Is Lower Back Pain A Common Symptom People Experience During Their Period
One study¹ of females between 18 and 25 found that around 16% of those who reported period pain also experienced lower back pain.
While lower back pain during a period can cause discomfort, it usually doesn’t indicate a serious medical issue. Even so, certain health problems could be causing the pain, so it should be taken seriously.
Period-related lower back pain can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain that disrupts your day-to-day activities. Period-related back pain can begin several days before your period and often improves after your period ends.
Tips For Stopping Back Pain During Period
While most women are familiar with the abdominal cramps, PMS, and headaches that go along with their monthly cycle, not nearly as many are aware that the painful backache you suffer is not only a symptom of PMS, but that this problem can be almost entirely eliminated.
One study out of the UK found that 88 percent of women stated that frequently missed at least one day of work each month due to the pain from their monthly cycle.
There is no denying that most women will go directly to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, these can come with a heavy price. In one study, the regular use of NSAIDS found that it can often lead to stomach problems, including bleeding ulcers, fluid retention, high blood pressure, and kidney and heart problems.
Back Problems That May Affect Women More Often
A womans reproductive anatomy can sometimes contribute to her back pain, as weve seen. On the flipside, however, women can also be susceptible to degenerative conditions that affect the structure of the spine.
Back pain is quite common and the average patient experiences one to two episodes of low back pain per year. Low back pain can start in your 20s and can become a recurring problem which can be triggered by various events in life, notes Dr. Brian A. Cole, MD, FAAOS, orthopedic spine surgeon, Englewood Spine Associates, Englewood, NJ. Most back pain resolves by six weeks and is considered acute low back pain. When the pain lingers more than 12 weeks it is considered chronic low back pain.
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Tip #: Do Light Exercises
Dont frown at this one. Yes, youve probably heard this before and wondered how you were going to exercise when you cant even stand up straight, but most doctors are referring to exercise throughout the month, not just when you are on your period. Some women find that doing very light exercise, such as yoga or swimming, helps to decrease back pain even if they are on the first or second day of their cycle .
Dont be tempted to lie in bed because your mattress might be another cause of back pain in addition to your monthly cycle. What mattress do chiropractors recommend for back pain? Find here.
Why Does My Back Hurt During My Period
Your back may hurt before, during, or just after your menstrual period. Back pain is associated with several conditions that affect the reproductive organs, such as:
- Premenstrual syndrome , which refers to several symptoms women experience in the week or to before their menstrual periods .
- Uterine contractions due to prostaglandins, hormone-like lipid compounds .
- Primary dysmenorrhea, which is commonly referred to as menstrual cramps .
- Endometriosis, a condition that occurs when tissue like that which grows in the uterus grows elsewhere in the body .
- Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, which are growths that develop in the uterus .
- Adenomyosis, which occurs when the endometrium breaks through the myometrium .
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of the reproductive organs that is often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria .
- Ovarian cysts, which occur when a sac fills with ovarian fluid or tissue .
- Early pregnancy, which can cause abdominal and back discomfort as hormone levels fluctuate .
Many women experience back pain due to premenstrual syndrome, uterine contractions, and dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps and related back pain occur more frequently in girls and women who had their first periods at a young age, experience long-lasting periods, have a heavy menstrual flow, or have a family history of dysmenorrhea .
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How To Treat Your Pms Back Pain
Though it may feel like theres no way around the insane back aches during your period, there are actually a lot of things you can do to help deal with the pain. Dr. Potts recommends starting out with OTC medications and home remediesthat’s generally pretty effective for most people. Here are some of the best options:
1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
There is a large body of research showing that NSAIDs are super-effective in relieving period-related pain. However, side effectswhich can range from benign to much more serious are also common with prolonged use of these drugs. If you find that you need to use NSAIDs for more than 10 days, talk to your doctor.
2. Heat therapy
Dr. Potts recommends heating pads to help soothe lower back pain and abdominal cramping during your period. And it’s pretty legit: In a review of the clinical evidence available to support various treatments for PMS symptoms, applying heat directly to the site of the cramping was shown to be pretty effective. One older study from 2001 even found that continuous heat delivered via an abdominal patch provided pain relief that was comparable to the pain management achieved by treatment with ibuprofen.
