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Can Constipation Cause Back Pain?

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Constipation often follows sensations of being full or bloated. This condition is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects children, younger and older adults, although its rate of prevalence is higher in women than men and in elderly adults between the ages of 65 years.

This is a disorder usually caused by lifestyle habits and changes, diseases and complications from previous medical history or surgery. Signs to look out for include straining during defecation, stool in hard or form textures and pebble-like shapes, infrequent bowel activity.

Every individual experiences constipation differently because symptoms and severity vary for children and adults. Some may record bowel movements 3 times a week or less. Constipation affects overall functionality and may trigger other health-related problems.

What Is Constipation

Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem. It is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by the difficult or rare passage of stool.

This condition is prevalent in children, young adults and older adults, however, it has a higher rate of occurrence in women than men and in older adults over 65 years of age than younger adults.

It also occurs in pregnancy because of mechanical pressure and the increase of sex hormones in the last months. Women who are in their premenopausal period also experience constipation, this is because of fluctuations in the female sex hormones and feelings.

Constipation is usually accompanied by a dysfunction of the pelvic floor leading to defecatory disorders, this results in infrequent stool and difficult stool passage with pain and stiffness.

There are three categories of constipation that is: Normal transit, the most prevalent form that exists because of perceived difficulty with evacuation and hard stools.

Slow transit mostly occurs in young women with infrequent bowel movement

Defecatory disorders from pelvic floor dysfunction.

Common causes include dietary issues, medications, surgical conditions, metabolic disorders. It is also linked to ageing, lack of physical activity, certain drug use, lack of proper diet, limited fluid intake and more in elderly adults.

Symptoms Of Constipation

Signs may vary for each individual depending on age, this is because of the way the metabolism of a child’s body differs from that of an adult or elderly person. However, the most common symptom is straining and texture of stool.

Irregular Bowel Activity

Infrequent bowel movements are a normal occurrence, your bowel activity maybe 3 times a week or less depending on how severe your condition is.


Painful evacuation of stool accompanied by pain, discomfort and passage of hard stool in small lumps. Sometimes there may also be withholding of stool.

Stool texture

The stool is usually in irregular texture, hard, firm and pebble-like.


When constipated, you may have mood swings, be easily irritated, and have a decreased appetite since it causes the sensation of being full.

Satiety feeling

Constipation puts you in a state of being so full and unable for more intake. Bloating is common and you may still feel full while being hungry.

Foul-smelling gas

The release of foul-smelling gas is not uncommon. Your body resorts to flatulence when you cannot completely evacuate waste through defecation, you may feel a bit of relief after gas episodes.

Causes Of Constipation

Several factors that can lead to the prevalence of constipation include:

Lifestyle Conditions

Certain lifestyle choices and actions can cause straining and hard bowel movements. These are inadequate water intake, eating foods low in fiber.


Some drugs have side effects that can affect your body’s natural metabolic process. This can cause conditions like constipation and may trigger other medical issues.

Physical Activity

Lack of physical activity in elderly adults can lead to constipation because their body is weaker and more susceptible to various health problems. Physical activity does not mean exercises it also involves strolling, jogging, and walking that help boost metabolism.

Dietary disorders

Issues like dehydration, eating disorders, low intake of required nutrients can cause issues involving bowel activity.

Diseases and specific conditions

Diseases, medical conditions and surgeries can cause complications with severe effects.

Constipation can also be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety and depression.

Constipation With A Back Pain

Constipation can have adverse side effects on your body. Associating factors are straining, discomfort, pain and feeling of fullness. When you are constipated, you may feel pain in your abdomen and lower back. This is caused by the blockage and inability to properly and completely execute your body’s bowel process.

When this happens, it creates a state of bowel obstruction; you keep eating but with limited bowel activity. You may pass out gas sometimes or have painful defecation with a hard pebble-like stool. This discomfort can be followed by abdominal pains and low back pain. However, some other conditions that can contribute to back pain in women are ovulation, pregnancy, menstruation.

What Can Cause Constipation With Back Pain

Back pain in constipation may sometimes be because of stool stored in the rectum. There is other constipation related back pain which are:

Fecal Impaction

Fecal impaction is a severe condition that causes pressure on your organs, this is because stool passage may sometimes be blocked and be unable to pass through your colon. This condition arises from constant untreated constipation. When there is difficulty passing bowel activity, it leads to stool buildup in the rectum or colon. This is because constipation restricts these areas and creates tightening up from straining. Symptoms are back pain, bloating, vomiting, nausea, headache.

General Constipation

This occurs when the blockage of waste in the digestive tract affects your body’s muscles and nerves. This disrupts the normal process of metabolism and gives out sensations as trapped stool grows and increases in size. Some signs involved are acute or chronic back pain while defecating, abdominal cramping and swelling.

How Does Constipation Cause Back Pain

Constipation can make you feel really uncomfortable, it can affect movement and daily routine. You may feel sensations of pain in your abdomen, you feel full even when you have not eaten or are hungry, and you are mostly always in discomfort, especially in chronic constipation.

While this condition may trigger other complications or issues, it can also cause pain in your lower back. This happens when there is pressure on your nerves that weighs down your body’s muscles, including your back, and does not dissipate unless the root cause is treated.

This means that pain does not go away unless there is relief in the bowels which eventually releases previous pressure exerted on the nerves.

Pressure is usually caused by a blocked digestive tract that leads to trapped fecal and stools buildup or increases.

Impact Of Constipation With Back Pain

Constipation can have debilitating effects on your body and health.

Weight Gain

Inability to excrete waste can lead to an increase in body weight. This is because your body is not taking out byproducts not needed. It is all stored in and the more you eat without taking care of the issue, the higher your chances of adding extra weight and feeling bloated.


Pain in various parts of your body like the abdomen, back. There may be a pain in the anal cavity during defecation.

Psychological disorders

Stress, anxiety and depression may sometimes occur, however, it is more prevalent in chronic constipation associated with other medical problems.


If you leave constipation untreated for a long period, it can cause severe conditions and complications that require surgical approaches for treatment

Diagnosis Of A Constipation

Evaluation mostly depends on the clinical history and physical examination. This is done to determine the onset, duration, associated symptoms of constipation, underlying medical problems, medication use and side effects.

Treatment Of Constipation


There are specific drugs available to treat constipation. Although this condition may arise when you take or stop using medications like laxatives. It is best to use only recommended drugs and stick strictly to dosage use.


Surgery is required in chronic cases when medications and other homemade treatment methods do not give the response or relief.

It is possible to prevent the occurrence or manage constipation by:

Drink water. Take lots of water and stay hydrated. It not only helps the metabolic process, but also improves your health and reduces the risk of complications and medical problems.

Eat high-fiber diets. Eat healthily, focus on foods rich in fiber such as beans, nuts, and whole grains, stay away from canned or processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Indulge in physical activities

Workouts, exercises, strolls and jogging does not just keep you in shape. It also boosts your health and immune system.

Practice biofeedback therapy


Constipation is a worldwide prevalence common in the young and older population. During early onset, it may seem unnoticeable for people with very low and infrequent bowel activity, although it may become noticeable when bloating and discomfort gets worse. Always treat it on time and contact your doctor or visit your health center if you feel complications arising.

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