It's not a coincidence if someone experiences back pain and constipation at the same time. Although it may seem absurd, for North Americans, constipation continues to be a major contributor to lower back discomfort. Being "clogged up" can have a cascading effect on your entire body.
According to Yili Huang, DO, director of the Pain Management Center at Northwell Health's Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York: "Constipation may cause lower back pain because stool buildup can cause pressure on the colon or rectum, which can refer pain to the lower back."
Your back and the nearby nerves are under great pressure as your digestive tract swells.
However, most people find it difficult to understand the relationship between back pain and constipation.
This is why we will discuss everything related to constipation and its relation and effects on back pain in detail, in the following information.
What Causes Constipation?
The most common causes of constipation are when stool passes through the digestive tract very slowly or cannot be evacuated from the rectum efficiently, resulting in the stool being hard and dry.
There are numerous potential causes of chronic constipation. However, the most common four causes are mentioned below:
#1. Blockage in the Rectum or Colon
When the rectum or colon is blocked, it can stop or slow down the bowel or stool movement in the body, causing constipation. This occurs due to the following:
● Colon cancer
● Skin tears around the anus
● Narrowed colon
● Blocked intestines
● Rectal cancer
● Abdominal cancer pressing on the colon
● Rectum bulge in the back of the vagina
#2. Muscle Difficulty Involved in Elimination
Chronic constipation may result from issues with the pelvic muscles needed to pass stools. These issues could involve:
● Failure to enable the pelvic muscles to relax to facilitate a bowel movement
● Pelvic muscles that improperly balance relaxation and contraction
● Diminished pelvic muscles
#3. Nerve Problem Around the Rectum and Colon
The nerves that control the contraction of the colon and rectum muscles and the passage of stool through the intestines might be impacted by neurological conditions. Some causes are:
● Nerve damage that affects how the body works
● Several sclerosis
● Parkinson's condition
● spinal cord damage
#4. Hormonal Effects
Hormones aid your body's fluid equilibrium. Constipation can result from several illnesses and disorders, including:
● Excessive parathyroid activity
● Thyroid dysfunction
Symptoms of Constipation
If you have encountered two or more symptoms over the past three months, your constipation may be regarded as chronic. Chronic constipation has the following symptoms:
1. Less than three stools a week
2. Experiencing lumpy or stiff stools
3. Difficulty in visiting the bathroom
4. Blocked rectum
5. Having the impression that you cannot fully expel the excrement from your rectum
6. Need assistance to empty your rectum, such as pressing with your hands on your belly and removing feces with a finger from your rectum.
Types of Back Pains Due to Constipation
Back pain and constipation are closely related. Here are the two major kinds of back pains due to constipation:
Lower Back Pain
Back pain sensations can appear while you're constipated because of how much space the digestive tract takes up in the body.
A clogged rectum or a stool blockage in your colon are the two most common causes of this lower back discomfort, which often manifests as a dull, agonizing pain that travels from your lower back through the remainder of your abdomen.
In addition to lower back pain, constipation can cause bloating, nausea, vomiting, migraines, and incontinence in severe cases. These signs might come on suddenly or gradually, worsening before they get better until properly treated.
As the bulk increases, constipation can cause infrequent bowel movements, acute or persistent lower back pain in the lower back and lower limbs when defecating, trouble with bowel movements, and firm or lumpy stools.
Read More: 7 Reasons for Lower Back Pain When Sitting
Upper Back Pain
Although it is less frequent than lower back pain, upper back discomfort can be brought on by constipation. If a nerve-related injury or ailment brings on your upper back discomfort, you may also experience constipation.
For instance, a herniated disc may irritate spinal nerves that regulate bowel movements, causing constipation. Upper back pain that causes constipation could also be brought on by a muscular strain or injury that affects your spine.
The Relation Between Back Pain and Constipation
Understanding the symptoms and causes of constipation can make you wonder, 'Can being constipated make your back hurt?'
The simplest explanation of this phenomenon is that constipation causes the intestines to expand with trapped feces, which can cause severe abdominal and back pain.
This type of pain is often described as a dull aching in the lower back, in which the backup of feces exerts pressure on other body components.
The pressure on the nerves might cause pain and numbness in your legs if things go too bad. This is why you experience an ache and sometimes severe pain in your back due to constipation.
Fecal Impaction and Back Pain: What's The Relationship?
Fecal impaction is a serious disorder in which your feces become stuck in your colon or rectum and puts tremendous pressure on the nearby organs.
Fecal impaction should be addressed as quickly as possible because it can cause serious pain in the back and damage if left untreated.
Frequent, untreated constipation is the main cause of fecal impaction.
