What Causes Lower Back and Groin Pain in Women and How Is It Treated?

Lower back and groin pain in women can have a wide range of causes and result in other types of pain in the body. Depending on the cause of the pain, it could feel very sharp, dull, burning, or radiating. This article will provide an overview of possible causes of lower back and groin pain in females, how it feels in the body, diagnosis, treatment, and how to prevent aggravating it.

Rear View Of Woman Suffering From Lower Back Pain While Sitting On Bed At Home

 Yuttana Jaowattana / Getty Images

Causes

The main causes of lower back and groin pain in women fall into two categories:

  • Musculoskeletal: Related causes of pain affect how your muscles, ligaments, joints, and bones move.
  • Disease/infection-related: Causes can be related to chronic conditions or acute infections.

Overuse Injuries and Trauma

Frequent use and repetitive movement patterns can lead to overuse injuries to muscles, ligaments, and joints. This could include:

  • Exercises and physical activities, like tennis or golf, that require repetitive twisting and bending in the same directions can lead to overuse injuries.
  • Frequently lifting heavy objects for work or from any movements that are regularly repeated.

Trauma can also lead to lower back and groin pain. Trauma could result from:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports accidents

These can result in both acute and chronic injuries to the body, like strained muscles or broken bones. Depending on the type of trauma, the healing time and treatment needed can vary.

Both overuse and trauma injuries to the lower back or groin area can lead to weakness in the legs, tingling, numbness, pain, stiffness, or popping sensation.

Poor Mobility

Decreased range of motion and mobility in muscles and joints over time cause discomfort and pain. This includes:

  • Long periods of time spent in the same position (someone who is bedridden)
  • Sitting for most hours

This type of pain often feels dull, achy, and stiff; it can also lead to muscle spasms that are sharp intense pain for a short duration.

Posture

Your posture while sitting, standing, and walking affects your range of motion and it can affect the nerves and blood supply to your back and groin area. Prolonged bad posture can contribute to lower back pain and strain your different muscles. This can also feel dull achy and stiff or can lead to some acute pain.

Sciatica and Pinched Nerves

Sciatica and pinched nerves are caused by pressure that is put on the nerve from surrounding muscle, bone, or tendons. It feels like a sharp, burning, or radiating pain along the pathway of the nerve.

Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation in your joint that leads to swelling, stiffness, pain, and the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the joints. Hip arthritis causes groin and back pain that becomes more intense when standing or walking for long periods of time.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac joints connect your lower spine and pelvis. When these joints move too much or too little it causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction, leading to an unstable pelvis, pain, swelling, and a burning sensation in the lower back and groin area.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are formed by the buildup of minerals and salts to form a hard stone-like ball in your kidneys.

When the kidney stone begins to move from your kidney to the bladder is when it typically becomes painful. It causes severe back and side pain, radiating pain to the groin, and cause other symptoms like changes in urine color, pain when urinating, nausea, and vomiting.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas and one of its symptoms is abdominal pain that radiates to the back. It can be caused by bile stones, alcohol, or infection. The pain with pancreatitis is worse during and after eating. Other symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Infections of the female reproductive organs, known as pelvic inflammatory disease, typically occur when sexually transmitted bacteria spread through the vagina, womb, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen/groin, fever, pain during sex, bleeding between periods, and vaginal discharge.

Kidney Infection and Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections and infections of the kidneys are another cause of lower back and groin pain in women. It also causes fever, frequent urge to urinate, and painful urination.

Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a solid or fluid-filled sac on the surface or within an ovary. Often ovarian cysts cause no symptoms, but it can cause changes in menstrual cycles, pain during intercourse, and pain in the back, pelvis, or abdomen.

Inguinal Hernia

A hernia in the groin area is referred to as an inguinal hernia. It involves soft tissue, often part of the intestine, pushing through weak groin muscles. It causes pain in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvis, especially when bending or lifting heavy objects.

Sexually Transmitted Infection

Some sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause pain in the lower back and groin area. Other symptoms could include painful urination, vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, and bleeding between periods.

