Does Constipation Cause Back Pain
This is a question that rings in many people’s minds and few will get to know the relationship or the reasons that may make constipation cause back pains. Constipation can only be described as having infrequent bowel movements. Look at the Question again. And it is: Does Constipation Cause Back Pain?
This affects the fecal movement with feces blocking the way and piling up in the intestinal tract. While the obvious symptom for constipation remains to be the irregular bowel movements, severe back pains are also a system that can indicate constipation. Most people usually experience pain and discomfort in the backs, and many cases fail to tell the causative factor. In most cases, constipation will be the reason behind these pains.
The Question Remains is Can Constipation Cause Back Pain? Our backs are specially structured with muscles which are attached to the spine. The spine has elongated bone stacks which are usually curved. The circular vertebrae have discs which provide flexibility allowing one to bend and move comfortably. This is the system that is affected by severe constipation. The stress causes on the abdominal body section translate to pain in the spine and can sometimes cause great discomfort.
A condition known as fecal impaction can also occur when one’s rectum is blocked by the hardened bowel movement. This can as well lead to back pains, bloating as well as cramps.
What to Do When Back Trouble Means Bathroom Trouble
If you’re recovering from back surgery or taking painkillers for back pain, constipation may be more than an occasional irritation.
What’s to blame? If you’ve just had surgery, the effects of anesthesia could play a role. Limited mobility, stress, and changes in your diet can also be factors.
Another common culprit is the medications often used to treat back pain. As they relieve pain, they also put the brakes on the digestive process. Painkillers, also called opioids or narcotics, are well known for causing constipation and other gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea and bloating. Some antidepressants, cold medicines, and many sedatives can have a similar impact.
7 strategies to get going when constipation strikes
The good news is that there are steps you can take to ease the discomfort from this common problem. Try these seven constipation-relieving tactics:
1. Adjust your diet.
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet that emphasizes whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies is a good place to start. Boost your level of fiber, but start slowly to avoid bloating. Soluble fiber—the kind in barley, flax, and oats as well as in some fruits and vegetables—is usually the easiest kind to tolerate. Steer clear of fatty or fried foods.
2. Consider a different opioid.
If you’re taking an opioid, switching to another one may help. One study found that people with low back or osteoarthritis pain who took tapentadol (Nucynta) had fewer problems with constipation than those taking oxycodone immediate release (OxyContin, Percocet)1
3. Ask about alternatives to opioids.
The side effects of opioids prompt many people with back pain to stop using them altogether. If you’ve been taking them for a while and want to quit, ask your doctor how to stop gradually so you can avoid painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Non-opioid pain medications may be a good replacement for pain relief. These medications could include acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Some people reduce—but don’t eliminate—opioids by supplementing them with non-opioid pain medication.
4. Pay attention to your body.
If you feel the urge, get to the bathroom right away. Build in some extra time in your daily schedule so you can take your time in the bathroom when needed.
5. Drink up.
Dehydration can make constipation worse. Water is a good choice, and prune juice and apple cider (rather than apple juice) are natural laxatives. While drinks without caffeine are generally preferred, some people find that a small amount of a cola drink has a laxative effect.
6. Exercise more if you can.
Moving around as much as possible—if your doctor gives you the OK—helps your body function better. If a long exercise session isn’t an option, try to exercise gently for a few minutes at a time throughout the day.
7. Try a stool softener or laxative.
If you’re taking an opioid following surgery, your doctor may suggest you take a nonprescription laxative or stool softener as a preventive measure. Bulk fiber laxatives (Citrucel, FiberCon, and Metamucil) may take several hours to take effect. Stool softeners (Colace, Dialose, DSS, and Surfak) mix fluid with a stool to soften it, making it easier to pass. Stool softeners may take up to three days to show results. Stimulant laxatives (Dulcolax, Ex-Lax, and Milk of Magnesia) trigger contractions in the bowels and work within a few hours. Suppositories (Dulcolax) usually show results more quickly.