4. Aerobic exercise
5. Supplements and herbal remedies
What Are Some Tricks I Can Use At Home For Period Back Pain
In many cases, you can treat your typical monthly period back pain with home remedies. Here are some expert-recommended tips to soothe your back aches during that time of the month.
Menstruation Or Uterine Dysfunction
Dysmenorrhea, a uterine dysfunction which is the origin of frequent and severe cramping for women during menstruation, also predisposes women to back pain. The condition is classified as either primary or secondary, and with both types, low back pain is a common symptom.
Primary dysmenorrhea begins when a woman starts her period and perpetuates throughout her life. Its harsh and atypical uterine contractions can result in recurrent and severe menstrual cramping.
Secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins later in life, and its caused by another condition such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
How Can I Treat Period Back Pain
If you have primary dysmenorrhea and a surge in prostaglandins at the beginning of your period is the problem, taking a prostaglandin inhibitor like ibuprofen should help in many cases, Dr. Masterson says. If heavy periods are the main issue, whether thats due to endometriosis, PCOS, or your normal cycle, hormonal birth control pills or injections containing the hormone progesterone can help decrease bleeding, she adds.
There are other medical interventions for moderate low back pain physical or chiropractic therapy, massage, and acupuncture may provide relief, Dr. Missmer says. If the pain is chronic and severe, meaning it’s interfering with your ability to attend, work, school, or your regular activities, its important to consult a gynecologic pelvic pain specialist to work through the pain, she says.
Surgical treatments may be a *last resort* for second dysmenorrhea some options include a myomectomy, which can remove uterine fibroids, an endometrial ablation, to remove the uterine lining and basically stop menstrual flow, or a hysterectomy, to remove the uterus altogether.
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Why Do I Have Back Pain During My Period
During your period, the muscular walls of your womb tighten, and this can temporarily stop oxygen getting to your womb. When this happens, your womb releases chemicals that make you feel pain. Usually, you feel this as cramps in your tummy, but the pain can also spread to your back.
If period pain in your lower back is severe, it might be a sign of a more serious condition called endometriosis. This is where the tissue that lines the womb grows in other parts of the body. If you think you might have endometriosis, speak to your doctor.
Tips To Reduce Lower Back Pain During Period
There are different ways to care for period-related back pain. The treatments you choose will depend on what kind of symptoms you are having. You should also consider potential medication interactions, side effects, and your lifestyle preferences. Some of the most popular treatments for lower back pain among women include:
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Here’s How To Relieve Period
As if pimples, emotional outbursts, cramps, exhaustion, and feeling bloated aren’t enough, the PMS demons have to throw uncomfortable back pain your way too.
Lower back pain during your period, or primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus. Every month your body builds up a thick uterine lining in preparation for a fertilized egg. If you don’t become pregnant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and cue your body to break down and detach the lining, and it does that by contracting. If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press on nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles, which is the reason pain occurs in the abdomen and radiates to the lower back and even to the thighs.
Chances are, if you’ve always had similar menstrual discomfort, it’s nothing to worry about. But see a doctor if you’re incapacitated for more than a few days a month or if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your symptoms. Meanwhile, you can ease the back pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or try a warm bath or a heating pad. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine and salt can also help. And even though you have about as much energy as it takes to plop onto the couch, women who exercise regularly often experience less menstrual pain, so keep up with your routine by doing some light cardio or these cramp-relieving yoga poses.
Tip #: Visit Your Chiropractor
Your uterus, like every organ in your body, must send and receive a proper supply of nerve signals, from the brain to the uterus, and back again. Your monthly cycle has a very close relationship with the spine, due to its location. Regular chiropractic care can ensure that there is effective communication between the brain and your uterus . One study found that regular chiropractic care, for one woman who suffered from uterine adenomyosis, helped to ease her pain considerably over a four-month time frame, while another study found that, in addition to a healthier diet, chiropractic care was effective for the management of cramps and low back pain. Seeing a chiropractor for back pain is the right step toward stopping the pain and healing the body.
If you are using alcohol to numb the pain, you should know that lower back pain after drinking is also a thing, so you should not use alcohol as a means of fighting period-related back pain.
