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Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?

Lower back pain is common with various causes, ranging from muscle strain to arthritis. Most of the time, people assume muscular strains or other activity-related injuries cause back pain. However, many individuals are unaware of the possible connection between constipation and lower back pain.

Constipation occurs when stools become difficult to pass, leading to infrequent or hard bowel movements. These bowel changes can cause abdominal pain, and bloat and extend to the lower back region. In some cases, constipation-related pressure on the abdomen may push against the sciatic nerve in your lower back and result in discomfort or even sharp, stabbing pains in this area. Read on to understand how constipation and back pain can be linked and the potential treatments you have at your disposal.

Common Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation is defined as the infrequent or difficult passage of stool. It is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders worldwide. Common symptoms include:

a) Straining during bowel movements

b) Feeling of incomplete evacuation

c) Hard stools that are difficult to pass

d) Abdominal discomfort and bloating

e) Decreased frequency of bowel movements

How Does Constipation Cause Back Pain?

Constipation can cause back pain for a variety of reasons. Hard stools form and move slowly through the colon when the digestive system becomes sluggish. This causes straining during bowel movements, which can pressure the spinal muscles and associated ligaments, resulting in lower back pain. Other factors contributing to the connection between constipation and back pain include a condition known as Spinal stenosis. This occurs when the spinal canal narrows, pressing on nerves that cause inflammation and discomfort in the lower back. Furthermore, extended sitting or standing can also strain the lower back muscles leading to pain.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another condition that can cause constipation and lower back pain. IBS is a chronic disorder that causes abdominal cramping, bloating, altered bowel habits, and pain. It may also be accompanied by fatigue or difficulty sleeping.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you are experiencing back pain that persists over an extended period, it is essential to seek medical attention. To determine whether constipation is causing your back pain, a doctor will perform a physical examination and may also order imaging tests to help diagnose the cause. Some signs you need immediate medical help include:

a) Bloody Stools

Stools containing bright red blood could indicate an underlying condition such as hemorrhoids or colon cancer.

b) Severe Pain

Medical attention should be sought immediately when the pain is severe and accompanied by nausea, fever, or vomiting.

Treatment Options for Constipation With Back Pain

Experts may use the following options to address back pain caused by constipation:

Lifestyle Changes:

Eating a balanced diet full of fiber, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly can help reduce the symptoms associated with constipation and improve overall health.

Over-the-Counter Medication:

Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter laxative, stool softener, or fiber supplement to help improve your bowel movements and alleviate constipation-related pain.

Physical Therapy:

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help improve posture, reduce tension in the abdomen, and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Call LifeGiving Chiropractic for the best back pain treatment in Roswell. Our chiropractors are committed to providing natural care that helps patients get the relief they need.


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