Pain in the lower back in women usually occurs for the same reasons as in men. These are relapses of lumbosacral osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, lumbago, sciatica. But there are certain internal factors that provoke the appearance of uncomfortable feelings in women, for example, inflammation of the organs of the reproductive system. Regardless of the severity of back pain in women, their cause should be established and appropriate treatment should be carried out.
- Features of lower back pain in women
- Types of Lumbar Pain
- Causes of appearance
- Gynecological diseases
- Oncological diseases
- Kidney Diseases
- Excess weight
- Osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia
- Increased load
- Breast size
- Which doctor to contact
- Methods of diagnosis
- First Aid: How to Relieve Pain
- Stages of effective treatment
Features of lower back pain in women
The main difference in the mechanism of development of lumbar pain in women is the frequent changes in the hormonal background during life. They occur in adolescence, premenstrual period, during gestation and natural menopause. The body increases or decreases the level of hormones – biologically active substances that are produced by specialized cells of the endocrine glands. After entering the bloodstream, they bind to receptors of target cells, and then take part in the processes of metabolism and regulation of the work of almost all vital systems.
An increase or decrease in the amount of bioactive substances is physiological, but in some cases can cause the development of the disease. Changes in the hormonal background can predispose to the appearance of pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, internal organs. Many of them manifest precisely soreness in the lower back.
Types of Lumbar Pain
One of the important criteria for making a primary diagnosis is the patient’s complaints. The doctor asks to describe in detail the pain syndrome disturbing the woman – its severity, localization, duration. He can ask about the time of the first appearance of uncomfortable sensations, the place of service, the features of the working day.
If lower back pain occurs occasionally, does not differ in intensity and quickly disappears after a short rest, then the probability of diagnosing a pathology of 1-2 severity is high. Conducting therapy at the initial stage improves the prognosis for a full recovery, avoids complications. Severe pain, radiating (spreading) to neighboring parts of the body, often indicate a relapse of the pathology, which has become a chronic form of the course.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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This type of lumbar pain is a protective reaction of the body, signaling an already developed inflammatory or degenerative-dystrophic pathology. Acute pain usually has specific causes:
- irritation of superficial or deep tissues, internal organs;
- impaired smooth muscle function.
When the nerve endings are pinched by spasmodic muscles, inflammatory edema, and a displaced intervertebral disc, severe, piercing, burning pain occurs. It is so sharp that it provokes blanching of the skin, the appearance of cold perspiration and chills. This set of symptoms is characteristic of lumbago, radiculitis, urolithiasis, an attack of cholecystitis, pancreatitis.
Pressing, dull, pulling, aching pain indicates chronic inflammatory or degenerative pathology and is not a protective reaction. Weak uncomfortable sensations arise during the period of remission when the weather changes, hypothermia, the use of fatty foods, after intense physical exertion. Drawing pains can bother a woman with a pathology just starting to develop, for example, with osteochondrosis, glomerulonephritis or pyelonephritis.
They are completely physiological on certain days of the menstrual cycle, and their severity and duration is determined by the physiological processes in the body.
Causes of appearance
The appearance of mild pain in the lumbar spine and sacrum more often 1-2 times a month should be a signal to see a doctor. Despite the fact that it can be a banal muscle strain after a hard working day or intense sports training, consultation with a neurologist, vertebrologist is necessary. The fact is that such conditions often cause damage to the cartilage structures of the spine and the development of osteochondrosis.
During the period of bearing a child, a woman’s body is subjected to various loads. Already in the early stages, the hormonal background changes, the circulatory system expands. The weight of the fetus is constantly growing, and the uterus increases in size, presses on the organs of the small pelvis located under it. This can lead to episodic or persistent lower back pain. Such uncomfortable sensations are quite physiological, if not accompanied by the following symptoms:
- vaginal spotting;
- dizziness, impaired coordination of movements;
- digestive disorders and (or) peristalsis.
With the appearance of such concomitant signs, a gynecologist’s consultation is necessary. Studies will be conducted (ultrasound, MRI) to identify the causes of lumbar pain.
Low back pains are reflected. Near this section of the spine are the nerve endings that innervate and the organs of the reproductive system. Therefore, in case of damage by the inflammatory or destructive process of the ovaries, uterus, discomfort is felt not only in the lower abdomen, but also in the back. This symptomatology is characteristic for inflammation of the fallopian tubes. Cysts in the ovaries, polyps that form in the uterine cavity are clinically manifested in a similar way.
Under the influence of external or internal negative factors, the genetic apparatus of the cells changes, which leads to disorders in the regulation of their growth and division. A tumor begins to form, compressing the sensitive nerve endings, soft tissues, and blood vessels.
Pain in the lower back occurs when a neoplasm of the spine, pelvic organs, and gastrointestinal tract is affected. Tumors are benign, well amenable to surgical treatment, and malignant, metastatic to adjacent parts of the body.
These paired organs are located close to the lower back, have a common innervation with the vertebral structures. With kidney damage, very often pain is felt in the lower back. This is especially true with the development of the following pathologies of the urinary system:
- glomerulonephritis – an immune-inflammatory disease that affects mainly the renal glomeruli;
- pyelonephritis – a non-specific infectious pathology caused by various bacteria;
- acute or chronic renal failure – a decrease in the functional activity of paired organs, which is caused by the death of nephrons.
These pathologies are rapidly progressing, provoking severe complications, up to the person’s disability.
During the period of natural menopause, the reproductive function fades against the background of a gradual decrease in estrogen production and an increase in the production of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones. Climax is manifested by “tides”, psycho-emotional instability (anxiety, anxiety), jumps in blood pressure, heart palpitations.
