Many people suffer from lower back pain, and to make matters worse, back pain and stomach pain often go hand in hand. About 75% of people who suffer from consistent back pain also suffer from stomach pain, and often have a history of stomach or intestinal issues.
There are many reasons as to why you may experience stomach pain along with back pain, some involving back problems, stomach disorders, or even psychological issues.
A back injury or injury to the spine can cause pain to radiate in the abdomen. Also, a pinched nerve can not only cause pain to the entire area served by that nerve, but it can also cause various stomach functioning problems as well. The abdominal muscles and back muscles work very closely with each other, so any muscular back pain can also become muscular abdominal pain.
There are a variety of gastro-intestinal problems that can directly relate to any lower back pain you might be having as well. Inflammation of the colon, or colitis, is very often associated with lower back pain. Irritable bowel syndrome or various inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can also be the culprits for persistent back pain. Often, these will present themselves with back pain associated with abdominal pain and symptoms involving discomfort or dysfunction in the intestinal tract and stomach. Symptoms such a diarrhea, stomach cramps, constipation, gas, and bloating will typically appear, signaling a problem with bowel habits and digestive function.
Conditions involving the bowels and intestinal tract should be consulted with a doctor, specifically a gastro-intestinal specialist. He may recommend a colonoscopy procedure to determine the actual cause of pain and discomfort. Medical treatments could include anti-inflammatory drugs, a combination of antibiotics and other drugs depending on if infection is present, intravenous treatments, or even surgery depending on the severity. Simpler at-home treatments include over the counter medications to ease discomfort associated with diarrhea and constipation, eating a diet high in fiber, and keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of liquids. A heating pad may also help ease the back and abdominal pain.
Stress and emotional issues can often cause what is called psychological back pain, meaning the pain is directly related to the severe stress felt by the patient, for whatever reason. Oftentimes, this pain can transfer to the abdomen and stomach, causing distress and sensitive stomach due to a patient worrying or becoming stressed over their undiagnosed back pain. This often becomes a frustrating and unbearable combination for some, as it is a never ending cycle of stress and pain. Ulcers are one of the best examples of such a phenomenon. Ulcers have been discovered to be stress-related, and it is found that once patients learn to relax and manage their stress-inducing issues in life, that they stopped developing frequent ulcers.
Even simple problems like heartburn, constipation, acid reflux, and diarrhea can be culprits in causing back pain in conjunction with abdominal pain. All of those can be treated with a change in diet and over the counter (or sometimes prescription for the more severe cases) medications. Remember that a combination of back and stomach pain can mean a serious condition, so checking with a doctor is always the first step.
Written By: Updated: June 29,2011