How to Deal with Pelvic and Back Pain After Hysterectomy

A major surgery like a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of a woman’s uterus, can address a lot of gynecological conditions but can also lead to pelvic and back pain in some individuals during the recovery period. Knowing the causes and solutions for dealing with the pain will improve your lifestyle at the hospital and home. This article will discuss the common causes of back pain after this surgical procedure, effective preventive strategies, and long-term approaches to reduce discomfort and improve your quality of life.

What is a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus, including or excluding the surrounding reproductive organs. The method could be performed as a treatment for endometriosis, uterine fibroids, gynecological cancers, and chronic pelvic pain.

After a hysterectomy, you would become unable to get pregnant and menstruate. The recovery period can take anywhere from four to six weeks, depending on the type of hysterectomy (it could be an abdominal hysterectomy or vaginal hysterectomy) and the frequency of physical therapy.

Common Causes of Back Pain After Hysterectomy

There are several common causes of Back or Pelvic pain after Hysterectomy. One could be the change in alignment due to the removal of the uterus, the varied distribution of weight and pressure in the pelvic region, resulting in discomfort in the lower back, or the damage of pelvic floor muscles. Understanding the causes below is crucial for managing post-hysterectomy back and pelvic pain:

Hysterectomy Surgery Position

During the surgical procedure, women are placed in the lithotomy position, which increases back strain by flattening out the natural curves in the lower back. This position strains spinal muscles, abdominal muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Poor Resting Condition

It is not advisable to rest in a bed with your head elevated for an extended period as it places pressure on the spinal curves and causes severe pain.

Decreased Movement

Lack of exercise and reduced movement after a hysterectomy can lead to less flexible joints, hip pain, muscle weakness, and back pain.

Preventing Back Pain after Hysterectomy

While your Doctors and Nurses can help with the chronic pain you feel after an abdominal hysterectomy or vaginal hysterectomy, it is important that you also take steps to reduce your pain:

Maintain a Good Posture

Effective posture maintenance is important for easing post-hysterectomy pain during bed rest or mild movements. Proper spine and pelvis alignment reduces strain on the muscles and ligaments. Carrying out daily ergonomic practices like sitting, standing, and lifting can significantly reduce post-operative back pain.

Build Core Strength

Perform exercises targeting the core muscles in your abdomen, lower back, and pelvic floor muscles to strengthen the spine, reduce chronic pain, and support body movement and posture adjustments.

Keep an eye out for strenuous activities like challenging exercises or sexual functions that could slow your healing.

Gentle Exercises to Prevent Back Pain

Finding a safe exercise program after a hysterectomy can be difficult. Gentle pelvic floor exercises can alleviate and prevent post-surgical pain during the first six to eight weeks of recovery. You can start out with physical therapy and short walks on flat and smooth surfaces. Some women can begin five-minute exercises during the first week and progress through the following weeks.

Exercise 1 – Heel Slides

Heel slides are quite simple. You extend your leg and bend your knee to slide your heel towards your buttocks. There are different variations of this exercise, each targeting a different muscle.

The steps for this exercise are as follows:

  • Lie flat with your legs extended and feet apart
  • Slide your leg close to your buttocks as close as possible.
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat movement

You can include as much as 1 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in your exercise plan.

Exercise 2 – Lumbar Rotations

Lie on your back and gently rotate your lower body from side to side, focusing on the rotational mobility of the lumbar spine. This exercise enhances flexibility and eases tension in the lower back area.

Exercise 3 – Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilt exercises can stretch and improve your abdominal muscles, relieving sciatica and lumbar pain. To do them, lie on your back with your knees bent and raise your pelvis.

Exercise 4 – Bridges

This exercise engages the gluteal and core muscles, aiding pelvic and lower back stability. Lie on your back with your knees bent, lift your hips off the ground, and create a bridge position with your body.

Dealing Back Pain after Hysterectomy

It’s important you know your options after a hysterectomy including your medication, physical examination, and clothes or items to use to ease the pain.

Over-the-Counter Back Pain Relief Options

Mild to moderate back pain following a hysterectomy can often be managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol, and painkillers, which are effective against post-surgical pain but can cause nausea and constipation.

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Engaging in structured physical therapy sessions for post-hysterectomy rehabilitation can significantly improve back pain. Targeted exercises, manual physical therapy, posture correction techniques, and supervision from a physical therapist can hasten recovery and reduce pain levels.

Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Applying heat to the affected areas can relieve post-operative back pain. Options such as hot baths, heating pads, heat wraps, or pillows can help relax muscles and increase blood flow, promoting healing and comfort.

Massage Therapy for Back Pain

Professional massage sessions can enhance circulation, reduce pain sensitivity, and support relaxation and well-being.

Alternative Therapies for Back Pain

You can explore alternative treatment options like acupuncture, chiropractic care, or herbal remedies under the supervision of healthcare professionals who can offer additional support in managing and reducing post-hysterectomy back pain.

Long-Term Back Pain Management after Hysterectomy

Pain levels due to hysterectomy vary significantly from individual to individual, and the Doctor might remove surrounding tissue, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, causing more pain and discomfort. To help, you must implement lifestyle modifications, including maintaining a healthy weight and participating in regular physical activity to improve long-term back pain.


A balanced diet contributes to overall well-being and aids in managing potential weight-related back pain post-hysterectomy. It is essential to know that dietary needs vary from individual to individual. Thus, you can consult a Doctor and Dietitian to examine your overall health, pre-existing conditions, and dietary restrictions.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Back Pain

For individuals experiencing menopausal symptoms following a hysterectomy, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be considered to manage hormonal imbalances and associated back pain. Consultation with a healthcare provider is vital to assess HRT’s potential benefits and risks.

Follow-up care and Continued Monitoring

Frequent use of heating pads, heat wraps, or pillows and regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers to evaluate post-hysterectomy wellness, back pain, and potential adjustments to the treatment plan. Open communication with healthcare professionals will address any new or persistent concerns related to back pain.

Managing post-hysterectomy pain involves a multi-faceted approach that includes prevention strategies, dealing with the sense of loss, effective treatments, and long-term management techniques. By understanding the causes of back pain and implementing targeted measures, individuals can recover, reduce discomfort, and enhance their quality of life. Consult healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and support throughout the recovery process.
















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