Back pain in women is more common than you think. Men and women are at similar risk of developing back pain, but there are a few physical traits and lifestyle habits unique to women which can put them at greater risk than men.
Australian Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Tamer Sabet says, “Back pain does not discriminate with respect to gender and affects males and females equally. However, it is a problem that influences sufferers differently, particularly in the context of the biological, psychological, and social dimensions. As such, back pain can have varying effects on lifestyle, particularly in the context of pain severity, daily activity and work.”
The first step in treating back pain correctly and effectively is to determine the cause of aching, throbbing, or stabbing sensations. Once this is established, eliminating your back problems will become easier.
Up to 70 percent of pregnant women complain of back pain, and not only because of the extra weight they are carrying, but also because the body produces hormones that relax the joints and ligaments and aggravate pain. There are a number of things you can do to treat back pain during pregnancy such as using an ice or heat pack, sleeping on your side and using a support pillow under your knees. You can also schedule an appointment with a health professional such as a chiropractor or massage therapist.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) affect millions of women worldwide. The urinary tract is a system consisting of the bladder, urethra tubes and the kidneys. This system creates and transports the urine out of the body but in some cases, germs get inside the urine causing an infection known as UTI or bladder infection. One of the major symptoms of a UTI is intense lower back pain, particularly on the right side, or in some cases just below the ribs. If you think you may be suffering from an UTI and your back pain is affecting your day-to-day life, visit a health professional such as a GP or specialist.
Clothing items such as pencil skirts, skinny jeans, sports bras and shapewear can lead to back pain.
Kenneth Hansraj, M.D., Chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine says outfits that are too tight, too stiff, or too constricting can limit your range of motion, which causes more stress and strain to fall on your back, neck, and shoulders, increasing your risk of pain and injury.
Opt for fabrics with a bit of stretch to them and choose a size that’s snug but not skin-tight. You should be able to easily slip a finger under the waistband of jeans and skirts. Compression gear and spanx shouldn’t feel suffocating. If you need to take them off after eating, consider a bigger size.
Sports bras with thin straps or halter-style straps are also damaging to your back as they don’t distribute weight evenly across your shoulders. Instead, pressure is concentrated into one spot which forces you to slump.
Carrying around a handbag, laptop, shoes, books and magazines is a regular occurrence for many women. Carrying around a heavy bag or purse can cause an overuse injury from the combination of the weight of the bag against muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. The compensating shift in posture you make to carry the load can also lead to headaches, back pain and body aches.
To avoid this, clean out your bag regularly so you are carrying a lighter load. If you need to carry around heavy items, a backpack is preferable as this will distribute weight evenly on your back instead of over one shoulder.