Back pain can be debilitating and chronic. One wrong move, even a slight one, can cause pain and interfere with your daily routine. And back pain can take a long time to be remedied; on average it can last for up to 12 weeks. Nobody is immune from potential back pain, injuries and spinal conditions. However, studies have shown that women experience chronic musculoskeletal issues like back pain more often than men.
Researchers are still working to find out exactly why. Some speculate that women tend to multi-task and care for others at the expense of their own wellbeing. Strenuous lifting, stress and poor posture are all culprits. Other experts blame our culture and a general lack of education regarding proper back and spine care.
Obviously, men and women are built differently. According to Spine-Health.com, “Differences in pelvic structure, hormonal factors, and the impact of pregnancy are often cited to explain why women bear the brunt of chronic pain.”
It’s quite possible that the answer is “all of the above.” Either way, May 13-19 was National Women’s Health Week. It is the perfect opportunity to shed some light on an area of women’s healthcare that is often overlooked.
Women Should Never Ignore Back Pain
Back pain is common. Too common. Sometimes it is ignored with serious consequences. Don’t ignore back pain. It can be a symptom of kidney malfunction or even cancer. If you’re pregnant, it can even be a symptom of early labor or fetal complications. When should you see a doctor?
If you’re experiencing back or spine pain that is associated with the following symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away.
- Numbness and tingling in one or both legs
- Weakness, loss of strength or inability to walk
- Swelling or redness in your back
Back Pain in Women: Is it all about aging?
The back pain women most commonly experience isn’t necessarily caused by aging, but rather exacerbated by it. People typically start to experience back and spine issues as young as 30. As you get older, aging can play a big role in spine health and pain.
“As women age, they experience more compression fractures, vertebral changes such scoliosis, loss of bone mass and osteoarthritis than do men,” reports the Cleveland Clinic in an article titled “Why Are Women More Likely to Suffer From Chronic Pain?”
Other issues faced more often by women like sacroiliac joint dysfunction can occur in women as young as 18.
Lots of things can go wrong with your back. The abuse caused by repetitive motion, athletics and injury has nothing to do with age, or gender for that matter. But if you’re older than 30, you should be aware of the common conditions and their symptoms to get the proper care and mitigate long-term effects.
Back Problems: The List is Long
So what back problems do women most commonly face? The most common conditions include:
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Degenerative Spondylolisthesis
- Spinal stenosis
- Muscle or ligament strain
The MOSH Spine & Neck Team are available to guide you through the symptoms and risks associated with common back problems. They can also provide you with solutions like physical therapy and specialized treatment for some of the most challenging conditions.