Can constipation cause back pain?
What causes back pain, and how can you treat it? You may be surprised to learn that constipation can cause you to have back pain, and in fact, 50% of people with chronic back pain experience constipation at some point during their illness. Learn more about this common side effect and how to deal with it to reduce your risk of further discomfort and complications from back pain, such as blood in your stool.
Symptoms of constipation
Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements are infrequent and difficult. It can result in abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and pain during bowel movements. Constipation can be caused by several factors, including lack of fiber in the diet, dehydration, and medication. In addition to these more common causes, there are some less common ones, such as colon cancer or irritable bowel syndrome. If you have been experiencing constipation symptoms, you must talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
How Constipation can Cause Back Pain?
Constipation often leads to back pain because of the person’s position when trying to have a bowel movement. Sitting on a toilet for prolonged periods can pressure your lower spine. The constant straining to move stool can also lead to muscle spasms that may be felt in your back’s upper and middle regions. It’s important not to ignore the signs and symptoms of chronic constipation, which include stomach aches, bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
1. Fecal impaction
Suppose you suffer from chronic constipation and have difficulty expelling your stool. In that case, you may have developed a faecal impaction, which can lead to severe abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. The colon is designed to store stool while it slowly moves through the digestive tract. However, too much stool in the rectum will push against the rectal walls and create pressure, which leads to discomfort. Faecal impaction can develop for many reasons, including lack of fiber in one’s diet, lack of exercise; certain medications; or pregnancy.
2. General constipation
Constipation is a common problem but can cause other issues like haemorrhoids and anal fissures. It often leads to abdominal pain as well. You may feel bloated or full and have decreased bowel movements. Some people notice blood on the toilet paper or the stool. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must talk with your doctor about what might be causing the issue and how to resolve it.
When To See Your Doctor
1. When you haven’t had a bowel movement in more than seven days
Constipation often causes lower back pain and abdominal cramps, but it can also lead to headaches, joint pain, gas, bloating, and weight loss. If you struggle with a bowel movement more than once every three days or if your stool is hard and dry when you have one, it’s time to see a doctor.
2. Bloody stools
Bloody stools are a sign that the digestive system is not functioning correctly. If you notice blood in your stool, it can signify a serious condition like colon cancer or ulcerative colitis. While most cases are not life-threatening, it’s essential to see a doctor immediately to get checked out and treated if necessary.
3. Pain that doesn’t disappear after a bowel movement
Constipation is a common condition that many people experience at some point in their life. It causes the passage of stool to be difficult and infrequent. Constipation can also lead to cramping, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and difficulty having a bowel movement. If you have any of these symptoms, you must see your doctor.
4. Fluctuating back pain
Fluctuating back pain, also known as sciatica, is a common symptom of sciatica. It’s when pain shoots down the lower part of your leg. Sciatica can happen for many reasons, like a herniated disc or pressure on the spine’s nerve. Constipation can lead to sciatica because it causes stress on your lower back area and might even press on a nerve in your spine.
5. Difficulty in bowel movement
If you are straining to move your bowels, and if this goes on for a long time, it can wear out the muscles in your abdomen.
The abdominal muscles are responsible for supporting the spine and maintaining posture. Maintaining good posture is essential because it helps prevent or limit back pain. If you have chronic bowel problems, it may be challenging to maintain good posture, which can lead to increased lower back pain.
Other Conditions That May Cause Back Pain
1. Masses around the lower back
The most common cause of lower back pain is injury, muscle strain, or spasms. Suppose you’ve been experiencing this discomfort for a few days and have difficulty sitting or standing upright. In that case, it’s not the result of an underlying medical issue.
Sometimes, however, the culprit can be something more serious, like osteoarthritis.
2. Spinal injuries
It is possible that a spinal injury can cause constipation, but it’s not the only possibility. Some people may have an underlying condition like Crohn’s Disease or another gastrointestinal disorder that could be causing both constipation and pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see your doctor find out what might happen.
3. Improper sleep positions
You may be experiencing lower back pain from an improper sleep position. If you have difficulty sleeping, the best thing you can do is sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. This will help keep your spine straight and allow proper blood flow.