop gradually or suddenly. While childbirth or a backward fall are the most common causes of tailbone discomfort, doctors can't always pinpoint the cause. Because the tailbone isn't flexible enough to bend under pressure, injury to the tailbone, surrounding ligaments, or both can occur. The discomfort typically goes away in a few weeks or months but can become chronic and obstruct normal activities, such as driving or bending over.
Treatment for Back Pain
Back pain in women can happen at any age, beginning from a teenager. The cause of back pain in women varies with the changes a woman’s body undergoes through various stages of life. Pregnancy, birth, weight gain, weight loss, and changes in hormone levels can cause a myriad of symptoms related to back pain. A thorough examination and treatment can help in getting relief from back pain.
1. How do I know if back pain is severe?
Ans. Signs that it's time to see a doctor about your back pain
You've been in pain for more than a week
Your pain has spread to other parts of your body
You have numbness, tingling, or weakness
You have pain after an accident
Your pain Is worse at certain times or in certain positions
You have bowels or urination issues
You're experiencing unexplained weight loss and fever.
2. How do I know if my back pain is kidney related?
Back pain is felt higher and deeper in the body than kidney pain. It may be felt in the upper half of your back. Unlike back pain, it is felt on one or both sides, usually beneath the rib cage.
3. Can gynaecological problems cause back pain?
Ans. Dysmenorrhea, a uterine dysfunction that causes severe cramping in women during menstruation, also predisposes women to back pain. The condition is classified as either primary or secondary, and low back pain is a common symptom in both.
4. What is the fastest way to relieve back pain?
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain. Physiotherapists can teach you how to sit, stand, and move in a way that keeps your spine aligned and reduces back strain. They can also teach you exercises to strengthen the core muscles that support your back.