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3 Back Pain Conditions That Affect Women More Than Men

3 Back Pain Conditions That Affect Women More Than Men

Chronic back pain is an all-too-common condition that many people suffer through. Given how common back pain can seem, many people consider it a fact of life and don’t even attempt to treat it. Based on numerous studies, women often suffer from lower back pain more frequently than men. Here are three back pain conditions that affect women more than men that you should be aware of if you deal with regular back pain.

Spinal Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a fairly well-known condition as it’s the most common form of arthritis. While osteoarthritis has to do with pain in your joints, it can also occur in your back, known as spinal osteoarthritis. This form of osteoarthritis occurs when the protective fibrous cartilage in between the vertebrae of your spine wears down.

Spinal osteoarthritis is more common in women, especially women older than 40. This condition can cause both upper and lower back pain depending on where the cartilage has worn down. Regular physical therapy sessions from a specialist can help relieve the pain caused by spinal osteoarthritis.

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is another common back pain condition that affects women more than men. The piriformis muscle is a large, flat muscle inside the buttocks, close to the hip joint. Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder because of how it affects the body.

The syndrome causes the piriformis muscle to spasm without warning, putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. This sciatic nerve compression causes pain that radiates from the buttocks, lower back, and hips. Many doctors attribute differences in pelvic anatomy and changes during pregnancy as reasons why women experience this more often than men.


The word coccydynia is a medical term for pain in your coccyx, otherwise known as your tailbone, which is the last bone that makes up the base of the spine. While both sexes can experience coccydynia, it’s seen in women far more often.

Again, pregnancy and childbirth are considered the reason why this disparity exists. Falling on your tailbone while pregnant can do serious, long-term damage because of the extra weight involved. The coccyx is also vulnerable to damage during childbirth because it can’t flex as much as the rest of the pelvis. Coccydynia can be a chronic condition for some women, but even when it isn’t, it can take a long time to go away completely.

If you’re a woman looking for help with one of these issues, or any other back pain problems, you can benefit from the attentive care at any of the Therapydia locations, such as our Saratoga physical therapy clinic. We’ll be glad to help you tackle any pain-related problem you need treatment for.

Jessica Jones

Physical Therapist

Jessica recently moved to Seattle from Boston, MA and is excited to join the Therapydia team. Her treatment experience includes orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, and vestibular therapy. Jessica received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 2016. She has completed the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and is in the process of completing a Comprehensive Vestibular Rehabilitation certification. Jessica believes in empowering and inspiring patients to take control of their health through education, movement, and exercise. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and levels while utilizing soft tissue techniques, neuromuscular re-education, balance training as well as therapeutic exercise. In her free time, Jessica enjoys yoga, dancing, kayaking, and hiking with her dog!


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