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Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?

If you’ve researched information on lower back pain, you know there are many reasons for pain in your lumbar area. Can constipation cause back pain or is it a symptom of something else? The following guide will explain more about what you can expect when you have this condition. Once you learn more, you can determine if it is time to talk to a doctor or seek another type of treatment.

Woman with constipation pain clutching her stomach with her hand as she becomes visibly stressed by the ongoing cramps

Facts About Constipation

Constipation is characterized by a chronic difficulty with passing bowel movements. Those who have it may have three or fewer bowel movements per week. During an episode of constipation, you may experience symptoms such as a dull, aching pain or a full, uncomfortable feeling.

Other signs of constipation include straining to have a bowel movement or feeling as though you cannot completely empty your bowel. Talk to your doctor if you have sharp pain when constipated, notice blood in your stool, or start vomiting as a result of your constipation. It is also important to seek medical care if you have a fever, as these symptoms can be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Other Symptoms of Constipation Include:

  • Having hard or lumpy stools
  • Having a bloated, full stomach
  • Experiencing pain during a bowel movement
  • Feeling as though you have a blockage obstructing you from having a bowel movement
  • Feeling as though you have more stool after a bowel movement
  • Having to apply pressure to your abdomen to encourage a bowel movement

What Are The Common Causes for Constipation?

  • Diet low in fiber
  • Dehydration
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Inactivity/lack of physical activity
  • Certain types of medications may cause constipation

Lower Back Pain and Constipation Pain

When you are constipated, you may feel pain in your abdomen or your lower back. Some possible causes of aching in the lumbar area with constipation include dehydration, a low-fiber diet, and bowel obstruction. You may also be having these symptoms due to medication side effects or a lack of exercise. Less commonly, constipation with back pain can be a sign of rectal cancer or colon cancer.

It is possible that you have lumbar pain from a muscle strain, a ligament sprain, or a herniated disc. If you are unsure whether your constipation and back discomfort are related, consult with your primary care physician or a trusted specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon or a gastroenterologist. They will give you a physical exam, check your medical history, and review your medication list to help determine what is causing your symptoms.

Athlete clutching her lower back

Can Back Pain Cause Constipation?

Back pain can be caused by a number of issues. However, spinal cord injuries and certain nerve conditions may also lead to constipation. Nerves that control part of your colon and intestines can be damaged by these conditions and interfere with your ability to have a healthy bowel movement.

Treating Your Constipation & Back Pain

Regular constipation and chronic lower back pain are both difficult to live with. Thankfully, you do not have to suffer from your symptoms. If you are having trouble treating your constipation or your lower back pain, try the following lifestyle changes and tips:

  • Drink water: Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day will make it easier for stool to move through your bowels. Staying hydrated also helps to flush toxins from your body while providing your muscles with the oxygen and nutrients to stay healthy. Once you begin drinking more water on a regular basis, you may find that your constipation symptoms and your lower back pain get better. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times will help you to remember to drink more often.
  • Eat more fiber: Increasing your fiber intake can help you to have more healthy bowel movements. Some of the most popular foods that are rich in fiber include beans, nuts, and oatmeal and other whole grains. You can also get more of this important element in digestion from eating fruits like apples, oranges, and pears, as well as leafy greens. Most adults will need between 21-38 grams of fiber per day, but talk to your doctor or a registered dietician (RD) if you have any questions about the diet that is right for you. Your provider may also recommend taking a fiber supplement to help boost your intestinal health. A teaspoon to a tablespoon of ground flax seeds will provide daily fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, for instance. Large amounts of vitamin C can also have a laxative property.
  • Exercise regularly: Daily physical activity will help to enhance the muscle activity in your intestines. It will also help to strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen, which can help to relieve lower back pain over time. If you are in discomfort, try gentle yet effective physical activities like walking, swimming, or yoga.
  • Try laser therapy: To treat your symptoms of lower back pain without having to use prescription drugs, try laser therapy. This treatment uses a technology known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), which used to be often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). Adults with back pain enjoy the benefits of PBMT because it is effective at reducing pain, inflammation, and swelling in the lower back. Wear your laser therapy device for as few as 30 minutes per day to reduce the spasms and discomfort in your lumbar area. Unlike other treatments for constipation or lower back pain, this type of therapy has no known adverse side effects.
Woman in grey sports outfit looking down on her Curavi laser belt

Laser Therapy for Lower Back Pain

Now that you know some of the benefits of laser therapy for lower back pain, it is time to discover our laser therapy belts. Each of our three Curavi™ laser light therapy belts modulates the inflammatory process for fast relief from pain and discomfort in your lumbar area. Breathable LaserFlex™ fabric combines with a revolutionary patented laser light design to adjust to your body shape and make you more comfortable during the treatment process.

Choose from three levels of coverage of our medical-grade laser diodes, including professional-grade coverage provided by our CuraviPro™ Belt. No matter which device you select, you will benefit from features like auto-timed treatment sessions, which are programmed to shut off when therapy is done. A rechargeable Li-Ion battery allows for hands-free mobility.

A lightweight carrying case and a universal AC adapter allow you to take your device with you while you travel. A detachable belt extender is included to allow the belt to fit larger-circumference torsos. As you treat your constipation, you can also relieve your lower back discomfort. Anytime you experience lumbar area pain in the future, your Curavi device will be there for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Constipation Cause Sciatica?

Prolonged constipation can put pressure on the nerve and cause sciatic symptoms. Sometimes a so-called herniated or “slipped” disc where the nerve roots emerge in the low back may protrude and press upon the nerve, thereby causing sciatica.

Can Constipation Cause Upper Back Pain?

While it's possible for constipation to cause upper back pain, it is not as common as lower back pain. You may have constipation from upper back pain if the back pain is being caused by an injury or condition that affects your nerves, therefore signaling an unwanted sensation to your upper back. For example, a herniated disc can put pressure on certain spinal nerves, including the nerves that control your bowel movements, causing pain in other areas.

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