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Why Does My Lower Back Hurt During My Period?

Here's How to Relieve Period-Related Back Pain

As if pimples, emotional outbursts, cramps, exhaustion, and feeling bloated aren't enough, the PMS demons have to throw uncomfortable back pain your way too.

Lower back pain during your period, or primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus. Every month your body builds up a thick uterine lining (called endometrium) in preparation for a fertilized egg. If you don't become pregnant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and cue your body to break down and detach the lining, and it does that by contracting. If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press on nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles, which is the reason pain occurs in the abdomen and radiates to the lower back and even to the thighs.

Chances are, if you've always had similar menstrual discomfort, it's nothing to worry about. But see a doctor if you're incapacitated for more than a few days a month or if you've noticed a sudden change in your symptoms. Meanwhile, you can ease the back pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or try a warm bath or a heating pad. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine and salt can also help. And even though you have about as much energy as it takes to plop onto the couch, women who exercise regularly often experience less menstrual pain, so keep up with your routine by doing some light cardio or these cramp-relieving yoga poses.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
Join The Conversation
nancyeinhart nancyeinhart 3 years

ugh period back pain is the worst.

Rebecca15377684 Rebecca15377684 3 years
Why do I get horrible lower back pain the same time last year and this year? It's excruciatingly painful but doesn't occur any other time of the year. Thoughts?
VirginiaBankert VirginiaBankert 3 years
spongylove061412 - Just take Midol complete gel caps and eat chicken broth with noodles or drink plenty of chicken broth as soon as u experience a lower back pain and find period blood in your undies. Hot liquids will warm up the lower back and ease pain. Any hot liquids that are clear like tea, soup broth are best to have. Hope this helps.
VirginiaBankert VirginiaBankert 3 years
fitdash - I am 27 in 2013, I never had any cramps before with my period. I use to be on Birth control Pills. Question maybe your mother can answer: Does taking birth control pills help the period not get back pains? Also I don't eat beets and Spinach. Question: What other foods from all 5 food groups bread / cereal / rice / pasta group, Fruit and vegetable group and milk / yogurt / cheese and meat / fish / poultry / dry beans / eggs / nuts group should I eat or be eating...... More food option or choices will help.
subduedjoy subduedjoy 3 years
@dotka15141755 Thanks. I have Ulcerative Colitis. I loose a lot of blood, and I suffer from chronic diarrhea. I just checked and one cause of magnesium deficiency is chronic diarrhea. I will definitely start taking a magnesium supplement.
dotka15141755 dotka15141755 3 years
Ladies please check yourselves for magnesium deficiency. I had this horrible pain for years and tried everything. My lower back pain felt so bad that a couple of times I thought it was kidney related. I finally was told by a very smart doctor to take magnesium supplement and within two months my horrific pms and periods were a thing of the past. Magnesium is very important in the body and most people are deficient. Drinking coffee, tea and any carbonated drink depletes this important mineral from the body and most of us have been deficient for years. Magnesium acts as a relaxer for our muscles this including the uterus, bladder, intestines and back muscles.
Neja15126301 Neja15126301 3 years
Ahhh, I hate my periods D: when I'm on mine, I have killer pain in at my pelvic area and serious pain at my lower back. Everything becomes very uncomfortable, I get light headed, I vomit a lot (mostly right after taking medicine), I faint, and when I go to urinate, the pain increases by times 3. I often try laying down with pillows under my back with my legs on my bed or up on the wall. I sleep with plenty of covers but with the fan on for some odd reason and it helps some. Once I've tried taking these one pain killers that were red, I forget the name, but they were candy coated and they didn't make me throw up. I recommend eating light soups like with lots of broth and noodles but no meat, meat tends to sit heavy on my stomach causing pain.
subduedjoy subduedjoy 4 years
