What Are Common Causes Of Abdominal And Back Pain
A back ache and stomach ache may be caused by menstrual cramps, urinary tract infection or by a kidney disorder, such as a kidney infection. Abdominal pain can also be the direct result of pancreatitis, which can sometimes also cause back pain. For some individuals, these symptoms may also be triggered by emotional stress.
Link Between Lower Back Pain And Bowel Problems
When we talk about bowel disorders, we are referring to conditions that affect your small intestines. Bowel disorders can also affect other parts of your digestive system, like your large intestine. Bowel problems are usually caused by smoking, diet, microbial and immunologic factors, and a family history of Crohns disease.
The most familiar symptoms of bowel disorders are abdominal pain, swelling, bloody stool, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. What many people do not realize is that bowel problems are also related to lower back pain. The truth is that bowel problems and lower back pain are inextricably linked. This is because the nerves of both the back and the abdominal area run through the lower part of the spine.
If you suffer from abdominal pain and bloating, it is likely that you also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to the classic symptoms like bloating and gas, individuals with IBS often develop extraintestinal symptoms, or symptoms that involve parts of the body beyond the gut. This can include sleep problems, headaches, trouble urinating, fatigue, muscle pain, pain in the pelvis or jaw, and back pain.
Lower Back Pain May Be Caused By Bowel Problems
Problems of the lower back may be related to bowel problems or painful and swollen bowels. Back pain and piercing or nagging pain in the abdomen may be attributable to swollen bowels and flatulence.
For all kinds of reasons, the stomach may feel uncomfortable and cause back problems at the same time. In turn, back problems may cause abdominal pain. The nerves of both regions run lumbar . So, they have considerable impact on each other.
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Is Lower Back Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy
Yes. Lower back pain is a common sign of early pregnancy-related symptoms. Many women find that back pain is a sign of pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced back pain can include abdominal bloating, constipation, heartburn, and mild uterine cramping or discomfort without bleeding. As pregnancy progresses, lower back pain can be a result of changes in posture, pelvic changes, alterations in weight, along with weakness in muscles or ligaments becoming loose and affecting various joints. Women can ease back pain in pregnancy by wearing low-heeled shoes with arch support, sitting in chairs with good back support, sleeping with pillows between the knees, and applying heat, cold, or massage pressure to the area in your back that hurts.
Ibs Treatments And Living With Ibs
Treatment for IBS differs from person to person, but generally focuses on relieving symptoms and improving overall quality of life. There are numerous therapies available. None will work for everybody with IBS, and frequently the best approach is a mix of strategies.
For those with back pain, theres good news: Treating your IBS may also help to ease back pain without specifically targeting your back. You wont need surgery for IBS-related back pain, and you can likely avoid long-term painkiller use by treating the other symptoms of IBS. Speak with a healthcare provider to find the right combination for you.
Yoga’s physical and mental benefits make it an effective complementary treatment for both IBS and back pain
Common treatments include:
- Dietary changes. There is no specific diet for IBS. Your doctor may recommend changing your fiber intake or keeping a food diary to help pinpoint items that trigger your symptoms. They may also suggest limiting citrus, carbonated drinks and high-FODMAP foods, or foods that contain a carbohydrate linked to gastrointestinal troubles. These include wheat, dairy and legumes .
- Therapy. Some IBS patients can benefit by speaking with a mental health professional. Studies have found that cognitive behavioral therapy, during which you learn how to recognize and change your response to stress, may be especially valuable for dealing with either IBS or back pain.
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Does Sciatica Cause Back Pain
Yes, sciatica can cause back pain. Sciatica is pain along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the hips and buttons and then each leg. It’s very common for people to experience back with hip pain.
Healthcare providers often recommend the application of gentle ice or heat to the painful area. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also provide relief. Staying active can help reduce the chances of complications. In some cases, healthcare providers recommend physical therapy to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.
Difficulty In Bowel Movement
Aside from the frequency of bowel movements, the difficulty of stool evacuation should also be considered. If youre having trouble with your bowel movements, it could be that the stool inside your digestive system has become too large to push out. Forcing a bowel movement in that situation can cause serious damage to your rectal lining.
Under no circumstances should you consider self-medication unless approved by a doctor. While laxatives and other medications can help alleviate mild symptoms of constipation and lower back pain, any serious or chronic back problems should always be diagnosed by a medical professional first.
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Treatment Options For Constipation And Back Pain
The first line of treatment for constipation is changing what you eat. Try adding more fiber and water to your diet to help soften your stool and make it easier to pass.
If constipation occurs after starting a new diet or taking a new medication, call your doctor. They can help you adjust the diet or medication or give the OK to stop it altogether.
Some common treatments for constipation include the following:
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity promotes proper circulation and keeps your bowels healthy.