Constipation can lead to a considerable buildup of feces over time because it causes the colon and the rectum to become more constricted and apply pressure to tighten up.
Fecal impaction happens when the bulk of stool in a body becomes large enough.
Other less likely causes of fecal impaction include medicine, surgery, inactivity, or excessive laxative usage. Fecal impaction is typically treated with an enema, laxatives, irrigation with water, or anal suppositories.
Patients should never attempt self-care at home or disregard their symptoms, especially if lower back pain has spread to a lower limb.
Can Sciatica Cause Constipation?
Lower back pain from sciatica is a common condition that doctors routinely treat. The discomfort is frequently described as having a toothache-like combination of dull and acute pangs that makes you feel numb.
Sciatic nerve compression causes sciatica. One of the rare non-spinal illnesses that can cause sciatica is constipation.
By causing the sciatic nerve to become irritated because of constipation, even using the restroom becomes uncomfortable.
The greatest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve, becomes compressed and causes sciatica. Sciatica can affect pregnant women and men who keep their wallets in their back pockets. Keep in mind that sciatica is curable.
General Constipation and Back Pain: What's Going On?
Certain lifestyle choices, such as insufficient exercise or water consumption, might result in constipation. However, if you suffer from both constipation and back discomfort, one particular medical condition probably is to blame.
For instance, based on where the tumor is placed and how it is resting on your spinal cord, a tumor pushing on your spinal cord may result in back discomfort and constipation.
Inactivity is a risk factor for diabetes and back pain, and constipation is another side effect of diabetes. Consequently, if you have diabetes, you could experience back discomfort and constipation.
How To Relieve Back Pain From Constipation - 5 Home Remedies
Numerous all-natural methods can aid with constipation. These may be performed comfortably at home and are also backed by science.
The following are the 5 simplest home remedies to relieve back pain from constipation:
Remedy #1 - Constipation and Water
Constipation can result from being dehydrated. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is crucial in resuming activity down in your belly.
Remedy #2 - Fiber for Constipation
Doctors frequently advise patients to consume more dietary fiber to cure constipation.
Increasing your fiber intake will give your bowel motions more weight and consistency, making them easier to pass. They also move through the digestive system more swiftly, thanks to it.
Remedy #3 Coffee and Constipation
Some folks may feel more of a need to use the restroom after drinking coffee. This is so because coffee activates the digestive system's muscles.
Remedy #4 Constipation and Probiotics
Probiotics might aid in preventing long-term constipation. Probiotics are live, healthy bacteria that are found in the gut naturally. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two of them.
Remedy #5 Be Active
Sedentary lifestyles have been associated in studies with a higher incidence of constipation. Due to this, some medical professionals advise stepping up exercise to get the bowels going.
Treatment Options for Back Pain Caused By Constipation
Depending on the underlying reason for your condition, the sort of treatment you get for constipation and back pain will vary. For instance, if dehydration is the root cause of your constipation, your doctor may advise you to begin drinking more water during the day.
Your doctor will treat you for sciatica if that is what is causing your constipation and back discomfort. Medication, physical therapy, and surgery are frequently used to treat sciatica.
When you see your doctor to discuss constipation and back discomfort, be honest with them. This will make it easier for your doctor to identify the real reasons for your issues and the best cures for your constipation and back pain.
When Should You See Your Doctor?
Most of the time, home remedies and management can be utilized to treat back pain brought on by constipation. However, there are several circumstances where you should see a doctor right once regarding your lower back pain:
1. When you haven't had a bowel movement in more than a week.
2. When you experience bloody stools.
3. Persistent pain that doesn't go away after a bowel movement.
4. Fluctuating back pain that keeps coming back.
5. Experiencing difficulty in bowel movement due to extremely large bowl size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some most commonly asked questions regarding back pain and constipation:
What part of your back hurts with constipation?
The lower back portion of your body hurts due to constipation and infrequent bowel movements.
Can a pinched nerve in the lower back cause bowel problems?
Yes, pinched nerves or nerves can severely affect your urinary and bowel movements and several other problems.
Can a pinched nerve cause constipation?
Yes, a pinched nerve can also cause constipation, as it can affect your bowel movement.
How long is too long for constipation?
Not passing stool for more than 5 days is a serious concern. When constipation lasts, a doctor should check for more than three weeks.
Why does a bowel movement relieve back pain?
A bowel movement relieves back pain by removing the pressure on your pelvic area due to the stuffed bowel.
Does a heating pad help with constipation?
Based on some studies, constipation can be relieved by alleviating one's body temperature. So a heating pad might be helpful.
Can herniated disc cause constipation?
Yes, a large number of herniated discs cause constipation as the nerve roots as well as the spinal cord, might be blocked due to herniated discs.