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What Causes Sudden Lower Back Pain in Females: Causes and Treatments

What causes lower back pain in females

Nearly 80 % of adults have back pain at some point or other in their lives. Back pain or lumbago in females is common and particularly more women as compared to men experience chronic lower back pains. If not treated at the right time, it can lead to serious problems. But a question arises what causes sudden lower back pain in females?

As a woman’s body undergoes physical changes in different stages of her life, back pain also can vary. Birth, weight gain, pregnancy, and changes in hormonal levels can affect this sort of pain differently and may require a thorough checkup and treatment from a healthcare expert.

In this blog, we will discuss some common causes of lower back pain in women and its necessary treatments.

What is Back Pain?

Back pain is a condition where the muscle or ligament supporting the back is in tension. This can occur all of a sudden and can be due to a fall, lifting something heavy, or as a result from an accident.

Low back pain in women may also be due to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or endometriosis. This pain can have many likely causes, some related to conditions specific to women, while others can happen to anyone.

What Causes Lower Back Pain in Females: Major Causes

There are some specific causes of lower back pain in women. These include the conditions as follows-

1) Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menstruation

Having back pain before the period is a common condition in women. It normally starts a few days before the period and ends nearly in a day or two after the start of a period. The symptoms of PMS include are lower back pain, headache, fatigue, and bloating.

2) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

This is a more severe form of PMS or an extension of PMS. Mood shifts can be exhibited in females in such a case. This is a severe and chronic health condition, which may need consideration and treatment. The exact causes of PMDD are yet to be figured out.

An abnormal reaction to a normal hormone change occurring with the menstrual cycle can lead to PMDD. Changes in the hormone can lead to serotonin shortage. Serotonin is a substance found naturally in the brain and affects the mood and also known as a ‘feel good factor’.

3) Pregnancy

Back pain is common in pregnant women. As the woman’s weight increases and hormones relax the ligaments for the arrival of new baby, this shifts the center of gravity forward and upward.

Sometimes most women experience back pain between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy. Chances of an early back pain cannot be ruled out.

4) Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A UTI infection affects some part of the body’s urinary system, which can include kineys or bladder. Bacterias are major causes of UTIs and for a pregnant woman this can be of major concern.

While mainly causing abdominal and pelvic uneasiness, a severe urinary tract infection can spread and affect the kidneys, which might show as back pain. This is why it’s essential to treat UTIs urgently to avoid symptoms getting worse.

5) Endometriosis

This is a condition where the tissue lining the uterus, known as endometrial tissue, grow outside the uterus. This may affect the pelvic tissues and organs. This can cause scarring and inflammation, leading to back pain as a result of irritation in the body.

6) Dysmenorrhea

When menstruation is very painful it is known as dysmenorrhea. Although manageable, it can be very severe in certain women. One may be at a higher risk for dysmenorrhea if one is under the age of 20, is an active smoker, bleeds heavily during her periods, has a family history of painful periods and has an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, fibroids in the uterus.

Pain from dysmenorrhea is usually felt in the lower abdomen, lower back, legs, and hips. Usually, it lasts for 1 to 3 days.

7) Osteoarthritis

It is another common cause of lower back pain in women. This is a degenerative joint disease and can cause pain and stiffness in the joints. Osteoarthritis starts from the spine, and later this pain can travel to the lower back.

8) Osteoporosis

When bones become too weak then this condition occurs in older females. Predominantly severe in post-menopausal women and those who have had multiple children.

Osteoporosis of the spine causes pain throughout the entire back region. As the bones weaken one can lose height or develop a stoop. Osteoporosis can also lead to increase in fracture or breaking of bones.

Treatments for Back Pain:

1) Keeping the Body in Motion

Try to be as active as possible. Excessive bed rest can cause back pains to get worse as the muscles around the spine have a tendency to get weak and lose shape. Simple stretching of the body can be done as frequently as possible.

2) Use of a Heating Pad

Such a pad when applied to the back results in better blood circulation which allows various nutrients and oxygen to move to the muscles and joints.

3) Ice pack

An ice pack can help decrease the inflammation, bruise, and pain if the back pain is due to a muscle injury or strain. Ice pack is known to be most effective for up to 48 hours of muscle injury or strain.

4) Physical Therapy

This is one of the first-line treatments fo long-lasting back pain. Therapies include various therapeutic exercises which help in strengthening lower back muscles and improve the strength of joints and spinal tissues.

Physical therapy decreases pain in the lower back, increases the spine’s agility, thus improving its range of motion, and improves the person’s ability to perform daily tasks without feeling uneasy.

Research has shown that after involvement in physical therapy, there has been up to 60 % improvement in lower back pain and other related worsening pain in the body.

5) Acupuncture

This treatment involves inserting needles at various pressure points on the body and through the skin. Needles do not cause pain, harm, or uneasiness in the body.

A person trained in acupuncture will identify and target energy points for treatment.

Some points of acupuncture for lower back pain are:

  • Foot points
  • Back of the knees points
  • Lower back points
  • Hand points
  • Hip points

Parts of the nervous system are stimulated to relieve pain, By stimulating these points,


Lower back pain in females can result from different conditions and various factors. Most back pain will go away on its own and if it takes more than six to 12 weeks then one needs to consult the doctor. The doctor may suggest physical therapy or an orthopedist.

Certain cases where one needs to consider back pain to be a serious matter:

1) If the back pain is in connection to a serious trauma (in case of a fall or a car accident).

2) If it is associated with cancer.

3) Having trouble in urinating or stool.

4) Are undergoing neurological dysfunction like numbness or weakness in legs.

5) Having a fever associated with the back pain.


So, at the end of this blog, we have confirmed what causes lower back pain in females. It is a common symptom of period-related conditions. Treatments to treat sudden lower back pain is also discussed in this blog.

There are also various home remedies that manage lower back pain over a period of time such as rest, gentle exercise, taking heat, etc. However, if your sudden lower back pain becomes severe, it’s time to visit a healthcare specialist.

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