Seeking help with PMS or back pain during your menstrual cycle? Contact the experts here at Better Health Alaska. We have 2 clinics to serve you and can set up an appointment on the same day that you call or request an appointment through our website forms.
At Better Health Alaska, we dont want to see anyone living their life in pain. Take the first step on the road towards the pain-free life that you deserve and call today for your appointment.
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How Can You Help Relieve Lower Back Pain During Your Period
Complementary therapies, medication, and surgery are common treatments for serious lower back pain during your period.
1. Heat therapy
Heat and cold therapy can provide relief for many forms of lower back pain, but each treatment is different in how it works.
There’s some evidence that heat can help reduce lower back pain. On the other hand, there is limited research that indicates cold therapy can do the same. However, cold therapy often helps in the case of an acute injury or trauma to the back.
To ease your lower back pain with heat therapy:
Apply heat therapy for about 15 minutes at a time. Use moist heat since it works better than dry heat.
If you use a heating pad, don’t fall asleep while using it. Set a timer to go off in 20 minutes if you think you may fall asleep. Don’t use heating pads on a high setting.
2. Hormonal birth control
Women with painful periods are commonly prescribed hormonal birth control. Combination birth control contains progesterone and estrogen, while others only contain progesterone.
Hormonal birth control can reduce pain and heaviness of your period, helping to provide relief from:
3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
NSAIDs can help improve your lower back pain by reducing the inflammation caused by prostaglandins. Because of this, they make a good treatment for period cramps. Ibuprofen is a prime example of an NSAID.
4. Acupressure and acupuncture
The Question: I Have My Period And My Back Hurts Why Also Ow
We’re just going to say it: periods aren’t fun.
It’s understandable if you just want to crawl into bed and never come out during that time of the month. Especially when body aches — particularly the lower back pain — kick in.
And, really, what’s the deal with that? Why is your back throbbing when your uterus is the one doing all the work?
Let’s break it down.
First of all, nothing’s wrong with you. Lower back pain during your period is totally common. It’s caused by contractions in the uterus, which radiate through the web of nerves within your pelvic region. As your body contracts to rid itself of the uterine lining, it can sometimes press on blood vessels in the area, limiting or cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles.
“Many women get back pain during their periods,” Dr. Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told The Huffington Post. “This pain is from the uterus contracting to shed the lining which has built up since the last cycle… The phenomenon is described as ‘referred pain.'”
“Referred pain” is pain felt in a part of the body other than its actual source. If you’re just about to get your period, your uterus might be contracting in preparation for the upcoming activity. This is totally common and normal, and the pain can affect your thighs as well as your lower back.
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Your Cramps Are Spreading To Your Back
During your period, the wall of your womb begins to contract more vigorously than it does during the rest of the month in order to shed its lining. This means that the blood vessels are compressed and the oxygen supply to your womb is temporarily cut off. Without oxygen, your womb will release pain-inducing chemicals which you feel as period cramps.1
On top of all that, women who have back pain during their period are sometimes said to experience referred pain, as these uterine contractions radiate through the web of nerves in the pelvic region and reach the back muscles.2 Phew!
Why Do You Have Back Pain During Period
When your uterus is contracting, the nerves around the entire pelvic region can feel this. Sometimes, the uterus presses on blood vessels in the area, limiting or even cutting off completely, the blood vessels to the muscles in this area. This is one major reason why you have back pain during your period.
Of course, the uterus only contracts for a few seconds. Repeatedly. For hours on end. If you are nodding your head right now, then you understand the problem. This phenomenon is called referred pain, which means you are feeling the pain in one area but the pain is being caused by another area . This can cause cramping and lower back pain after your period, during your period, or even before your period.
Dont be afraid to tell your gynecologist about this. If your cramps and back pain, however, is so debilitating or if they seem to have become much worse over a period of time, it could mean that you are suffering from fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection, or endometriosis. If you are experiencing fever along with back pain, you need to seek professional help as soon as possible.
There are several methods you can use to try to stop, or at the very least limit, back pain during your monthly cycle. Here are 5 tips you can follow to best avoid back pain during your period:
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