Every eighth adult Pole suffers from chronic constipation. The incidence of this condition increases after the age of 65. It may affect up to 80 percent of seniors. This condition may be heralded by one rather unusual symptom.
Constipation is usually associated with problems with bowel movements. Few people know that this ailment can also cause other, less specific symptoms. One of them is back pain, occurring mainly in the lower part of the spine (lumbar section). Find out what causes it and how to deal with it.
Why does constipation cause back pain?
Back pain is most often caused by excessive load on the final sections of the digestive system by unexcreted fecal contents. The stool presses on the intestine, which leads to pain in the lumbar spine. Imagine a flowing river that narrows its course as it approaches a dam. Over time, the water begins to press more and more against the obstacle. However, it persists. As a result, the pressure and pressure of the river increases with each passing minute. The intestines behave similarly, where digested food accumulates and cannot find a proper outlet. “When you suffer from constipation, stool in the intestines causes them to swell. This blockage in the digestive tract puts enormous pressure on the back muscles, causing pain, explains Dr. Greg Crisp, a pain management physician at Spine Team Pain Center in Washington state.
Pain associated with constipation is initially mild, but as time passes and the problem worsens, it becomes more severe. They can also radiate to other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks or lower limbs. The patient has a feeling of pressure and expansion of the tissues. Pain can make it difficult or sometimes even impossible to function on a daily basis and perform usual activities, such as sitting, standing or walking.
How to deal with back pain caused by constipation?
In this case, it is necessary to eliminate the cause of the problem. Relieving the pain will provide temporary relief, but sooner or later the symptoms will return with even greater intensity. So what to do to deal with constipation? You can use various home remedies. Enrich your daily menu with products containing large amounts of dietary fiber, including whole grain bread, buckwheat, dried plums, brown rice and bran.
A good way to get rid of problems with bowel movements are castor oil compresses. “Soak a folded wool flannel in 100% pure, cold-pressed castor oil and slowly heat in a pot until the fabric is hot to the touch. Wait until it cools down a bit and place the flannel on your stomach. This will help you relax tense muscles,” explains expert Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman. If constipation persists or recurs frequently, see your primary care physician and have the necessary tests performed. Frequent problems with defecation may indicate the development of cancer, for example colon cancer.