Can constipation cause back pain

Can Constipation Cause Back Pain

Constipation is a relatively common digestive issue that may seem like just an inconvenience, but can actually cause unpleasant symptoms like bloating abdominal pain, and back pain. Back pain is not just caused by physical strain or injury; it can also be a symptom of constipation.

Constipation Symptoms

Infrequent bowel movements, or difficulty passing stool, are all signs of constipation. Normal bowel movements occur between one and two times per day. Constipation can cause you to experience three bowel movements per week.

Other symptoms of constipation are:

  • Stool that is hard or lumpy
  • Pain passing stool
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Struggling to pass fecal matter

Constipation can cause a swelling of the intestines due to retained fecal matter. This can cause discomfort in the back and abdomen. This type of back discomfort is usually described as dull and aching.

Causes of Constipation With Back Pain

Constipation can be caused by many factors. Sometimes, it is impossible to determine the cause of constipation. There are several possible causes of constipation:

  • Dehydration
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Certain medications
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Colon or rectal cancer

Constipation Caused by Back Pain

Constipation can cause back pain in some cases. When your stools become hard and difficult to pass, this places strain and pressure on the lower back muscles which then results in back pain. Furthermore, increased pressure within the colon puts pressure on nerves running through that region of the lower back as well. Furthermore, straining while having a bowel movement may cause muscle spasms in that same region for added discomfort.

It’s essential to remember that while constipation can cause back pain, not all back pain is related to constipation. If you are dealing with persistent or severe back discomfort, consult with your doctor immediately to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Back Pain Caused by Fecal Impaction

Low back pain can be caused by fecal impurity. When a piece or part of the stool gets stuck in the colon, rectum or colon, it is called fecal impaction. Pain radiating from the abdomen or back can be caused by pressure in the colon or rectum.

There Are Many Treatment Options Available for Back and Constipation

Changes in your diet are the first line of treatment to constipation. To soften your stool, add more fiber to your diet and make it easier for you to pass.

Call your doctor if constipation occurs following a change in diet or medication. Your doctor can adjust your diet or prescribe medication to help with constipation.

These are some common remedies for constipation:

  • Regular exercise promotes good circulation and keeps your bowels healthy.
  • Get more water. 
  • Increase the fiber in your diet. 
  • Begin a regular bowel movement schedule.

Temporary constipation can be treated with over-the-counter stool softeners and suppositories. Natural stool softeners or laxatives are also options. Your doctor may be able to help you treat chronic constipation.

If your constipation does not reduce or eliminate your back pain, it is possible they are unrelated. Discuss your back pain with your doctor.

Lower Back Pain and Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which you experience difficulty passing stool on a daily basis. Anyone with fewer than three bowel movements per day is considered constipated.

Constipation can be a symptom of an obstruction in the colon or rectum. This discomfort may radiate from your abdomen down towards your lower back. When combined with other medical issues that cause back pain such as tumors or infections, constipation may become part of the picture.

Constipation may not always be the cause of lower back pain, however. To determine if they are connected, learn more about these conditions and learn what causes them.

Lower Back Pain

It is likely that your lower back pain and constipation are connected. Your discomfort could be due to an accumulation of stool in your colon, rectum, or stomach.

Your constipation could be contributing to the intensity of your back pain.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pinched nerve in the back
  • Spinal tumor

If you are feeling severe back pain, consult with your doctor.


Constipation treatment typically entails lifestyle or dietary modifications. For temporary relief, you can try using suppositories or laxatives.

  • Fiber can be beneficial to your diet. Your body gets its necessary amount of fiber from whole grain breads, vegetables, green beans and broccoli. Fiber also increases the capacity for your stool to pass through intestinal walls more easily.
  • Add more water into your diet. Dehydration can cause constipation, as dry stool is hard to pass. Aim for 64 ounces of liquid per day.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise not only strengthens your muscles, but it also stimulates the activity in your intestines. Before beginning any new exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor if you have had any health issues in the past.
  • Establish a routine. Eating and using the toilet at consistent times each day will help guarantee regular bowel movements.

Heating pads and over-the-counter pain medications can also help treat constipation. If the condition has been managed successfully but your back pain persists, consult with a physician to identify the source of the discomfort.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t suffer in silence if you are experiencing back pain. Not only can this affect your quality of life, but it makes it difficult to perform daily tasks or enjoy leisure activities. That is why seeking treatment from a reputable medical provider like Florida Medical Pain Management is so important. Call us today to book a consultation.

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We want to help each patient live a more fulfilling and productive life by effectively managing their pain. Florida Medical Pain Management also provides home therapy and many more. Click here to see our other services.


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