Women and Back Pain

Most women dread their monthly period and the symptoms that accompany it. Three out of every four menstruating women experience some sort of premenstrual symptoms. While there are a wide range of symptoms women experience and can affect women mentally, emotionally and physically. Symptoms can range from sleepiness, headaches and nausea to the most complained about symptom women agree on which is lower back pain.

This type of back pain that accompanies PMS can present as a dull ache to debilitating back pain that radiates from the back all the way down to the legs. While specialist can't specifically point to a reason why back pain is so common during PMS, they do know that with hormones changing and levels roller-coasting a woman's body responds with PMS symptoms.

There is evidence to show that prior to menstruation, a females lower back and torso repeatedly contract which can cause the lower back pain. There is also evidence which points to the premenstrual water retention as the cause for the pressure placed on the back.


While there are no conclusive reasons as to why some women experience more serious discomfort than others, there is some initial evidence that certain lifestyle and nutritional habits may contribute to more serious PMS symptoms:

  • High intake of dairy products.
  • Moderate to high intake of caffeine. Not only does caffeine make you feel tired after the effects have worn off but it can also contribute to water retention.
  • Excessive intake of refined sugars, inadequate whole grains, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake.
  • Overweight. Females who are overweight have a much higher risk of increased estrogen levels which can amplify normal PMS symptoms.
  • Low activity level. Studies have shown that women who exercise regularly have less severe PMS symptoms and are better able to manage the mental and emotional ups and downs that accompany PMS.

While all women have to endure menstruation, PMS symptoms may be under your control. Eating right and exercising could make you feel like a new woman each month instead of dreading the inevitable.