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Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?

HPFY Staff Writer

Constipation is one of the most typical gastrointestinal conditions. It happens when the colon absorbs too much water from waste (stool/poop), causing it to dry out, making it challenging to expel it out of the body. Constipation can cause back pain or lower back pain sometimes.

Some people and situations are more likely to result in persistent constipation back pain than others. These conditions and age groups include - 

  • Older people with a slower metabolism, less energy, and fewer muscular contractions along their digestive tracts.
  • Being a woman, particularly during pregnancy and after giving birth. Women are more prone to constipation back pain due to hormonal changes. The movement of the stool is slowed by the baby's wriggling of the intestines inside the womb.
  • Consuming insufficient high-fiber meals. High-fiber foods help digestion by keeping food moving. 
  • Taking medications. 
  • Having digestive and neurological conditions (diseases of the brain and spinal cord injuries.)

What Causes Constipation with Lower Back Pain?

Constipation and lower back pain together may be caused due to several reasons. One of the most probable reasons is "functional constipation," which occurs when waste passes through the colon too slowly. Food that moves more slowly might absorb more water from the digestive system, which makes excrement harder. It can be difficult to cure hard defecation when it is reinforced or impaction due to persistent useful obstruction.

Below are several common causes of constipation & back pain: 

  • Dehydration (not drinking enough water) 
  • Diet low in fiber 
  • Lacking exercise 
  • Certain medications 
  • Bowel obstruction 
  • Fecal blockage 
  • Spinal cord injury 
  • Metabolic issues, such as thyroid problems 
  • Rectal or colon cancer 

Symptoms of Constipation  

  • A lack of bowel motion (fewer than three bowel movements a week) 
  • Dry, lumpy, or hard stools 
  • Trouble passing stools 
  • Abdominal pain, cramps, or stomach pain  
  • Abdominal pressure or a feeling of fullness (bloating) 
  • Indigestion 
  • An increase in bloating (passing gas) 
  • Additional symptoms of constipation that are less common include:
    • Reduced appetite
    • Lack of energy
    • Lower back pain
    • Nausea

Can Constipation Cause Back Pain? 

Can constipation cause back pain? The question is an important one. Back pain and constipation are commonly caused together due to constipation swelling the intestines with retained fecal matter, which can lead to discomfort in both the abdomen and back. This back pain is typically reported as a dull, aching type of discomfort.

The following are examples of conditions that may cause both constipation and back pain simultaneously:  

  • Bowel obstruction: A bowel obstruction can happen when the digestive tract produces a variety of hard stools or when something passes through the gut or constricts it, stopping the stool from moving. 
  • Endometriosis: People who have this condition have tissue that normally surrounds the uterus, invading other parts of the body, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, stomach, and bladder. The most well-known side effects are back pain, lower stomach pain, and excruciating menstrual cramps. 
  • Fibromyalgia: People with this disorder frequently have increased pain sensitivity, widespread pain, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, and digestive problems. Lower back pain is common. 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These conditions can cause intestinal inflammation that leads to diarrhea and constipation.  
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS symptoms often include constipation, diarrhea, or both, as well as abdominal bloating and cramping. Lower back pain may be a symptom of IBS. 
  • Liver disorders: Liver disorders, such as cancer, cirrhosis, and hepatitis, may cause nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, swelling, and itching. The location of the back pain depends on the liver disorder. For example, researchers of a 2015 study found that lower back pain was a common symptom of cirrhosis. Back pain with liver inflammation typically occurs in the upper back on the right.
  • Cancer: Cancers, especially breast cancer that has spread to the bones, can cause back pain. 

Constipation Caused by Lower Back Pain

Sometimes an infection or tumor putting pressure on the spinal cord can cause back pain, leading to constipation as a side effect.

Back Pain caused by fecal impaction

Bowel pressure and lower back pain are closely related. The tension in the colon or rectum may result in pain radiating to the back or abdomen. Fecal impaction, a condition that occurs when dry stool is stuck in the colon or rectum, can cause low back pain.

Treatment for Back Pain causing Constipation

One can treat mild= to moderate constipation in most instances at home. Self-care begins with an evaluation of your diet and lifestyle, followed by modifications.

Some recommendations to help relieve your constipation include:

  • Consume an adequate amount of water two to four times a day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages because then they can dehydrate the body.
  • Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods. Reduce your intake of high-fat foods like cheese, pork, and eggs. 
  • Try including any foods in the table below for a high-fiber diet if you have constipation or are prone to getting it.

foods table

  • Become more active and work out 
  • Examine your toilet-sitting technique. A bowel movement may be made simpler by squatting, raising your feet, or leaning back.
  • Add over-the-counter supplemental fiber to your diet.
  • While trying to empty your bowels, avoid reading, using your phone, or using any other devices.
  • More high-fiber foods are one of the best strategies to cure and prevent constipation.

Some other common treatments for quick constipation relief include:

  • In cases of chronic constipation, you may want to discuss treatment plans with your doctor. 

Constipation can cause lower back pain, and one should speak with their doctor and express their worries if the symptoms don't go away even after treatment.

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY HPFY Staff Writer

HPFY Staff Writer



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