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Low Back Pain in Women: Hormonal Influences

Women, take note – you may be at particular risk for developing an all-too-common common ailment: low back pain. In a study that included 11,428 women, hormonal and reproductive factors were associated with LBP.

The researchers used information from a study of the general population, ages 20 to 59, in three towns in different regions of the Netherlands, that evaluated risk factors for chronic diseases.

Female participants were given a physical exam and asked to fill out a questionnaire.

Duration of oral contraceptive use, number of children, estrogen use during menopause, young maternal age at first birth, irregular or prolonged menstruation, and hysterectomies were associated with chronic LBP. The researchers concluded that factors related to an increase in estrogen may be the common thread. For more information on women's health, visit


Wijnhoven H, Vet H, Smit H, et al. Hormonal and reproductive factors are associated with chronic low back pain and chronic upper extremity pain in women - the MORGEN study. Spine 2006; 31(13):1496-1502.


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