Hysterectomy Increases Low Back PainWith the understanding that low back pain (LBP) is a national problem this study looks at the incidence of LBP in women after hysterectomy or ovarian surgery. Data from the Women's Health and Aging Study (WHAS) was used.
The WHAS studies women over age 65 who are disabled and living in Baltimore, Maryland. The subjects are interviewed and examined. Health and social information is collected from 4,137 women. Results from over 1,000 women are reported in this study.
Almost half of the women had LBP lasting at least one month. Pain was rated as mild, moderate, or severe. Most of the women were in the moderate to severe group. Gynecologic surgery was common. Almost half (448) reported either surgical menopause (hysterectomy) or ovarian surgery.
The authors conclude that women who have gynecologic surgery are more likely to have moderate LBP compared to women who don't have pelvic or abdominal surgery. It does not appear that spine pathology is the reason for this pain. Effects of surgery on abdominal and pelvic muscles is more likely the cause.
Normal muscle function may not return without exercises. Rehab after gynecologic surgery may protect women from LBP. Core training or stabilization focused on the abdominal and trunk muscles is advised.
Jeffery J. Ericksen, MD, ME, et al. Does Gynecologic Surgery Contribute to Low Back Problems in Later Life? An Analysis of the Women's Health and Aging Study. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. February 2006. Vol. 87. No. 2. Pp. 172-176.
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