If these efforts don’t offer relief, talk with your doctor about prescription medications or biofeedback therapy to help you get back in control.
Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?
The pain is not much severe, and many people manage through the trying time without having any medication. Some will fail to use medication due to the lack of knowledge on which drugs or methods to use while some do not see the need for using the medication. The key to knowing is that any pain is an indication that you have a problem somewhere. It is always advisable to consult professional help when the symptoms are first observed as this helps one to be sure of their safety healthy wise.
When seeking constipation treatment, one needs to first understand the reason behind its occurrence. This will help them in avoiding the same situation in years to come. Unhealthy diets, as well as failure to exercise, have been known to cause regular constipation. There is, therefore, the need to change one’s diet and feeding habits. The body also needs to be exposed to regular exercises that will keep all systems running in the best way.
The treatment of constipation which also relieves one of the back pains is best done by administering pears to the patient. This is a fruit that has been known to work magic, and when used for several days, the patient will have the whole problem solved. Other physical processes will also relieve one of the constipation dilemmas. Among these processes is the use of lubricants. These lubricants ease the movement of feces through the intestine making one relax.
Mineral oils can always serve this purpose best and given their level of security, they remain to be the best option. An enema conducted using warm water and mineral oil has also been known to offer a solution to the problem. More to this, one can also administer a rectal suppository which helps in lubrication and stimulation of the defecation reflex.
Constipation and Back Pain Proposals and Solutions
It is not just obvious that just because constipation has connectivity with abdominal pain there will be the same connectivity with back pain. There is a natural degree of discomfort and intense pain in the abdomen due to infrequent abdominal movements. This needs to go away immediately after defecation. With the back pain, the case may be different. Once one experiences chronic constipation, it is very likely that they will experience severe back pains.
Several types of research have been conducted by many different scientists. All these researches have been focused on establishing the link between constipation and back pain. Constipation and abdominal pains will in most cases be caused by fecal impaction. This puts one at a very high risk of contracting harmful bacterial infections which then slowly spread through the body.
The fecal impaction occurs when feces gather along the gastrointestinal tract walls. This then results to blockage and no feces will be passed out. The pressure builds up causing immense stress on the back muscles. This condition causes an uncontrollable pain that runs all the way up the spine. It can last for a long period as long as constipation persists. The main reason behind this situation is the narrow meeting of the intestinal tract and the rectum. This makes the feces to harden thus clinging to other feces along the intestinal tract walls. This becomes the genesis of all troubles, and unless it is cleared, there will remain to be the strong, persistent back pain.
An attempt to make bowel movements, the fecal, will allow watery feces to pass. This is, however, very difficult to manage constipation and back pain with the solid feces. This is what links constipation and back pain. As one tries to push hard, this does not only affect the anal muscles. The pushing causes stretching of the back muscles and given the high weight they hold; one can help it but feel the pressure. In many cases, one may think it’s common diarrhea or food poisoning resulting to constipation but this will in most of the cases fails to be the main cause. The main reason behind, most constipation cases are fecal impaction.
Several remedies are available for managing constipation. The use of laxatives is the most common and has been the first thought solution to anyone having the problem. The drug stores and pharmacies have them in plenty and their admission should be conducted in due time before much harm is caused. Another known remedy is the use of a honey and lemon mixture. When used in warm water, the mixture can greatly help in the management of constipation symptoms. More to this, one can also use a mixture of orange juice and olive oil. The 1:1 ratio of the mixture has always been effective in bringing back regular bowel movement. This way, the muscles, will relax, and the feces will be excreted. A castor oil and honey mixture are also effective. All these remedies work magic and the fact that they are safe makes it easy to manage constipation.
Kwong WJ, Hammond G, Upmalis D et al. Bowel function after tapentadol and oxycodone immediate release (IR) treatment in patients with low-back or osteoarthritis pain. Clin J Pain 2013;29:664–672.
Does Constipation Cause Back Pain, Last Update: 11/4/2017