Certain back pain conditions affect women much more than men
To begin with, women have a greater diversity of primary body shapes than men:
- Apple- triangle downwards; broader shoulders and bust than hips
- Pear-triangle upwards; broader hips than shoulders
- Banana- straighter body type, with a waist that is less than 9 inches than the hips or bust
- Hourglass- triangles opposing and facing inwards
These terms refer to a woman’s skeletal structure and give us key insights into where her body distributes weight, both from muscle and fat; we use this map of weight distribution to determine the source of certain forms of back pain. No matter what your gender or body shape, weight control is an integral part of back care. Yet, as we will find, women are still disproportionately at risk for other back pain conditions.
Women face more risk factors for chronic back pain
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but here are some of the back pain conditions that affect women in much greater numbers than men:
- Spinal osteoarthritis: a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage which cushions your spinal joints. Women are much more likely to experience osteoarthritis during their lifetime than men.
- Piriformis syndrome: differences in the pelvic structure between men and women could be the reason why up to 5 times as many women are affected by piriformis syndrome than men. The pirifiormis is a large muscle that runs parallel to, and often impinges upon, the sciatic nerve; thus symptoms are very often confused with sciatica.
- Coccydynia: tailbone pain affects more women than men, in part because of the pregnancy process which weakens the base of the spine and causes long-lasting ramifications
- Osteoporosis: much more prevalent in women, this condition can cause compression fractures in the vertebrae.
Helping the women of our community overcome chronic back pain
It is a harsh truth that women are more likely to face chronic back pain, as well as more debilitating symptoms, than men. No matter what stage of life you are in, there are steps you can take to protect and strengthen your spine against the risk factors which seek to undo it. At Holmes Chiropractic, we are a spinal care resource for women in the Houston area and we want to help you create a plan to account for your spine today. Whether you are interested in preventing degeneration, or need help managing a chronic back pain condition, we are standing by to help- give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.