Lower Back pain


Back and Pelvic Pain After A Hysterectomy

Back and Pelvic Pain After A Hysterectomy

Womenshealth.gov reports that hysterectomies are the second most common surgery performed on women in the U.S. The surgery involves the removal of part or all of the uterus. Some women also have the cervix, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries removed during a hysterectomy.

Women may decide to have their reproductive organs removed if they have cancer in a pelvic organ, fibroids, adenomyosis, a prolapsed uterus, endometriosis or any other pelvic problem causing health concerns. Sometimes the surgery is performed in an attempt to reduce or eliminate chronic pelvic pain, but this may not be the best application of the procedure.

When we think of the aftereffects of a hysterectomy, we often think of early menopause, perceived loss of femininity and the usual post-surgery recovery symptoms. A less-discussed but all-too-common side effect of this procedure is chronic pelvic and back pain. This risk should be factored into your decision-making as much as the other, more commonly discussed risks.

Causes Of Post-Hysterectomy Pain

Two common causes of back and pelvic pain after this procedure are endometriosis and adhesions (scar tissue). Endometriosis occurs when the tissue surrounding the uterus spreads and grows around other organs. This can cause inflammation and pain throughout the pelvic region that radiates to the lower back due to proximity.

Adhesions form as part of the healing process. During a hysterectomy, the surgeon cuts through tissues in your pelvis in order to remove organs. The body responds by sending a rush of materials to the injured areas to promote healing. Collagen strands grow over the parts that have been cut or burned during surgery and attempt to reconnect the wounded tissues. Collagen is the material that makes up scar tissue. Over the period of a year scar tissue can continue to form in the pelvic area and spread to other organs, as the body's healing response is not always well-controlled. Adhesions can form between the bowels, intestines, bladder and vagina. The tension between these organs can cause a significant amount of pelvic pain that radiates to the lower back.


A 2007 study found chronic post-hysterectomy pain to be present in 31.9% of participants a year after surgery. This is enough to inspire caution in those considering hysterectomy as a treatment option for chronic pelvic pain.

Treating Post-Hysterectomy Pain

Common treatments for endometriosis are hormone therapy, healthy weight maintenance and limited intake of alcohol and caffeine.

Treating scar tissue post-surgery may involve another surgery to remove painful adhesions. Fortunately, there are conservative treatments to try before going under the knife again. The Wurn Technique is a special form of massage designed to release adhesions in the pelvic area. Practitioners use a hands-on method to stretch collagen buildups and break them down with sustained pressure.

If you're experiencing pelvic and back pain a long time after your hysterectomy, get checked for endometriosis and adhesions. Try every available conservative means to resolve your pain before considering another surgery.

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