Lower Back and Groin Pain in Women: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Lower back and groin pain in women can have various causes and feel like dull, sharp, or burning sensations. It can go from the lower back to the front pelvic area. Healthcare providers often consider them together because if you have one, you’re likely to have the other.

The causes of this pain in women can be divided into two main categories:

  1. Musculoskeletal and Nervous System Causes: These involve how your muscles, nerves, ligaments, joints, and bones work. Examples include conditions like sciatica, arthritis, and injuries.

  2. Other Organ System-Based Causes: Pain can come from different organ systems like the kidneys (e.g., kidney stones), reproductive system (e.g., ovarian issues), or gastrointestinal system (e.g., inguinal hernias or appendix problems). It can also be due to acute or chronic conditions and infections.

In this article, we will explore the potential causes of lower back and groin pain in women, explain how it’s diagnosed, talk about treatment options, and provide tips for preventing such discomfort.

Musculoskeletal and Nervous System Causes of Lower Back and Groin Pain

Lower back and groin pain in women can be caused by various factors related to muscles, nerves, and posture. These causes can range from obvious issues like injuries to less apparent ones like poor posture. Here’s the breakdown:

Overuse Injuries and Trauma

  • Overuse: Repeating activities like tennis or golf can strain muscles and joints, leading to injuries.
  • Heavy Lifting: Frequent heavy lifting or repetitive movements can also stress these areas.
  • Trauma: Accidents, falls, or sports injuries can result in acute or chronic damage, such as muscle strains or fractures. Recovery time depends on the severity.

Symptoms can include leg weakness, tingling, numbness, pain, stiffness, or popping sensations.

Poor Mobility

  • Sitting in one position for too long or prolonged sitting can reduce muscle and joint flexibility, causing discomfort and pain.
  • This type of pain is often described as dull, achy, and stiff and may lead to occasional intense muscle spasms.


  • How you sit, stand, and walk affects your range of motion and can affect nerves and blood supply to the back and groin.
  • Maintaining poor posture over time can contribute to lower back pain and muscle strain, resulting in achiness and occasional severe pain.

Sciatica and Pinched Nerves

  • These conditions typically result from a bulging or herniated vertebral disc.
  • Symptoms include sharp, burning, or radiating pain along the nerve pathway.


  • Arthritis causes inflammation, joint swelling, stiffness, and cartilage breakdown.
  • Hip arthritis can lead to groin pain and worsened back pain during prolonged standing or walking.
  • Other common causes of back pain include arthritis in the thoracic or lumbar spine and degenerative disc disease.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

  • The sacroiliac joints connect the lower spine and pelvis.
  • When these joints move excessively or inadequately, it can result in sacroiliac joint pain, characterized by a burning sensation in the lower back and groin area.

Common Renal/Urinary Causes of Lower Back and Groin Pain

Kidney Stones

  • Kidney stones are solid formations in the kidneys caused by mineral and salt buildup.
  • When a stone moves from the kidney to the bladder, it can result in severe pain, typically felt in the back and sides.
  • Symptoms may include pain extending to the groin, changes in urine color, painful urination, nausea, and vomiting.

Kidney Infection and Urinary Tract Infections

  • Infections in the kidneys and urinary tract can also lead to lower back and groin pain, especially in women.
  • These infections often come with additional symptoms like fever, frequent urination, and painful urination.

Gynecological Causes of Lower Back and Groin Pain

1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. It usually happens when bacteria from sexually transmitted infections spread in the reproductive system. Typical symptoms are:

  • Lower abdominal or groin pain
  • Fever
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Vaginal discharge

2. Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled or solid sacs that can develop on or inside an ovary. Small cysts usually don’t cause issues, but large ones or ruptured cysts can cause varying levels of pain. This pain can occur during menstruation, sex, or suddenly in the lower abdomen, back, or pelvis.

3. Back and Groin Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain and groin discomfort are common during pregnancy due to changes in your body as it accommodates the growing fetus. The movement and stretching of pelvic bones and ligaments can lead to discomfort.

While these symptoms are usually normal in pregnancy, it’s crucial to discuss them with your healthcare provider during check-ups.

Severe or persistent pain, especially with bleeding, cramps, or vaginal discharge, can indicate a potential issue like miscarriage or preterm labor.

4. Sexually Transmitted Infections

Certain sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause lower back and groin pain. Other symptoms may include painful urination, vaginal discharge, pain during sex, and irregular bleeding between periods.

5. Yeast Infection

A yeast infection, caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus, is a common vaginal infection. Symptoms include itching, swelling, irritation, and pelvic pain.

Other Causes of Lower Back and Groin Pain

1. Appendicitis

Happens when the appendix gets blocked and infected.