@fitdash. This must be the cause of my lower back pain during my menstrual cycle. I never got any lower back pain with my menstrual cycle until I got Ulcerative Colitis, which results in substantial blood loss. I'm now anemic and always get lower back pain with my menstrual cycle. Iron and B-12 are both lost with blood. I'm sure there are other vitamins and minerals lost too as you mentioned. It's good to take a daily supplement that contains iron and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body to digest iron. Don't take calcium with iron. Calcium makes it harder for the body to digest iron.
SocialSweet14787967 SocialSweet14787967 4 years
This is kinda wild...I have been getting that lower back pain the last year or so - I worry sometimes that it is my kidneys but it only comes and goes just before and after my period. I usually just grin and bare it but the other day my friend told me about this new drink BRAGG Organic Apple Cider Vinegar All Natural Drink - Concord Grape. I had heard to drink the apple vinger but now that it is in grape I decided to try it. I just drank some and - the wild side effect that I didnt expect, my "kidney-level" period back pain eased a LOT. Im was like WOW - AWESOME! You have any guesses as to WHY this helped?
emily706 emily706 4 years
i have this and i originally thought it was from a car wreck i had been through that injured the exact same place. the doctor told me my spine was out of alignment and started over a period of several weeks, putting it back into place. when my period comes and my spine is also alignment, its all i can do to not pass out. most of the time i throwup at least 2 times. im on 2 days of physical therapy a week, eat a ton of vegetables, take calcium as well as extra vitamin d for more absorption. is there anything else that i should be doing to ease the pain?
giggles61 giggles61 4 years
For those of you who are young....please don't panic! Our bodies change as we grow/age. Those of us who suffer severe cramps when we first start having our periods won't suffer from them the rest of our lives. Mine only lasted the first year or so (which at the age of 13 seemed like a lifetime I agree) then they eased up. Sometimes I won't have them at all and other times they are simply a minor annoyance. I only recently started having the strange back ache/back cramp issue and was looking to see if it was normal with menopause. Apparently that is fairly common as well. The best advice that this old lady can give you is to go talk to a doctor if the pain is unbearable for you. Other than that just try different things to see which one might work for you. Heating pads, ibuprofen, aleve, one of the pms medications available, laying on the floor with legs propped on bed or couch, or just curling up in a tight little ball....different things that may or may not work for you. We are all different in what we can tolerate and what will help us.
spongylove061412 spongylove061412 5 years
I am only 14 and man it sucks it feels like somthing pushing into my muscles and it is so very painful , ihave so many more years to put up with this : (
Pebblezz Pebblezz 5 years
If you have any CRAMPS, you must get something very warm onto your lower stomach, where your uterus and overies are. \u00a0If you get a sign of an upcoming cramp,\u00a0BEST thing to do is get those TOE/HAND WARMERS for $2 with a set of 4-6 CHEAP in the hunting/sport section at the store. \u00a0Then place it in your lower stomach, within your panty. \u00a0If I act quick, it's gone completely within an hour and never comes back until another cycle. \u00a0This goes the same after you've given birth to a baby except I did it more around my entire stomach. \u00a0Don't get those expensive big heat pads at the pharmacy section. \u00a0They cost 5 times more. \u00a0 Alternate route is to immediately is get a hot towel (dipped in very hot water) and place on your stomach. \u00a0When it cools, repeat. \u00a0 \u00a0 I never used it on my back, so I will try to see if it helps with back pain.
fitdash fitdash 5 years
Hello girls, I used to go through this pain untill I had a discussion with my Mom. she is from medical field. she gave me explaination about this ... basically during period we lose lot of iron ,calcium some other during these 3 or 4 days you should eat fresh spinach, beetroot. it helped me alot.... (i am not sure about other green vegitables), but 100% is spinach , beetroot., Milk, yogurt. good luck! so on first day itself you should eat spinach
daddys93gurl daddys93gurl 5 years
I get cramps so bad sometimes I end up cryin myself to sleep. : ( Don't know wat to do. Nothin helps. And I bleed really heavy through the whole 7 days or longer. I don't think that it's normal.
tamreen06 tamreen06 6 years
Hopefully that helps you too :)
tamreen06 tamreen06 6 years
I used to get those in Junior High. It helped to sit cross-legged on a hard cool floor, leaning slightly forward with my back straight. I avoided sitting on soft surfaces like mattresses and sofas. I am also grateful to Ibuprofen.
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