4 Unique Threats To A Woman’s Spine

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 6, 2023

Back Pain Activity

Back pain is a common issue in both men and women, but there are some threats to a person’s spine health that are more specific to one sex. When it comes to their back health, women face a number of unique challenges on the road to a strong and healthy spine. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at four unique threats to a woman’s spine.

Unique Causes Of Back Pain In Women

Everyone faces threats to their spine due to athletics or traffic accidents, but some threats are a little more unique based on a person’s sex. Here’s a look at four of those unique threats to a woman’s spine health.

  1. Pregnancy – A woman’s body will go through a number of amazing changes during pregnancy, and some of these changes can be pretty hard on your spine. You’ll inevitably gain weight as your baby develops, and that means that your spine will be tasked with displacing more stress. Additionally, your body releases hormones that help to make ligaments and tissues a little more flexible to help make room for your baby and aid in the delivery process, but this ligament loosening can also make your spinal column a little less stable, and that can lead to inflammation and discomfort. The majority of women experience back pain at some point in their pregnancy, so while it may not be completely preventable, gaining weight as recommended by your physician, continuing to safely exercise and working to have good posture throughout your pregnancy can help to limit or prevent back pain.
  2. Menstrual Cycle – Back pain may be in your future even if you don’t plan on becoming pregnant because a woman’s menstrual cycle can also lead to issues for their spine. Lower back pain is oftentimes a common complaint during premenstrual syndrome, and this is believed to be caused by hormonal changes that can lead to tissue swelling and inflammation. When inflammation develops in the lower back, it can compress nearby nerves, leading to localized or shooting discomfort. Again, staying active, regularly exercising and doing some low-impact stretches can all provide some relief for mild back pain during this time.
  3. Shoe Choice – It’s 2023, and you can wear whatever shoes you like, but studies have found that women are more likely to wear high-heeled shoes. When your heel is elevated off the ground, it changes how stress is dispersed across your whole body. Your lower back oftentimes experiences a significant increase in stress and strain when you’re wearing shoes with an elevated heel, so if you regularly wear lifted shoes, don’t be surprised if your back starts to hurt. As you might imagine, preventing back pain from this cause is pretty simple – just limit the time you spend in high heels.
  4. Menopause – Once again, changes in hormones during a point in a woman’s life can increase their risk of developing back pain. During menopause, women will experience a decrease in the amount of estrogen that is produced by their body, and this can expedite disc degeneration within your spinal column. Low estrogen levels can also affect the ligaments in a woman’s body, affecting the stability of the spinal column and contributing to mild spinal discomfort. Exercise, a healthy diet and posture awareness can all help to limit discomfort that you may experience in your back during menopause.

If you want help dealing with spine pain as a result of any of the listed topics, or you just want to talk to a spine specialist about a different back issue that you’re dealing with, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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