Sciatica and Constipation

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Before you disregard what I’m about to say. I’m going to ask that you be patient. I know you’re suffering from lower back pain or else you wouldn’t be at this website. I also know that you will probably disregard any notion that the sciatica you suffer from is caused by constipation. Let me be clear: constipation can cause sciatica. If you don’t trust me, check other websites. Doctors agree constipation is one of a myriad of causes of sciatica.

While you may think the bowels and the lower back are different parts of the body, it’s important to understand that all parts of the body are connected in some way or another.

What is sciatica?

If you have a pain in your lower back near the buttocks and that pain travels down a leg, then chances are you have sciatica. Sciatica is a common lower back pain that doctors treat frequently. The pain is often characterized by feeling akin to a toothache, a combination of dull and sharp aches that create a feeling of pins and needles. Pins and needles are the most common pain experienced with nerves.

Sciatica results from sciatic nerve compression. Constipation is one of the few non-spinal conditions that cause sciatica. Even using the bathroom becomes a painful burden by irritating the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve–the largest in the body–is compressed by external pressure. Women in child birth and men who carry wallets in their back pocket may experience sciatica.

Remember that sciatica is treatable If you’re experiencing constipation and lower back pain, ask your doctor to test you for sciatica. Doctors can test you with a CT scan, MRI, x-ray or nerve conduction tests.

Solving the problem

If you’re experiencing sciatica related to constipation, your first course of action should be a diet change. A fiber-infused diet full of fruits and vegetables relieves constipation. Also consider a fiber supplement.
Reduce the pain

While you wait for constipation relief, there are several ways to reduce pain. The first is to take aspirin or ibuprofen. Anti-inflammatory medications reduce nerve and muscle inflammation, alleviating nerve irritation. In the same way, alternating hot and cold compresses reduce the inflammation and sooth the pain. These can be applied to your legs if the pain travels down your body.

Also consider a firm mattress to support your back and alleviate any sciatica that may also be resulting from back strain. Some doctors may recommend several days to allow the sciatic nerve damage to heal.

Rules to remember

No heavy lifting – sometimes no lifting should be done at all.

Move slowly when standing up or getting in and out of bed.

Don’t bend or sit in soft chairs. Support is paramount.

Don’t ignore the pain. Nerve pain either heals within a week or gets worse. Nerves are not something you want to wait to heal.

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  1. Gillian Goodman says

    After many years of suffering severe pain and discomfort in predominately my right side in line with my belly button, constipation and back, buttock and leg pains, other symptoms include loss of appetite and feeling sick, no feeling to evacuate bowels and generally weak. My Consultant told me I constipated IBS and put me on Bisacodyl, which seemed to be working, but the pain and constipation has returned. Is the pain in the back and leg pain linked. I have recently been constipated for 6 days, things have slowly started moving again, but the pain continues. I was given Co-dydramol,but I know this doesn’t help with the constipation,Can you please help?

  2. Admin says

    HI Gillian,

    A good starting point is for you to get a copy of The Healthy Back Institute’s free back pain book. Education and understanding about your pain and learning about your possible treatment options is key. To learn more please visit the link below.

    “Free 7 Day Back Pain Cure Book”

    Thank you

  3. Kim says

    I’ve noticed a relationship between constipation & my back pain for years, but most GPs and even Internal Medicine doctors have casually accepted or dismissed it. I also have IBS w constipation. The ONLY thing that has helped the constipation is a nightly dose of 500mg to 1000mg magnesium. I don’t cramp with magnesium. When I finally have a bowel movement, it takes about a day for the back pain to ease up.

    We are complex machines :)

    • karen says

      Amen! I have been taking magnesium (Calm) in the morning and a plant based calcium/magnesium tablet at bedtime. It really helps with constipation that I didn’t realize I have. That in turn has relieved the terrible sciatic pain. I also take a couple of aspirins daily as needed.

      We are indeed complex machines.

  4. Edward A. Peacock says

    I have suffered from sciatica for years, finally broke down and had surgery for a severely ruptured disc. I always noticed a decrease in sciatica symptoms after a good bowel movement. It makes sense that if women who experience sciatica symptoms because of the increased pressure upon their lower back, then anything that increases pressure in that region would tend to increase or aggravate sciatica symptoms!

  5. Edward A. Peacock says

    And it does tend to follow, that if you have any condition that is worsened by straining, then constipation would surely tend to aggravate it!

  6. Yvonne says

    I have been diagnosed cyatica.
    It starts in my lower back and seems to wrap around
    To my abdomin and down my leg. Is it normal to feel
    Constipated? When my meds take affect the feeling goes
    Away. I have had physical therapy for weeks and it helps
    For a little bit but the pain returns.
    I am thinking about seeing a chiropractor. Is this recommended?
    Thanks, yvonne

  7. Admin says

    Hi Yvonne,

    Before you go to the DC please read our Back Pain Book as it iwll help you better understand your options and it will suggest to the Chiro that you are not the average client and they will have to present you with their best effort, here is the link:-

    “7 Day Back Pain Cure”

    (The Healthy Back Institute)

  8. Leah S says

    I suffer from fibromyalgia and, therefore, also suffer from the side effects of chronic use of pain medications. My Dr recommended Lady Soma’s Probiotics supplement, but after trying a probiotic it really didn’t work, but the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse did!

    I take 2 Lady Soma Fiber Cleanses twice daily and it has definitely consistently worked. Without this product, I faced having to reduce the dose of my pain medication (tramadol) to a less effective dose. Doing that would have greatly impacted my quality of life.

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