Men and women - a Female and male figurine either side of a seesaw

Men and women: who is most likely to suffer from back pain?

Anyone can experience back pain, no matter their age or gender.

However, studies show that women are more likely to experience back pain than men. The British Chiropractic Association advises that women develop back pain earlier than men, experience it more regularly, and are less likely to visit a doctor or health professional.

But why are women more likely to suffer from back pain? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

Why might women be more likely to suffer back pain?

Biological differences

Women have a lower centre of gravity than men. This is down to wider hips, weight distributed in the lower half of the body, and typically being shorter in height.

As a result, women are more likely to experience pressure in the lower back, resulting in pain.

Pregnancy and birth

Four out of five pregnant women experience back pain. This is due to hormones causing joints and ligaments to soften in preparation for birth. Plus, the growing baby causes the centre of gravity to move forward, affecting posture.

Not only this, but injuries during labour can lead to back issues. For example, coccydynia, or tailbone pain, frequently occurs during childbirth, with women five times more likely to develop it than men.


Studies have shown that menopause causes women to experience joint and back pain. This is because of changing levels of hormones in the body. For example, lower oestrogen levels can lead to less collagen cushioning the vertebrae, resulting in pain.

Vitamin D deficiency is also more common during the menopause, which can lead to back pain and weaker bones.


Women are one and a half times more likely to be stressed at work than men. There are a number of reasons for this. Women often feel they have to be ‘perfect’ in the workplace or may be juggling a job, home life and childcare.

Stress and anxiety can have a significant effect on posture, leading to back, shoulder, and neck pain.

How to avoid back pain

We’ve established that women are more likely to experience back pain, but how can you stop it from happening? Here are some of our top tips.

  • Buy footwear with strong arch support and avoid wearing the same shoes every day
  • If you wear a bag, avoid overloading it and carry it on alternative sides of your body
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen your core, reduce stress, and improve your posture. Even low-impact exercises like walking and yoga can have a fantastic effect
  • Get professionally fitted for a bra to ensure you get the right amount of support
  • Eat healthily. Unhealthy and processed foods can lead to weight gain and inflammation

If you experience back pain that lasts longer than two months or to the point that you can no longer function as normal, please book an appointment with your doctor.

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