One of the most common reasons people go to the doctor is for back pain. From muscle aches to shooting pain, back pain ranges widely and can indicate a variety of problems. While the symptoms and recovery seem to look similar in every person, back pain affects men and women at different rates. In 2016, approximately 27% of men reported low back pain in the U.S. compared to nearly 30% of women.

Why women?

There is still research that needs to be done regarding what exactly it is about the female body that leads to women suffering from back pain more often than men. However, here are a few reasons that may explain why this difference exists:

  • Bias in the medical industry – women are more likely to receive prescriptions for sedatives, rather than pain medication; 80% of chronic pain studies are conducted on male mice or human men despite 70% of the people it impacts being women.
  • Menopause – decreased levels of estrogen may contribute to a higher risk for a variety of musculoskeletal degenerative diseases. Back pain issues that mainly affect women include:
    • Piriformis syndrome
    • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
    • Spinal osteoarthritis
    • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
    • Coccydynia
    • Endometriosis
    • Spinal osteoporosis fractures
    • Learn more about these seven issues.
  • Aging – women experience more compression fractures and vertebral changes as they age.
  • Pregnancy – the changes a body goes through to grow another human are drastic and these changes can contribute to back pain.
  • Gene variants – a research study conducted by the Norwegian National Institute of Occupational Health found that a specific gene variant may promote chronic pain in women while that same gene variant suppresses pain in men.

Low back pain affecting women at higher rates than men seems to start early on. According to one study, girls were more susceptible to extracurricular sports activities-related lower back pain at ages 9-12. Being aware of the signs of back pain and getting help early on when necessary can help prevent further pain in the future.

What to do when you have back pain

Symptoms of back pain include muscle aching and shooting, stabbing or burning pain. This pain may also extend down to your legs or worsen when bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking.

This pain is often developed without a specific cause. However, back pain is commonly linked to muscle or ligament strain, a bulging or ruptured disk, arthritis or osteoporosis.

How chiropractic care can help

Nearly 8 million people visit chiropractors every year seeking relief from back pain. Chiropractic care can help:

  • Relax and realign muscles
  • Improve muscle balance
  • Reduce tension, pain, and muscle spasms from injury
  • Restore range of motion

Chiropractic spinal manipulation has been recommended by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults. Spinal decompression can treat lower back pain or chronic back pain without the need for invasive surgery. Chiropractic care and orthotics combined can help relieve lower back pain.

At the South Orange Chiropractic Center, we look for the cause of your pain and work to remove it. This may include a variety of techniques, such as light force or a pro-adjuster. Once the pain symptoms are gone, we will continue to work with you to achieve stability and maintenance. We individualize this care for each patient and work to find the best solution on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re suffering from back pain, contact us today. With a team of skilled chiropractors focused on the total health of your back, South Orange Chiropractic Center is committed to finding the right solution to alleviate your back pain, so you can resume the rest of your life.