Can Constipation Cause Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be difficult to diagnose because it can have so many potential causes. Since our lower back houses crucial skeletal structures, muscle groups, and nerve endings, any lower back pain should be diagnosed and treated immediately, no matter how trivial or serious the cause.
But can a condition like constipation cause lower back pain? Its possible, but there are other equally likely causes as well. If constipation is the cause of your back pain, it may indicate a more serious issue with your digestive system that needs treatment.
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Best Pain Medications For Ibs
If youâre used to popping a pill to relieve IBS pain, then it may be time to rethink your treatment options.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , acetaminophen , and aspirin are often used to treat IBS pain because of their pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory qualities.
However, research published in the Journal of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine suggests that the efficacy of these drugs in treating IBS pain is not well supported and long-term is associated with chronic constipationânot great if youâre already struggling with bowel troubles.
Additionally, NSAIDs appear to have negative effects on IBS patients, with research showing a link between frequent use of NSAID and the development of IBS symptoms.
If you still want to try an over-the-counter pain medication for IBS, then acetaminophen could be a better option, as itâs gentler on the stomach. Pain-relieving NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, are known to cause gastrointestinal problems, ranging from mild to severe indigestion to the development of ulcers after long term use. â
Acute Pain Vs Chronic Pain
Chronic abdominal pain is pain in the abdomen that occurs continuously or is intermittent and that lasts for at least 6 months. Chronic abdominal pain may be due to a problem in any of the systems located in the abdominal area including the stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, liver, intestines, colon, kidneys, ureter, prostate, or uterus. Acute abdominal pain comes on suddenly and it is severe. The underlying cause of acute abdominal pain may be a medical emergency or life-threatening. Sometimes, patients with this kind of abdominal pain require surgery. Let your doctor know whether your abdominal pain came on suddenly or gradually, whether you experience it all the time or intermittently, and how long you’ve been in pain.
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Location Of Parts Of The Bowel
It is important to understand the different parts of the bowel when looking at possible causes of bowel pain. The small intestine is divided into three segments, whereas there are four regions in the large intestine.
The small intestine includes the:
- Duodenum which is a C-shaped short segment of the small intestine that leads from the stomach. It lies in the upper middle region of the abdomen.
- Jejunum which is the middle segment of the small intestine leading from the duodenum. It is coiled in the middle of the abdomen. It is approximately the same length as the ileum.
- Ileum which is the last segment of the small intestine leading from the jejunum. It is also coiled in the middle of the abdomen and then ends where it joins the cecum of the large intestine.
The large intestine includes the:
- Cecum which is located in the lower right abdominal region. The vermiform appendix is attached to the cecum.
- Colon which includes the:
- Stool abnormalities, like mucus in the stool or blood in the stool.
- Loss of appetite.
However, some of these symptoms may occur with other abdominal problems, like gallbladder disease, although the bowel itself is unaffected. Symptoms that start or worsen in relation to meals may also be indicative of a bowel problem.
Ways To Relieve Bowel Problems And Low Back Pain
Is there any relief for bowel problems and back pain?
The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer, however, is it depends.
There are therapies that can relieve the pain, but more may be needed to cure the problem once the source has been pinpointed.
If youre experiencing severe pain, seek immediate medical attention right away.
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So How Are Ibs And Headaches Connected
While the exact reason is unknown, one theory is that it’s the result of the relationship between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous systemâ also known as the gut-brain axis.
The vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in the body, connects the brain to the gut along the gut-brain axis. This nerve sends communications bi-directionally, meaning it can relay pain signals and information from the brain to the gut and vice versa. Because the vagus nerve is involved in both migraine pain and IBS symptoms, it’s often thought to be implicated in the overlapping symptoms.
Additionally, recent research into the migraine/IBS link has also identified two neuropeptides that may contribute to both migraine symptoms and gastrointestinal functions.
An upside to the gut-brain connection is that it works both ways. So, while it’s unfortunate that what happens in your gut can affect your head, there is evidence that what happens in your mind can also affect what in your gut. This is why treatments like hypnotherapy for IBS may effectively relieve IBS and headache symptoms without the need for drugs or diets. â
When To See Your Doctor
In most cases, its possible to apply home remedies and management to back pain caused by constipation. The pain usually subsides once the blockage has been removed, though patients need to monitor themselves if theyre prone to bouts of constipation.
However, there are situations where its more advisable that you consult your doctor immediately about your lower back pain:
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Lower Right Back Pain From Internal Organs
There are numerous possible sources of lower right back pain in the organs of the mid-back, abdominal, or pelvic regions. Pain may start following inflammation or irritation of an internal organ, or may be a sign of infection. These conditions will usually produce other symptoms with lower right back pain that more specifically narrow down the source.