  • Main symptom: Pain that starts near the belly button but can move to the lower back and right pelvic area.
  • Pain can get worse with time, coughing, moving, or taking deep breaths.
  • Other symptoms: Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, chills, and bowel problems (constipation or diarrhea).

2. Inguinal Hernia

  • Occurs when soft tissue, like a part of the intestine, pushes through weak groin muscles.
  • Causes pain in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvis, especially when bending or lifting heavy objects.
  • Pancreatitis:
  • Inflammation in the pancreas, often due to factors like bile stones, alcohol, or infection.
  • Symptoms include abdominal pain that goes to the back, worsens after eating, along with nausea, vomiting, and fever.

3. Enlarged Lymph Nodes

  • Lymph nodes near the pelvis’s iliac artery can swell due to infection, injury, or, rarely, cancer.
  • Symptoms: Pain, swelling, redness, skin irritation, and fever.

4. Enlarged Spleen

  • The spleen, behind the left rib cage, filters blood and makes new blood cells.
  • Infections and diseases can enlarge the spleen (splenomegaly).
  • Pain from an enlarged spleen is usually felt in the upper left belly and sometimes in the left shoulder and upper back. Some may feel discomfort after eating big meals.

Diagnosis of Lower Back and Groin Pain in Women

To figure out where your pain is coming from, your healthcare provider will:

  1. Check your body with a physical exam.
  2. Ask you about your symptoms.
  3. Sometimes, do extra tests like blood work and X-rays or MRI scans to find out what’s causing the problem.

Treating Lower Back and Groin Pain

If you’re dealing with lower back and groin pain, your treatment depends on the cause. Once your diagnosis is clear, your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs. Here’s a simple breakdown of your options:

1. Lifestyle Changes

For pain from issues like muscle strains, rest and applying ice can help. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Braces and compression wraps offer support during healing. Exercises for better posture and stretching can reduce pain.

2. Medications

Medications are essential:

  • Infections may need antibiotics, antifungals, or antivirals.
  • Pain management medications can reduce nerve pain, relax muscle spasms, and relieve general pain. Anti-inflammatory steroids may be prescribed.

3. Physical Therapy

Working with a physical therapist can improve mobility, posture, strength, and walking patterns. You’ll do exercises to increase strength, range of motion, and flexibility.

4. Pelvic Floor Therapy

This specialized physical therapy targets the pelvic area. It helps with pain, weakness, and dysfunction. Your therapist will create a plan to strengthen pelvic muscles.

5. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors can adjust your spine and hips to reduce pain. These adjustments are done by professionals.

6. Surgery

In severe cases, surgery may be needed. Emergency surgery may be necessary for conditions like ovarian cysts or hernias. Non-emergency surgeries may be recommended for issues like hernia repairs, hip replacements, or gall bladder removal.

Remember, your treatment depends on your diagnosis, and your healthcare provider will guide you to the right approach for your lower back and groin pain.

Knowing When to See a Healthcare Provider

  1. Muscle Strain or Minor Joint Sprain: If your pain is from a muscle strain, minor joint sprain, or overuse, rest can help, and you may not need a doctor.

  2. Chronic or Unusual Lower Back and Groin Pain: If you have persistent or unusual lower back and groin pain, contact your regular healthcare provider or OB/GYN. They can find the cause or refer you to a specialist. Women with such pain need proper diagnosis due to various possible causes.

  3. Seek Immediate Medical Help If You Have: For severe, sudden pain or if you experience these symptoms, go to the emergency room or urgent care:

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

These steps help you know when and where to seek medical care based on your pain’s nature and severity.

Prevention Tips for Lower Back and Groin Pain in Women

Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help prevent lower back and groin pain in women:

  1. Bend and Lift Safely: Always bend and lift things using the right technique to avoid straining your back and groin.

  2. Eat Well: A healthy diet supports your overall well-being and can lower the risk of pain.

  3. Stay Active: Engage in daily activities like walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, or strength training (with proper form) to keep your muscles and joints healthy.

  4. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Keeping your weight in check reduces stress on your back and groin.

  5. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for your health and can help prevent discomfort.

  6. Talk to Your Healthcare Provider: If you have symptoms or concerns about your pain, reach out to your healthcare provider early for effective management.

If you need more guidance, you may make an appointment with our online pain management consultation

Need professional help to relieve chronic pain? Book an online consultation with physical therapist Dr. Olivia Patel.

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I'm Dr. Olivia Patel, a physical therapist specializing in helping people with neck, back, and knee pain. Instead of resorting to invasive treatments or surgeries, I use natural and non-invasive remedies to help my clients alleviate their agonizing pain and regain the joy of living a pain-free life. If you're interested in learning about my approach, click the button below to schedule a call with me.