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Low back pain is an atypical sign of natural menopause. It indicates the development of osteoporosis, characterized by a decrease in bone density. This is fraught with spontaneous fractures even with non-dangerous falls or bruises.
The higher the woman’s body weight, the greater the load on the spine. Obesity not only causes psycho-physical discomfort, causes sexual disorders, but also provokes the development of pathologies of the joints and spine. Therefore, back pain can occur in overweight women due to destructive and degenerative processes already occurring in the intervertebral discs and vertebral bodies. In obesity, small and large joints are also exposed to stress.
More than half of women during menstruation experience mild pain in the lower abdomen, which can radiate to the lower back. This is a normal physiological phenomenon, but provided that the uncomfortable sensations disappear immediately after menstruation. The following concomitant symptoms indicate a developing pathology:
- peristalsis disorders;
- bouts of nausea, vomiting;
- dizziness, fainting.
So manifests algomenorrhea – one of the disorders of menstrual function. The well-being of a woman is significantly deteriorating, her ability to work is limited. Algomenorrhea can also indicate the development of inflammatory pathologies of the genital organs, endometriosis.
Wearing narrow high-heeled shoes leads to excessive tension of the skeletal muscles of the back. It arises from the need for constant stabilization of the vertebral structures. If a woman often wears high-heeled shoes, then, in addition to muscle cramps, blood circulation in the legs and lower back is frustrated. Therefore, the appearance of the first aching, pulling pains in the lower back often indicates microtrauma of the cartilage tissue and the development of degenerative-dystrophic pathology.
Osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia
This is the most common cause of back pain in women and men. As a result of a sedentary lifestyle, excessive physical exertion, endocrine pathologies, circulatory disorders, intervertebral discs begin to collapse. They can no longer mitigate the stresses that arise when walking, which leads to the destruction of bone vertebrae with the formation of osteophytes. The following signs indicate the development of lumbosacral osteochondrosis:
- increased pain during bends and turns;
- stiffness of the lower back;
- crunching, clicking, cracking when moving.
When the intervertebral disc is displaced beyond the boundaries of the spinal canal, protrusion occurs. If the fibrous ring breaks, and the pulpous nucleus bulges out, a hernia is formed. Such conditions provoke a significant increase in soreness in the lower back.
Lower back pain during hypothermia is most often caused by myositis, an inflammatory muscle lesion. It is aching, aggravated by walking, extending to the leg, extending to the buttocks, hips, upper back. Myositis is clinically manifested by muscle weakness, slight reddening of the skin, and swelling. In severe cases, body temperature rises, chills and fever occur, palpation feels painful seals.
The lumbosacral spine is subjected to increased loads when lifting weights, frequent tilts or turns of the body, prolonged walking or a long stay in one position of the body. As a result of impaired blood circulation or microtrauma, the nutrition of the intervertebral discs is upset. At this stage, lumbar osteochondrosis begins to develop, rapidly progressing in the absence of treatment.
In women with 4 and higher breast size, pain in the lumbar region occurs first episodically, and then may become constant. The reasons for its appearance are diverse. Some young girls are shy of curvaceous forms, so they stoop, which provokes the curvature of the spinal column. Also, the pain syndrome develops due to increased load on the vertebral segments, microtrauma of the intervertebral discs.
Often, soreness in the lumbar region indicates developing endometriosis. This is the name of the hormone-dependent pathological proliferation of the glandular tissue of the uterus beyond. One of the leading symptoms of endometriosis is menorrhagia, or heavy and prolonged menstruation.
If a woman does not seek medical help, then serious complications will soon develop. This infertility, hemorrhage, scarring, provoking the formation of adhesions in the pelvis and organs of the abdominal cavity.
Which doctor to contact
If you experience discomfort in the lower back, you should contact a neurologist. But it will not be a mistake to make an appointment with a general practitioner – therapist. He will prescribe all the necessary instrumental and biochemical studies of the spinal column, internal organs. After studying the results of the diagnosis, the patient will be referred for further treatment to the doctor of the corresponding specialization.
Methods of diagnosis
The initial diagnosis is made after an external examination of the patient, collecting medical history data. Instrumental studies are mandatory – radiography, magnetic resonance or computed tomography, ultrasound. The results of general clinical tests make it possible to assess the state of health of a woman, to suggest the development of endocrine pathologies. If a tumor is suspected, histological studies of biological samples are performed.
First Aid: How to Relieve Pain
If the pain is aching, dull, then you need to lie down, having taken a position of the body in which its severity is reduced as much as possible. You can rub 1-2 cm strips of any external non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent in the lower back, for example, ointments or gels Indomethacin, Voltaren, Fastum, Arthrosilen. In case of moderate intensity pain, a tablet of Diclofenac, Nise, Ketorol should be taken. Such drugs will help with severe pain, but not in all cases. Sometimes, their elimination requires parenteral administration of NSAIDs, anesthetics, glucocorticosteroids.
When providing first aid, you can not use dry or wet heat – take baths, apply ointments with a warming effect or alcohol tinctures. This will lead to the spread of inflammation to healthy tissues.
Stages of effective treatment
Therapy is carried out immediately after identifying the cause of pain in the lower back. Only cure of the pathology that provoked them will allow getting rid of uncomfortable sensations. Patients are prescribed a course of taking pharmacological preparations, physiotherapeutic procedures, wearing orthopedic devices – corsets, bandages.
At the rehabilitation stage, regular physical therapy exercises, classical, acupressure, vacuum massage, acupuncture are shown.