Several common internal causes of lower right back pain include:
Serious Causes Of Referred Back Pain
Back pain is back pain, right? Not so fast. Sometimes pain in your back can come from an entirely different region of your body, which could be serious.
Referred pain is when you feel pain in one part of your body caused by disease or an injury in another. It’s often due to problems with chest and belly organs. For example, an infection in your kidneys may cause pain in your back or sides.
Read on to learn about four causes of referred back pain that can signal you have a severe health problem.
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Myth: Lower Back Pain Is A Telltale Sign Of Pregnancy
Truth: Research indicates that anatomical and hormonal changes can cause back pain to occur in the later stages of pregnancy, during the second or third trimester, and only a small fraction of women develop back pain during the very early stages.1
The possibility may be considered when back pain is accompanied by other revealing symptoms and signs, such as a missed menstrual period, morning sickness, fatigue, headache, and/or body soreness.
What Are The Causes Of Back Pain
The two most common causes of back pain are: sprains and strains due to overstretched muscles and ligaments and degenerative changes in the spine as people age.
Degenerative changes include disk injury from a tear or herniation, disk degeneration from intervertebral disks wearing away, and spinal stenosis where space narrows between the vertebrae causing pressure on the spinal nerves and the spinal cord. Other causes are gas, pregnancy, constipation, arterial disease, vascular disease, or a history of cancer.
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What Treatments Help Common Back Pain
Conventional treatments including using multiple interventions at the same time are:
- Hot/cold packs: Help to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Even though they don’t resolve low back injury quickly, they allow for greater mobility.
- Activity: Limit bed rest. Instead, stretch and resume regular activity as soon as you can. Bed rest has been shown in studies to increase back pain and can lead to blood clots in the legs, less muscle tone, and even depression.
- Physical therapy: Core muscle groups are strengthened, allowing for better back support, greater mobility, and better posture.
- Medications: Some OTC medications that help relieve back pain include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Prescriptions include opioidsâwhich are addictive and should be used under careful supervision from a physician for a short durationâand COX-2 inhibitors, which treat pain and inflammation. Anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and counter-irritants may help some people for specific back pain causes.
- Additional therapies with insufficient evidence: Spinal manipulation , traction, acupuncture, nerve blocks, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations , and epidural steroid injections for thoracic back pain may be used. Behavioral options include biofeedback, meditation, music, distraction, and cognitive behavioral therapy .
Talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you have questions about medications or various therapies for your back pain.
What If The Cause Is Unknown
Before a doctor can treat the pain, they must determine the cause. To do this, the doctor may take a complete medical history, press on the abdomen or back to identify pain levels and position, perform blood work, or do imaging scans of the back or stomach.
There are some home remedies that a person can try to ease back pain and bloating. However, if symptoms are due to a serious condition, such as liver failure, it is essential to talk to a doctor before trying any home remedies. Some treatments may be unsafe for people in organ failure or with other conditions.
If the problem is a minor one, such as gas or a stomach virus, it is usually safe to manage symptoms at home.
Strategies that might help include:
- taking anti-gas medication
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What Are The Potential Complications Of Abdominal Pain
Complications of abdominal pain depend on the underlying cause, but can range from missed school or work to malnutrition to life-threatening infections. Getting an accurate diagnosis and following your treatment plan will help you avoid complications. Over time, abdominal pain can lead to serious complications including:
- due to blood loss
- Dehydration due to loss of fluids
- Organ failure
Can Constipation Cause Back Pain
If youve researched information on lower back pain, you know there are many reasons for pain in your lumbar area. Can constipation cause back pain or is it a symptom of something else? The following guide will explain more about what you can expect when you have this condition. Once you learn more, you can determine if it is time to talk to a doctor or seek another type of treatment.
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Low Back Pain Exams And Tests
- Because many different conditions may cause back pain, a thorough medical history will be performed as part of the examination. Some of the questions you are asked may not seem pertinent to you but are very important to your doctor in determining the source of your pain.
- Your doctor will first ask you many questions regarding the onset of the pain. He or she will want to know what makes the pain better or worse. The doctor will ask you questions referring to the red flag symptoms. He or she will ask if you have had the pain before. Your doctor will ask about recent illnesses and associated symptoms such as coughs, fevers, urinary difficulties, or stomach illnesses. In females, the doctor will want to know about vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge. Pain from the pelvis, in these cases, is frequently felt in the back.
- Electromyogram or EMG is a test that involves the placement of very small needles into the muscles. Electrical activity is monitored. Its use is usually reserved for more chronic pain and to predict the level of nerve root damage. The test is also able to help the doctor distinguish between nerve root disease and muscle disease.