Constipation and back pain go hand in hand sometimes. But can constipation cause back pain, or is it just a sign of some other, deeper problem? Let’s find out.
Constipation is a common condition suffered by the people. This condition can arise due to many reasons. These reasons can be related to your diet and many other things. According to a recent research study, approximately 16 percent of all American adults suffer from chronic constipation.
Constipation is a troublesome condition that can also lead to biting pain. In some cases, constipation can also accompany back pain. We will talk about this condition in detail in this article, giving you unique insights into how you can react to this condition.
What is Constipation?
You can also refer to constipation as infrequent bowel movements. In simple terms, the person has not been able to pass stool for quite some time. The patient can also feel some irritation or difficulty while passing bowel movements.
Ideally, a fit and healthy person goes for a bowel movement once or twice daily. If you have constipation, you may experience a bowel movement once or twice in three or four days.
Suffering from constipation causes swelling in the intestines. The remaining fecal matter stays in the intestines creating problems for our body. This fecal matter creates significant discomfort in your back and abdomen.
There are some additional symptoms that you may also experience along with constipation:-
- A constant feeling of fullness, this feeling will result in you eating less portions of food.
- You may also experience some pain while passing the stool.
- The patient might have to strain while passing fecal matter.
- If your stool is hard and lumpy, it is also a sign of constipation.
Back Pain Due To Constipation
Sometimes, you can experience dull back pain and constipation together if some infection is present in your spinal cord. There could also be a tumor pressing against your spinal cord. Constipation can be among the symptoms or a side effect of this condition.
You can also experience pain in your lower back simply because of constipation. You may experience a condition known as fecal impaction. It is a condition in which a piece of dry stool is stuck in the colon or the rectum.
The piece stuck in your colon can increase the pressure on your gut and your back. Ultimately, this pressure may be responsible for creating radiating pain in your back and your abdomen.
What Are The Causes That May Lead To Constipation?
It is not very easy to identify the root cause for constipation, but there can be a few plausible causes for constipation with back pain. Some of these causes are described below as:-
Dehydration, that is, lack of water and similar fluids in our body, is among the main reasons for chronic constipation. When we eat the food, it makes its way to our stomach.
From there, the food reaches the large intestine. If your large intestine does not have enough water in it, then the large intestine will soak up all the water present in the intestine. Due to this reason, your stools may turn hard, due to which you may have difficulty passing them.
A diet low in fiber
Some people follow a low-fiber diet. This diet usually results in the person having fewer bowel movements, or they may even experience smaller stools. If you reduce the quantity of fiber in your diet below a specific limit, then there are high chances that you may develop constipation.
To counter this problem, you can drink plenty of water. The presence of extra fluid will improve your digestion and reduce constipation.
Low physical activity
Lack of physical activity is also significantly related to constipation. If you don’t participate in physical activities, you will not be able to burn the calories present in your body.
Food either gets converted to calories or else goes as fecal matter in your guts. The fecal matter will start to accumulate, and you can suffer from constipation.
Reaction to certain medicines
Certain medications will have constipation as a side effect. Your body reacts to different medications differently. If constipation is a side effect you are suffering from, you can consume particular medicines designed to treat constipation. You can go for medicines that cure chronic constipation as well.
Some obstruction in your bowels
If there is fecal matter in your gut, this can also contribute to your constipation. You must consume foods that are lighter in nature and easy to digest if you take part in regular cleaning of your gut by fasting for at least a day in the week. Then you are not very likely to suffer from constipation.
Colon or rectal cancer
Colon cancer is also one reason you could suffer from constipation. Colon cancer affects 4.3% of adult men along with 4% of adult women. When a patient suffers from colon cancer, their gut cannot perform its functions properly.
How To Treat Constipation?
The best method to get rid of chronic constipation is changing your diet. Your diet largely controls your gut health. There are some simple methods and techniques that you can introduce in your daily routine to treat your constipation and back pain.
There is a high chance that changing your diet will soften your stool. A softened stool is easier to pass. If you are experiencing constipation due to some medicine or a change in diet, it is ideal to consult your doctor. Your doctor will guide you on the changes that you can introduce to your diet.
Some of the common and effective treatment for constipation related to back pain is:-
Exercise regularly and remain active
Remaining active is an essential part of the ideal circulation of blood in your body. Physical activity also improves your digestion. Good digestion promotes healthier bowel movements. It is essential that you participate in regular physical exercises.
Increase your water and other fluid consumption
You can prevent and treat constipation by consuming more water and fluids. The current guidelines for water consumption are for adults above 19 years old. Men should consume about 131 ounces of fluids, whereas women are recommended to consume about 95 ounces of fluids.
