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Back Pain in women – what are the causes

Lower back pain in women has several potential causes. Can lower back pain be related to any serious gynecological issue – Is a big question? Back pain is of course a very common issue in women when compared to men. In fact, back pain is sometimes related to some serious health issues in women.

Are there any specific health conditions that increase the risk of lower back pain in women?

Yes, there are some conditions that are specific to women that can cause back pain. To know more about the specific causes of back pain in women – read “Gynecological Disorders that Cause Back Pain”.

What are the other causes of back pain in women?

The other causes of lower back pain in women include:

Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis muscle is a large muscle of the buttock. Muscle spasms originating in this muscle causes pain. This condition is known as piriformis syndrome. It is common in women due to pregnancy and hormonal changes in the pelvis. As the muscle is located deep in the buttock, it causes compression or irritation of sciatic nerve. The pain mimics sciatica pain.

The symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome include:

  • Pain in the back of the thigh and leg
  • Hip pain and chronic pain in the buttock area
  • Pain worsens with hip movements
  • Getting out of the bed becomes painful
  • Inability to sit for long

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The joint that connects the bottom of the spine to the pelvis is known as sacroiliac joint. In women, sacroiliac joint problems are common causes of lower back pain. The reason – women have smaller sacroiliac joint surface area compared to men. Therefore, the concentration of stress across this joint is more in women. In addition, the sacrum is less curved, uneven, tilted and wider in women – and hence, it causes problems in the Sacroiliac joint. These are some of the reasons in addition to a few more anatomical differences that can lead to high incidences of joint misalignment in women.

The common signs and symptoms associated with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction include:

Sciatica like sharp, shooting or stabbing pain down the buttock in the thigh, but not going past the knee

An achy or dull pain in the buttocks – which can flare up into a sharp pain

Lower back pain when you sit, climb stairs


A woman’s body changes during pregnancy – as the center of gravity shifts. Weight gain and hormonal changes can lead to lower back pain.

In a majority of the women, back pain starts during the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy. It may start early in some women. Women who have a history of lower back pain tend to experience back pain during pregnancy. The pain is usually felt in the center of the back around waistline – and also, across the tailbone in some cases. Back pain can also radiate to the legs.

Bottom Line

Adnexal tumors, effects of pregnancy on the sacroiliac joints, weakness of muscles in the pelvic region and connective tissues and injury during labor and childbirth could play a causative role in causing back pain in women. And several other conditions are exclusive to women. Perimenopausal and post-menopausal women are also prone to lower back pain. In a nutshell, being a woman increases your risk of back pain – therefore, if you have any additional concerns regarding your persistent back pain, then meet me personally.

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