The Truth About Constipation and Back Pain

Constipation doesn’t just affect your colon; it can also impact the health of your back. It can cause lower back strain that makes it difficult to get out of bed, much less get to the bathroom. To alleviate severe back pain, it’s ideal to start by treating the constipation first.

How Back Pain Causes Might Differ Depending on Location

Back pain can signal any number of other medical conditions and one should be aware of how to read the signs. It can be a symptom of something far worse than constipation. It all depends on each individual and the location of the pain. For instance, lower back pain might signal any one of the following conditions:

  • Muscle strain,
  • Sciatica or even
  • Pregnancy.

Mid back pain might be caused by any one of the following:

  • A herniated disk,
  • Kidney pain, or
  • Cancer

Finally, upper back pain would naturally also involve shoulder pain and can be a symptom of:

  • Poor posture,
  • Slipped disks, or
  • A gall bladder infection.

There are so many different reasons that your back may be hurting, and it’s hard to tell without a medical checkup what it could be. You’ll need the help of a regular medical physician to determine that there are no severe medical issues being represented by your back pain symptoms. In the meantime, there is one big contributor to back pain that can be treated easily and is often missed, which is constipation.

Are Constipation and Back Pain Related?

Constipation and Back Pain

Constipation and Back Pain

People who are constipated might not make the connection, but back pain can result from even short-term bouts of constipation . Problems in the bathroom can lead to a backup in your colon that just gets worse the more it goes on without relief. The build-up of fecal material increases within the body and can stress the lower back as it increases over time. Chronic constipation is often accompanied by lower left back pain as the patient also tries to force the body to defecate, straining at the toilet, only to put even more pressure on the lower back. This can affect the rest of the body by producing pain in related areas like leg pain and hip pain.

It can all start with what you eat or the way your stomach handles food to begin with, even if you’re eating healthy foods. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) then you might be experiencing gas, bloating, and even nausea. You could end up with bouts of diarrhea and constipation on different days. During that time, you might experience ibs pain more severely when you are constipated because of the additional pressure on your back. However, like back pain, ibs has multiple causes and symptoms that are related to each other, but not necessarily caused by each other.

Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?

One thing is certain, however, whatever medical condition you do have, the constipation is likely to cause even more back pain. It doesn’t matter if the original cause is a herniated disk or ibs, the constipation will make it worse. Women experiencing a period can end up with back pain made worse when they get constipated. In fact, you may find out that fixing the constipation eliminates the back pain all together, even if you still have another underlying medical condition. A sign of pregnancy, for instance, can be constipation. Along with that you get back pain from both carrying a baby and the constipation. Thus, constipation may not be the only cause of back pain possible, but it the one most easily treated without having to seek help from a medical professional.

How to Relieve Constipation and Back Pain

There are both natural remedies and pharmaceutical ways to treat constipation. It depends on how long a patient has been constipated and the degree of discomfort as to whether you need immediate relief or can spend some time getting things to flow more smoothly. Constipation is not a funny matter. If left untreated, it can cause serious problems, even death, if it triggers a heart attack while straining to eliminate. To get back on track, try a few of these methods to help you get control of your digestive system.

Natural Methods to Relieve Constipation

Here a few easy habits to add to your routine to fight constipation:

1. Get Hydrated – Sometimes constipation is a result of dehydration. Make sure you get enough water in the day by choosing to drink liquids often. An easy rule of thumb is to drink 8 eight-ounces glasses of water every day, sometimes referred to as the 8×8 rule.

2. Bulk Up on Fiber – Include more foods in your diet that have fiber in them, like raw fruit or nuts. You can get fiber from supplements like psyllium seed husk, the main ingredient in commercially-produced drinks with a laxative effect. However, it’s often recommended that you add natural foods like whole grains and beans to the diet to help add fiber in a more nutritious manner.

3. Use Probiotics – Probiotics help introduce good bacteria into the gut, in case there is an imbalance in your digestive system causing the constipation. There is evidence that it is helpful with ibs and thus can also serve to remove one of the related issues that can trigger constipation. However, its direct effect on constipation alone has yet to be verified.

Medical Treatments Sometimes Prescribed for Constipation

If you need to get your bowels moving quickly, the medical establishment can help with items like:

1. Laxatives – Brand name laxatives can be used, but aren’t recommended long-term. They might use an herbal mix or the psyllium husks along with other ingredients to get the bowels going. They can cause some of the same discomfort they are trying to solve, like gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. However, they are great for people who just need to get things moving again quickly.

2. Prescription Drugs – For those that want a little more medical help, they may turn to pharmaceutical help. These prescription drugs can interfere with other drugs a patient might be taking, but they are industrial-strength laxatives. They will work often when nothing else seems to be working. They also come with side-effects and shouldn’t be used long-term.

3 thoughts on “The Truth About Constipation and Back Pain

  1. Pingback: Can Gas Cause Back Pain? | Back Pain Health Center

  2. Neil K

    Hi, I suffer from constipation and take laxatives like exlax extra strength to deal with it. I also take senakot. I do have some back pain. I have OCD and take prescription drugs for that. Bowel movements are painful and slow and block up the toilet at times. Its difficult to deal with. Exercising more can help and diet changes. Anyone else have this trouble ?

    Reply
    • Glenda

      Hello Neil 😊 I have IBS like symptoms with occasional constipation. Foods I can not eat are oily foods, fast foods, processed foods. I have had great success following the IBS diet. I incorporate soluble and insoluble fiber into my diet daily. I have to eat veggies and fruits daily. Homemade smoothies are very good for fiber intake also. Dried apricots get things moving also. Breads have to be multi grain, the 15 grains works wonders for me. Exercise is a must as it stimulates digestion. Hope this helps 😊. It takes alittle tweeks in the diet and lifestyle but it’s all worth it to stay healthy.

      Reply

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