Yeast Infection

A yeast infection is the overgrowth of the fungus candidiasis. It is a common vaginal infection with symptoms like itching, swelling, irritation, and pain in the pelvis.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

There are lymph nodes that lie both in the internal and external regions of the iliac in the pelvis. These can become enlarged for many reasons, including infection, injury, and in some rare cases cancer. Symptoms of enlarged lymph nodes include pain, swelling, redness and skin irritation, and fever.

When to See a Doctor

If your pain is caused by a muscle strain, minor joint sprain, or overuse, the pain should begin to resolve with rest and improve without medical help.

If you are experiencing chronic or unusual lower back and groin pain, your primary care doctor or OB/GYN can help you determine the cause of your pain or refer you to a specialist. Lower back and groin pain in women is a symptom of many different causes, so it can be difficult to find the cause and manage it without a health care provider. 

It can be uncomfortable to discuss these symptoms with a health care provider, but it is important to find a provider you trust and feel comfortable to discuss all of the symptoms you experience with them so that they can make the correct diagnosis.

Seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care if your pain is severe, sudden, or you have any of these other symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing or heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness or faintness

Diagnosis

Depending on the cause of your pain, a doctor may be able to diagnose it with a physical exam and asking questions about your condition.

Other tests may be needed to find the cause of your pain such as:

  • Blood or tissue cultures, to test for infection
  • Imaging (X-Ray, MRI, etc.)
  • Blood work

Treatment

Treating your pain will depend on its cause. Once a diagnosis is made, your treatment plan will be created, and an effective treatment plan will likely contain a combination of the following options.

Lifestyle Management

For injuries caused by muscle strains, joint sprains, overuse, and smaller traumas, the pain will often begin to resolve with rest, icing, over-the-counter pain relievers—like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Braces or compression wraps can also help support your body while healing and alleviating pain.

Exercises to improve posture, form when lifting objects, and stretching can help to manage the pain and increases your strength around your injury.

Medication

Medicine can be used in a variety of ways to help in the treatment of your lower back and groin pain.

If your pain is caused by an infection, medications will be prescribed to clear the infection and resolve the symptoms of the condition. These include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antivirals
  • Antifungals

Medications may also be prescribed by your doctor to help manage your pain. These include:

  • Steroids
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain medications
  • Medicine to reduce nerve pain

Physical Therapy

Working with a physical therapist helps to correct problems with:

  • Posture
  • Walking gait
  • Decreased mobility
  • Strength

Depending on the condition, physical rehab will help to reduce or resolve your pain by helping to correct problems or help your condition. They will provide exercises to help increase and maintain your strength, range of motion, and flexibility.

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvis. It helps with pain, weakness, and dysfunction in the pelvic floor area.

A physical therapist will decide on a treatment plan for your pelvic floor therapy to help with strength and range of motion in your pelvic muscles.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors offer spinal and hip adjustments to re-align the joints of the spine. Adjustments by a trained chiropractor have been shown to help reduce back and hip pain.

Surgery

Some conditions are more severe and could require surgery to remove the infection or help a health condition. Ovarian cysts, hernias, and other infections sometimes require emergency surgery to remove the infection, stop internal bleeding, or re-establish blood flow.

Also, essential surgeries that are non-emergent are at times recommended by physicians, like:

  • A hip replacement to resolve arthritis pain
  • A non-urgent hernia repair
  • A gall bladder removal to prevent recurring pancreatitis

Prevention

Not all conditions and diseases causing lower back and groin pain in females can be prevented. For some, the conditions the risk for pain can be reduced by adopting lifestyle changes.

To help prevent lower back and groin pain, consider:

  • Engaging in physical activity daily, like walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, and lifting weights with proper form
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Stretching daily
  • Staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet

If you have any questions about symptoms you are experiencing, asking your doctor during regular check-ups and screening can help to prevent severe, chronic pain by addressing the condition early.

A Word From Verywell

Finding the cause of your lower back and groin pain can be frustrating because it is a symptom of many conditions and diseases. Discussing all of the symptoms you experience can help your health care provider to correctly diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that will work for you. 

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Article Sources
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