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Can Pelvic Inflammation Make Your Back Hurt?

There are a number of conditions that can create pelvic pain in women. 

Endometriosis is one example, and pelvic inflammatory disease is another.

But if your symptoms include pain that’s spreading upward, you might be asking can pelvic inflammation can make your back hurt? Let’s take a look.

What causes pelvic pain?

Women’s pelvic health is important and there are a number of maladies that can create pelvic inflammation and pain. 

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common infectious illness of the female reproductive tract. It can cause infections in the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries, vagina, and cervix.

The characteristics include abdominal and pelvic pain along with tenderness of the uterus or cervix on physical exam. The incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease is actually on the rise. 1

Endometriosis is another common pelvic condition, sometimes mistaken for pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to painful cramping and inflammation. It can also make you feel bloated, cause constipation and result in painful sex.

Polycystic ovary syndrome, adenomyosis and other pelvic health issues can cause inflammation and therefore pain. There are also instances where doctors identify a chronic overlapping pain syndrome, which means that more than one condition is causing the pain. For instance, a woman may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis. 2

There’s also a situation known as pelvic organ “crosstalk” which can create chronic pain. This is when one organ transmits signals to an otherwise healthy organ or structure, causing dysfunction or pain in that organ. 2

Can pelvic inflammation make your back hurt?

Pelvic inflammatory disease doesn’t always create symptoms, but it can lead to pain in the lower abdomen and yes, it can also lead to pain in your lower back. 3

Here’s what makes it difficult to determine exactly what’s wrong: pelvic pain can be different depending on its source. It can be dull or sharp; it could be constant or it might come and go; it may be mild, moderate or severe; you may notice the pain only at certain times, like during sex. And, pelvic pain can spread to your lower back, buttocks or thighs. 4

Pelvic pain can also come on suddenly, known as acute pain, or it could stay with you over the long term, known as chronic pelvic pain. This is typically pain that has been present for six months or more. 4

Women suffering from chronic pelvic pain are not alone. This type of chronic pain is believed to represent between 14% and 24% of females of reproductive age, and about 14% percent of women experience chronic pelvic pain during their life. 2  If you’re suffering from back pain, it could be the result of pelvic inflammation. 

What can you do about back pain?

If you have pelvic pain that seems to be spreading into your back, see a doctor. In fact, if you have any type of pelvic pain, or a strange pain in your back, find a doctor nearby who can help diagnose and treat your condition.

If you do have pelvic inflammatory disease, it can eventually damage parts of your reproductive system. It can be painful and make it difficult to become pregnant. It can also lead to a pocket of infection in the pelvis that can make you very sick. 5
Once you know what’s wrong, there are treatments available to help. Don’t suffer in silence.