These fluids include all the beverages you consume in a day, including water. Out of the ideal total consumption, men should get about 13 cups of fluids from other beverages, and women should get 9 cups. The rest of the remaining fluid quota can be made up of water.
60% of our body is made up of water. So naturally, it requires a sufficient amount of water to perform its vital functions. If your body does not have adequate amounts of water in its guts, then the fecal matter cannot travel from our intestines to out of our bodies. You can drink unsweetened fluids to cure constipation and back pain.
Increase the quantity of fiber
Fiber is an imperative part of your diet. You may suffer from constipation because of a lack of fiber in your diet. Fiber goes into our stomach and then leaves it without getting digested.
This fiber is then found in our colon. In our colon, friendly bacteria feed on the fiber. Different types of fiber promote other health benefits among people.
Fiber may help you promote weight loss, fight constipation, and even help to lower your blood sugar levels. According to the academy of nutrition and dietetics, you should consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories.
According to rough estimation, this equates to about 24 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams for men. Unfortunately, the majority of the people in America do meet these required standards. The average fiber intake for Americans is about 16.2 grams, which is below the permissible levels.
Try to maintain a regular bowel schedule
You can try and maintain a regular bowel schedule. This schedule will eventually build your habit of going to the washroom at a particular time of the day. This practice is also known as bowel retraining.
Under this program, you retrain your body to go and relieve itself at a particular time. Bowel retraining is an effective program for people that want to cure their chronic constipation. If you experience loss of bowel, then this technique might also come in handy.
You will be required to go to the bathroom daily at the same time to train your body and mind. This retraining will help build a regular schedule for bowel movements. The time that you select for your bowel should also be following your diet, lifestyle, and work schedule. The success of your bowel retraining program depends on how diligently you are going to follow this schedule.
You can eat laxatives and other medicines such as stool softeners. The stool softeners naturally loosen your stool. You can even go for some medication that will help you cure back pain and constipation. Then you will be able to reduce the effect of constipation.
Conditions That Can Cause Both Back Pain and Constipation
Constipation can cause you to have lower back pain. This pain is directly linked to the mass amount of feces left in your gut. The nerves present on your lower back are called sacral nerves.
Aging can also be a significant contributing factor to constipation and back pain. As you grow old, your gut and back muscles grow older. So they are more vulnerable to pain and diseases.
There are the following conditions that can lead you to suffer from both constipation and back pain:-
In Endometriosis, the tissues in your body that are usually in the uterus lining start to grow in other body places. The nerves in your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, and bladder also change. The most common symptoms of this condition include back pain, constipation, abdomen pain, menstrual cramps, etc.
People with this condition are increasingly sensitive to pain. Usually, this pain is experienced all over the body. You can face symptoms like tiredness, fatigue, and gastric issues. Back pain and constipation are also among the common symptoms of this condition.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This condition is commonly also caused by IBD. This condition is usually accompanied by inflammation in your intestines. Intestinal inflammation can easily lead to diarrhea or even constipation. You will also find that IBD is linked to inflammatory arthritis of the spine.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This condition is also commonly called IBS in the medical industry. The presence of major fecal matter in your guts can result in constipation.
The abdomen starts to bloat, and you may also experience some muscle cramps in this condition. The remaining fecal matter in the guts can cause major irritation. They can also lead to pain in the back.
Disorders of the Liver
Liver disorders can lead to nausea, constipation, and back pain as a symptom of a liver that cannot perform its functions properly. You may experience pain in various parts of your body depending on the liver disorder you are suffering from.
The symptoms caused by pancreatic cancer are minor during the earlier stages. As this cancer grows and progresses in your body, you may begin to experience some symptoms in the later stages, such as back pain, itching on the skin, digestive issues, and abdominal pain. Sometimes the back pain accompanied by this cancer can also go up to a severe level.
If you have a dull back pain that is accompanied with constipation, then there is a chance that the pain is a result of constipation itself. At other times, it could be that constipation and back pain is both symptom of a deeper malaise that you are ignoring.
A change in diet and increasing your consumption of water and other fluids are preventative steps to protect you from suffering from constipation and back pain. There are cases where patients have gotten instant relief from back pain and abdomen pain after curing their constipation.
You can follow the treatment and symptoms of constipation and back pain. If the pain and discomfort are severe, it is ideal that you consult a doctor and receive proper guidance and medication.
We hope that this information was helpful for you in understanding and caring for your loved one. If you have any questions related to constipation and back pain, please feel free to write to us. If you found this guide to be useful, please do share it with others who may be in need of similar information.