Aging is associated with an increased risk for low back pain caused by lumbar disc degeneration in both men and women. A recent study from China suggests that lower estrogen levels after menopause are associated with more severe disc degeneration in women and that hormone replacement therapy, also called HRT or HT, may help.
Several studies have shown a strong link between estrogen levels and disc generation. This study is the first to include men in the comparison group, according to an article published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The researchers documented disc degeneration measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) in men and women as they age. They discovered that younger, age-matched men are more susceptible to disc degeneration than pre-menopausal women, but post-menopausal women have a significant tendency to develop more severe disc degeneration than men of the same age.