Back Pain During Period: Why It Happens and Ways To Counter It
How do women deal with back pain during period?
Monthly periods are the bane of every woman’s existence. Along with having to bear with blood flow, there are a number of other annoying things she has to deal with such as bloating, headaches, sensitive breasts, abdominal cramping, and mood swings. A good number of women do experience back pain during periods and just general sluggishness. This makes those few days each month a grueling ordeal for the female species.
These aches, pains and general discomfort fall under what is known as premenstrual syndrome ( PMS ). For some women, the symptoms can be so severe that they need to stay in bed and call in sick at work. There are medications to ease the cramping and body aches but there are others that experience nausea and fainting. However, lower back pain is most often present and pronounced
For women who have irregular periods and don’t rely on the calendar for expected dates of their monthly flow, the onset of PMS symptoms makes her aware and expectant to make necessary preparations. Blood flow is inconvenient enough on its own, but accompanied by cramping and lower back pain may be a good reason she may seem on a warpath with everyone.
What Causes Back Pain During Period?
Premenstrual syndrome may be the reason that brings lower back pain during periods. But muscular pains can be blamed on hormonal changes. Part of the guilty party are those chemicals produced by a woman’s body called prostaglandins. These chemicals come from the tissue lining of the uterus which needs to shed when a woman menstruates. The uterine lining cannot shed on its own without the help of stimulation from these chemicals. Hence, why cramping is almost always present during menstruation along with lower back pain. These contractions can be pretty strong that muscular pain can radiate from the abdomen to lower back.
Take note though that not all women experience pronounced PMS. Women with high levels of prostaglandins are mostly those who complain of severe cramping and lower back pain due to heavy stimulation of the uterine lining from prostaglandins.
Back pain can range from mild to severe discomfort and may hinder a woman from routine activities Typically, back pain can be experienced days before actual flow and eventually eases up as the period wanes. Women who go through severe pain during menstruation suffer from Dysmenorrhea.
Could You Be Pregnant?
For those women who have given birth, they may be more sensitive with their bodies and can unmistakably tell if they are with child. This is because premenstrual syndrome symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are almost too similar.
Lower back pain is commonly the first sign and symptom of early pregnancy. The reason behind back pain during menstruation is quite different from what occurs inside a woman’s body when she is pregnant. A woman’s body naturally prepares itself when it is carrying a child even in the early stages. Ligaments need to be able to accommodate room for a baby hence they start getting softer and slowly stretch as a means of prepping the body for the trauma of labor and childbirth. These ligament changes strain the joints of the back and pelvis causing lower pain during the first few months of pregnancy.
Ways to Counter Back Pain During Period
Whether you suffer from mild or severe back pain during your period there are ways to counter it. There is no need to continually suffer and put your life on hold due to back pain during periods. Do a self-evaluation of your habits and check if these directly contribute to back pain when you are on your monthly flow. Here is a checklist of things you can do to manage and counter back pain :
- Massage Therapy: a full message is not advisable when you have your period. But do apply gentle massage strokes on your lower back and lower abdomen to relieve pain
- Heat Therapy: a hot water bottle or a heating pad on your lower back can reduce pain
- Exercise: movement is the key, walking, stretching, and swimming are your best physical activity during your period to reduce back pain
- Warm bath: a warm relaxing bath certainly does wonders to soothe aches and pains
- Meditation: yoga, meditation, journaling, painting drawing, or anything to distract you from pain
- Birth Control Pills: some birth control pills are known to relieve PMS symptoms such as back pain and cramping
- Hydration: Water is always a great cure-all for headaches and reducing cramps
- Pain killers: take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or NSAIDs to ease menstrual pains.
- Vitamin supplements: B-Vitamins and magnesium are most recommended
Back Pain After Periods: Should You Be Worried?
Premenstrual syndrome can be managed no matter how worse the symptoms get every month. But these symptoms should ease up soon as your menses wane and stop. If cramping and back pain continues even after your period has stopped there may be other underlying reasons you may want to look into with your OBGYN.
- Endometriosis: When tissue lining in the uterine cavity forms outside the uterus, Cramping and back pain are common symptoms before, during and after periods along with painful urination, bloating, excessive bleeding and pain during /after sex.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease ( PID ): A form of bacterial infection in the female reproductive organs that usually start out with lower back pain, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, bleeding.
- Adenomyosis: This condition causes back pain as the tissue in the uterine lining develop into the muscular uterine wall. You may also experience the passage of blood clots during menstruation, painful sex and heavy bleeding. Hysterectomy is usually recommended upon diagnosis.
- Uterine Fibroids: Growths can cause a scare but these growths are typically non-cancerous and form in the uterine wall. Back pain, leg pain, prolonged periods and cramping as well as frequent urination are some symptoms to watch out for.
- Cervical Stenosis: Some women are born with a small cervical opening that constricts the menstrual flow. When blood is not able to freely flow, the pressure in the uterus causes cramping and back pain. Surgery may be an option to correct the issue.
Body aches and pains are signals that our bodies send us to let us know something isn’t right.
Pain killers temporarily relieve us but they don’t fix the problem. Never ignore back pains outside of premenstrual syndrome episodes before and during periods.