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Female Lower Back Pain: Common Causes and How To Treat Them

A woman having a lower back pain

Lower back pain in females is one of the most common pains that any woman will experience. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) regularly occurs one to two weeks before the start of each menstrual period.  Other causes of lower back pain include reproductive problems, hormonal changes like menstruation and pregnancy, or around menopause. Depending on the condition, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy may help treat pain in the lower back by stimulating nerves.

TENS therapy is the most commonly used treatment approach to reduce acute and chronic pain. This therapy uses a TENS machine that transmits electrical pulses to the body through electrode pads to stimulate nerve fibres. In addition to that, it reduces the pain signals to reach the brain. This article will present the causes of lower back pain that most women experience, treatments, and using TENS for the pain.

Causes of Female Lower Back Pain

The pain in the lower back can be caused by several conditions like muscle strain, herniated disc, sciatica and the like. Many people of different sex can be affected by this. However, it may also be related to the menstrual cycle or other factors like pregnancy or endometriosis. Female lower back pain has many possible causes.

First is the menstrual cycle. PMS is a condition many women get before their periods and ends within a day or two after the period starts. Endometriosis is another condition when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Other symptoms of this include painful menstrual cramps and pain with bowel movements or urination during the period. In extreme cases, women can experience dysmenorrhea which causes even more severe pains.

Second is pregnancy when back pain is very common. It usually begins around the second trimester of pregnancy but can start much earlier. The pain is commonly located right below the waist and across the tailbone. Pain can also spread to the centre of the back, around the waistline or legs as the centre of gravity shifts and weight increases.

Symptoms of Female Lower Back Pain

Symptoms vary on the cause. There are many symptoms accompanying lower back pain, including:

  • aching or dull pain accompanied by muscle spasms, pain in hips and pelvis, and decreased range of motion
  • pain gets worse after sitting for a longer period of time
  • there is pain upon walking, standing, sexual intercourse or bowel movements
  • after waking up, the pain is worse because of the discomfort
  • the pain travels to your butt down the legs and feet, which are symptoms of sciatica
  • some body positions are more painful and uncomfortable than others
  • experiencing fatigue, chest pain, nausea, diarrhea, weakness, dysmenorrhea, irritability, depression, and anxiety

A woman exercising

Treatment for Female Lower Back Pain

There are several ways to treat lower back pain in females. The best strategy is often to prevent the pain from occurring. Living an active lifestyle keeps your back in motion. The routine movement will keep your back strong and used to natural movement. A healthy diet helps as well. It helps to keep a healthy weight, which reduces strain on the back.

Sometimes lower back pain is unavoidable. When it does occur, there are strategies for managing the pain and healing faster. Much like prevention, exercise is usually a good treatment. Moving and stretching can help the back return to a healthy range of motion. Be sure to move slowly so as not to strain the back further.

A proper sleeping position helps, too. Sleeping on your front creates an awkward position for the back and can worsen the pain. Sleep on your side or back with a pillow underneath your legs to create a more natural position for your spine. Hot and cold compresses can also relieve pain and help relax muscles.

Alternative Treatments

Self-care may not be enough to treat some types of back pain. Hence, there are alternative treatments for more serious cases. A doctor may recommend a medical plan for recovery. In some situations, surgery may be necessary. This is usually a last choice, given its invasiveness and cost. Recovery from surgery may also take a long time.

Moreover, doctors may give prescription painkillers for times when back pain is extreme. Be aware that their side effects may cause other problems. For a treatment method with immediate pain relief and almost no side effects, try TENS therapy.

A woman using a wireless TENS unit

Using TENS for Female Lower Back Pain

TENS therapy is the best way to treat lower back pain in females. TENS reduces pain by sending electrical pulses to targeted nerves via pads on the body. These pulses block pain signals from travelling to the brain. They can also stimulate the release of endorphins. Therefore, the user feels less pain in the targeted area.

TENS works for many different types of pain. No matter what the cause is, placing pads in the right area can relieve pain. Effects can be immediate, so it only takes as long as setting up the machine before there is relief. This means that TENS is highly versatile, making it a great tool for anyone who struggles with pain consistently.

To treat lower back pain, simply place the electrode pads on the affected area, then turn the machine on. TENS is non-invasive, so it has no major side effects. Compared to many medications, it is far less likely to affect the body other than its intended use.

Guidelines in Using TENS

There are some basic safety and use guidelines to follow when using TENS. Keep pads away from sensitive areas like wounds, the temples, and the spine. Be sure to wait 20 minutes between TENS sessions as well. The skin may become irritated if TENS is used too much in the same spot, so take a break from treatment if your skin starts to hurt.

When placing pads, try to get as close to the affected area as possible without letting them touch each other. Clean the skin before placing the pads, and wipe the pads off after use. This will make them last longer.


Pain in the lower back in females is a common occurrence. It often accompanies menstrual pain but can start for a myriad of other reasons as well. Menstrual pain includes muscle cramping in the abdomen to the lower back and thighs. Pregnancy can cause similar pain, too. Living a healthy lifestyle can decrease the risk and intensity of back pain, but it will not completely prevent a person from experiencing it.

Back pain is often unavoidable, but there are ways to treat it. Exercise and maintaining good body positions keep the back strong and healthy. Even stretching alone can help by getting the back moving. For immediate pain relief, TENS is a great choice as well. It is easy to use and can relieve pain without any major side effects, allowing someone to use it essentially as much as they want.

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