We’re just going to say it: periods aren’t fun. It’s understandable if you just want to crawl into bed and never come out during that time of the month. Especially when body aches — particularly the lower back pain — kick in. And, really, what’s the deal with that? Why is your back throbbing when your uterus is the one doing all the work?
Let’s break it down.
First of all, nothing’s wrong with you. Lower back pain during your period is totally common. It’s caused by contractions of the uterus, which radiate through the web of nerves within your pelvic region. As your body contracts to rid itself of the uterine lining, it can sometimes press on blood vessels in the area, limiting or cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles.
Menstruation can consist of abdominal pain, bloating, and headaches for most women. In addition to the typical symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, some women also suffer from low back pain. This low back pain can range from a subtle annoyance to debilitating pain during those days of the month. The pain experienced is typically located along the center portion of the low back. Back pain for most women will begin a few days prior to a menstrual cycle and usually subside after. The good news is that low back pain during menstruation is usually not serious and will subside for the most part.
For simple cramps and back pain, most over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs will help do the trick, according to the Mayo Clinic. Look for ibuprofen because it’s meant for inflammation, giving it a bit more of an edge for pain relief over acetaminophen. We’d also recommend a hot shower/bath, a heating pad, and resting upon a couch. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups also help, but maybe that’s just us.
- Some women benefit from starting over the counter acetaminophen or anti-inflammations, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, a couple days prior to menstruation.
- Exercise regularly. Studies show that women who exercise on a regular basis have less painful menstrual cramps and low back pain.
- Maintain a healthy diet and take nutritional supplements with vitamin B and magnesium
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Apply heat or take warm baths.
- Avoid caffeine and chocolate.
- Avoid alcohol intake and smoking.
- Some women may require birth control pills to help with menstrual pain.
If your low back pain lingers past the menstrual cycle or you develop leg pain or weakness, you should seek medical attention, as this may be more than the typical low back pain stemming from propagandist release during menstruation.