Why Lower Back Pain During Periods
What Causes Low Back Pain During Menstruation? – Low back pain during menstruation is typically muscular in nature and thought to be caused by hormone changes. Prostaglandins (hormones released during a menstrual cycle to promote uterine contraction to shed the uterine lining) can affect the lower back muscles.
Is it normal to have lower back pain during period?
Back pain and lower pelvic pain during menstruation is very common. The culprit is prostaglandins. These are substances that the uterus makes that help the body heal from injury or stress. They also regulate contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
What makes period back pain worse?
Lower back pain is common among people who have pain during their periods. One study of females aged 18–25 found that about 84% reported pain during menstruation, which is called dysmenorrhea. About 16% of those who reported period pain also had lower back pain,
- Pain in the lower back during a period can be distressing but it is usually not a sign of a serious medical problem.
- However, some health issues, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, can cause intense lower back pain during periods.
- Below, we look at why this type of pain occurs during menstruation and describe medical treatments and home remedies.
Primary dysmenorrhea means that getting a period causes pain — the pain does not result from a medical condition. Most people who menstruate experience some form of primary dysmenorrhea, be it cramping, aching, or lower back pain. Chemicals called prostaglandins are the main cause of cramps during periods.
- Immediately before a period, the endometrial cells in the uterus manufacture many prostaglandins.
- These chemicals, which are abundant throughout the body, play an important role in inflammation and healing.
- However, the accumulation of prostaglandins can cause cramping.
- As the uterine lining sheds during menstruation, the body releases fewer prostaglandins.
This usually means that the pain gets better. Uterine contractions also play a role in period cramps. The uterus contracts to get rid of its old lining. This is a much weaker version of the contractions of childbirth. For some people, the pain of these muscular contractions radiates to the lower back.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea refers to back pain during a period because of a medical condition or injury.
- In some cases, the pain is present at other times but it worsens during periods.
- Below, learn about some common causes of secondary dysmenorrhea and their treatments.
- In some people, uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus.
It can wrap around other organs, causing intense pain. This medical condition is called endometriosis, and it can also cause a person to have very heavy or clotty periods, as well as bleeding between periods. A person may experience pain in the area with the endometrial tissue.
- Some people have spinal endometriosis, which causes the tissue to grow around the spine or other areas of the lower back.
- This can cause intense back pain.
- To treat endometriosis, a doctor may recommend birth control pills or, sometimes, surgery.
- Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus, and some become quite large.
They cause intense pain, including back pain, during periods. Even fibroids that cause severe symptoms may go away without treatment. In some cases, though, a doctor recommends surgery to remove them. Sometimes, tissues that line the uterus grow into the muscles of the uterus.
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Also, a doctor may suspect it if a person’s uterus feels enlarged during a pelvic exam. Hormone therapy, surgery — and, in severe cases, removal of the uterus — can treat this condition. For some people with back problems, symptoms get worse before or during their periods.
This may be because the prostaglandins that accumulate in the uterus release inflammatory chemicals that can make back pain worse. Though treatment depends on the person’s overall health and the specific back condition, some people find that exercise or physical therapy help. People with more serious conditions, such as severely herniated disks, may need surgery.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) can help ease the pain by reducing the inflammation that prostaglandins cause. This makes NSAIDs an ideal treatment for period cramps. A common example of a NSAID is ibuprofen (Advil). The following may also help :
applying warmth to the painful area, with a heating pad or hot water bottle, for exampledoing stretches or exercising having sex or masturbatingpracticing relaxation and mindfulness techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathingtaking certain supplements, such as those that contain magnesium, vitamin B-1 (thiamin), or bothtrying alternative treatments, such as acupuncture having a massage
If these techniques do not relieve the pain, and especially if the pain is severe, contact a doctor. They may prescribe stronger pain medication. Hormonal birth control pills may also help reduce the intensity of period cramps and ease some symptoms of endometriosis.
Home care techniques do not work or stop working. Medication offers no relief. There are accompanying symptoms, such as bleeding between periods, pain during sex, or pain in the vagina. Period pain is new or worsening.The pain is so intense that it prevents the person from going to work or school. There are other back or muscle symptoms, such as pain when walking, difficulty lifting things, or muscle spasms. Bleeding is so heavy that it soaks through one or more tampons or pads per hour for more than 2 hours in a row.
Painful periods are common. While back pain is not the most common symptom, many people experience it during at least some of their periods. Home care techniques can often ease the pain and any other symptoms. However, it is often a good idea to see a healthcare provider, especially if the pain is severe. They can rule out underlying causes and recommend ways to relieve the pain.
What drinks help with period back pain?
2. Enjoy herbal teas to relieve inflammation and muscle spasms – Certain types of herbal tea have anti-inflammatory properties and antispasmodic compounds that can reduce the muscle spasms in the uterus that cause cramping. Drinking chamomile, fennel or ginger tea is an easy, natural way to relieve menstrual cramps.
Ovarian cysts are small, noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs that can occur in women who have regular periods. They’re a nuisance for many women, often causing bothersome symptoms like periodic bloating and abdominal discomfort. In some cases, ovarian cysts can trigger dull and aching lower back pain.
Do you burn more calories on your period?
Do you burn more calories on your period—or carbs? – Some period benefits are overstated—or flat-out wrong. For one, you don’t burn more calories on your period, contrary to some locker room chatter. If anything, Sims says you burn slightly more calories when your hormones are higher (known as the post-ovulation luteal phase) because your heart rate, respiratory rate, and core temperature increase.
- It’s very minimal though,” she says.
- Approximately 100 calories per day.” Also, when it comes to carb-loading on your period, one study notes there can be a tiny window when your estrogen levels are higher and your ability to store glycogen may therefore be greater.
- But, the study found that this doesn’t make much of a difference if your carb intake falls within the recommendations of about 3.5 to 5.5 grams of body weight per day.
So no matter how to look at it, your menstrual cycle can be a trick time, and there are tons of different changes happening in your body that you might have to adjust for—but making up for burning more calories isn’t necessarily one of them.
Does lower back pain mean period or pregnancy?
Fatigue – Fatigue or tiredness can also be a sign of early pregnancy, due to rising levels of progesterone as your body works to support a pregnancy. But fluctuating hormones also happen when your body is preparing to menstruate. Fatigue associated with PMS typically goes away once your period begins, while pregnancy fatigue can be intense for many women (especially during the first trimester).
- We’re talking the “fall fast asleep on the couch at 7:30 p.m.” kind of tired.
- Bloating, headaches, and back pain can also be symptoms of—you guessed it—both early pregnancy and PMS.
- It can be confusing (not to mention frustrating) when you’re experiencing so many similar symptoms during your two-week wait.
Do your best to get your mind off of what’s going on in your body by keeping busy and taking care of yourself. We’re wishing you luck.