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what std causes lower back pain

By: Karen Terry

February 4, 2023

What STD Causes Lower Back Pain?

Some symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are obvious. Painful urination, vaginal discharge, rashes, and genital sores are all signs that you should get a rapid STD test and prompt medical attention. However, other STD symptoms are more mysterious.

But what STD causes lower back pain? Generally, bacterial infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause back pain as secondary symptoms. Viral infections and inflammatory diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B tend to cause flu-like symptoms instead.

This article explores the relationship between STDs and lower back pain. How can an STD hurt your back in the first place?

Can Chlamydia Cause Low Back Pain? STDs That Cause Back Pain

What STD causes lower back pain?

The two primary STDs that can cause back pain are chlamydia and gonorrhea. The good news is that since these infections are bacterial, you can treat them using antibiotics. Both sexually transmitted diseases can be tricky to diagnose at first, especially in women, which is why getting tested for them regularly is crucial.

These diseases often present without symptoms, and going a long time without treating them can lead to long-term issues, such as infertility and chronic joint pain. Even without symptoms of STDs, however, an infected person can still pass them on.

The more common symptoms of chlamydia include:

  • Painful urination
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods

Chlamydia can also give you lower back pain and abdominal pain, similar to what you experience with a urinary tract infection (UTI). Many people with chlamydia have reported that lower back pain was their first sign that something is wrong, so if you are sexually active and your back has started aching, it can be prudent to book same-day STD testing at one of our clinics.

Meanwhile, gonorrhea is another sexually transmitted infection that can easily cause abdominal or back pain and go undiagnosed in its early stages. Its other common symptoms can include:

  • Unusual sores around the genitals or in the throat
  • Oddly colored discharge near the genital area
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea, rectal pain, or painful bowel movements

Both types of bacterial infections can hide their symptoms until they progress to causing back and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing back pain without an obvious cause, don’t let it go untreated. At Rapid STD Testing, we can help you rule out these diseases in a single visit. If you get treatment early, you can avoid worse symptoms later.

The relationship between lower back pain and STIs is surprisingly close. If you experience back, abdominal, or pelvic pain connected with any of the other listed symptoms and you’ve been sexually active, getting tested for STDs is a wise choice.

Other Possible Causes of Back Pain

While STDs can cause lower back pain, they aren’t the only potential culprit. Other common culprits behind an aching back include:

  • Accidents and injuries: Knowing how you sustained a back injury can save you a few steps when you seek treatment. Sports, heavy lifting, and poor posture can all lead to sudden, severe back pain
  • Urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are another common cause of back pain, especially in women and older adults. Usually, painful urination or blood in the urine accompanies this pain, but sometimes back pain is the first symptom of a UTI.
  • Sciatica: A sharp, shooting pain that extends from your lower back through your leg may be due to sciatica. Herniated spinal discs and acute injury can cause this back pain. If you suspect sciatica, talk to a spinal specialist.
  • Other infections: Bacterial and viral infections aren’t limited to sexually transmitted ones. Infections can spread from your kidneys and liver, causing inflammation that can lead to back pain.

If the cause of your back pain isn’t immediately obvious, such as a sports injury, you should consult your doctor to rule out issues like these.

When Should You Get Tested?

In short, anyone who is sexually active is at risk for STDs, and knowing your status is your responsibility. You should receive STD testing if you suspect a partner of cheating, you are starting a new sexual relationship, or you have any other reason to suspect an infection. Likewise, if you have multiple sexual partners or you don’t know your partners well, you should add regular STD tests to your routine.

When Do You Need to Get Tested for Chlamydia?

If you have any of the chlamydia symptoms listed above, or if you have mysterious back pain that isn’t clearing up, testing for chlamydia can give you some peace of mind. If your partner or ex-partner has recently tested positive for chlamydia, you should also get a test for yourself.

When Should You Get Tested for Gonorrhea?

Testing for gonorrhea at Rapid STD Testing’s test centers is easy and convenient, which means you can receive testing with every new partner if you want. Likewise, if you suspect gonorrhea exposure, have symptoms, or just have no idea why your back hurts, you should schedule STD testing at a clinic near you.

Other Less-Known Symptoms of STDs

When people think about sexually transmitted diseases, they usually think of itching, burning rashes, or sores that don’t smell right. However, STDs can cause issues in other parts of your body as well. In addition to the back pain that we discussed in this post, STDs can cause the following symptoms in other parts of your body:

  • Pelvic pain: One of the most common causes of pelvic pain is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is usually the result of a long-term sexually transmitted infection, most commonly gonorrhea or chlamydia.
  • Joint pain: The relationship between STDs and joint pain is complex. Many STDs, including HIV, can cause flu-like symptoms and temporary joint pain. Meanwhile, chlamydia and gonorrhea can both cause a chronic condition called “gonococcal arthritis” if the infection reaches your bloodstream.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: Some STDs, including gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and HIV, can cause your lymph nodes to swell before they cause any of their more characteristic symptoms.
  • Throat infections: Not all STDs are limited to the genitals. People who have oral sex should be on the lookout for thrush, sore throat, and other similar throat infections, as these can be the first sign of an STD.
  • Full body rash: If you get a new rash after having unprotected sex, you should receive STI testing, regardless of where the rash is located. Syphilis and HIV can both include odd rashes in the early stages of infection.

What to Do if You Suspect an STD

STIs can cause more than back pain. The first thing you should do if you suspect you have one is to get a 10-panel STD test from one of the convenient centers at Rapid STD Testing. Now that you know what STD causes lower back pain, you can contact us to learn more or to schedule your STI test.


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By: Karen Terry
February 4, 2023

With a profound passion for making intricate medical information accessible to all, John possesses a unique ability to simplify complex concepts without sacrificing accuracy or depth. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of various healthcare fields, John is well-versed in the latest research and advancements. However, what truly sets him apart is his remarkable talent for distilling this wealth of knowledge into engaging, reader-friendly content.