Can Severe Constipation Cause Pain
Asked by: Ms. Michaela Kreiger IV
If you’re constipated, experiencing some abdominal pain is common. Often, it’s just the result of needing to have a bowel movement, or a buildup of gas. Intense, constant abdominal pain, however, could be an indication of a more serious condition that demands immediate medical attention.
How To Prevent Constipation
There are various things you can do to help keep your bowels healthy and avoid becoming constipated. If you are in any doubt, consult your GP or Healthcare Professional before making significant changes to your regular diet. A dietitian will also be able to guide you.
- As a general rule, eating more high-fibre foods can prevent constipation. However, if constipation is a result of Colitis or Crohns disease, increasing fibre intake could have a detrimental effect
- There are two different types of fibre soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in the intestines to form a gel type substance. This helps food move along the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre is not dissolvable and moves through the intestines without being absorbed. This fibre adds bulk to bowel movements and helps to reduce constipation
- Make sure you drink lots of fluids to keep the stools moist e.g. at least 1.5-2 litres of water based drinks per day
- If you are taking any medicines ask your doctor or chemist if they could be adding to your constipation. If possible, try to remove constipating medications
- If really necessary, try using a fibre supplement such as fybogel and possibly suppositories or mini-enemas to help regularise the bowels, but they should not be used long term. Some foods can act as natural laxative for some people, these include prunes, figs, liquorice, coffee/tea, spicy food
- If possible, increase your physical activity as this helps to increase bowel activity
Can Constipation Cause Upper Back Pain
Its possible for constipation to cause upper back pain, though it is not as common as lower back pain. You may have constipation from upper back pain if the back pain is being caused by an injury or condition that affects your nerves.
For example, a herniated disc can put pressure on certain spinal nerves, including the nerves that control your bowel movements. A muscle strain or injury that affects your spine could also lead to upper back pain that causes constipation.
If you have both constipation and upper back pain, make an appointment with your doctor so you can receive an accurate diagnosis.
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Can Constipation Cause Leg Pain
Does constipation typically cause leg pain? Although leg pain is not normally associated with constipation, constipation can cause back pain, which can lead to pain or discomfort in other areas of the body.
Treating constipation normally involves changes in diet and exercise, but sometimes prescription medication is needed to keep the fecal matter from becoming impacted.
How Do I Find A Healthcare Provider
If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above, please consult with your healthcare provider. If you need a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD, we are here to helpour Find a Medical Expert tool is a great place to start. There are many factors that go into finding the right gastroenterologist. You may want to consider the following questions and preferences when selecting your gastroenterologist:
- Is the healthcare provider board certified?
- What are their specialties?
- Some physicians have an expertise in liver diseases, IBS, or IBD. You can find a healthcare providers specialty by visiting their website or asking the office staff when calling.
- Do they work with other gastroenterologists or GI surgeons who they can consult with?
- Visit our Find a Medical Expert directory
The Foundation offers a listing of healthcare professionals including adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists, and mental health clinicians on our Find a Medical Expert Directory. Each professional listed has expressed an interest in IBD by becoming a member of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation. If you need additional assistance finding a gastroenterologist, please contact the IBD Help Center they will provide additional guidance and suggestions for locating a healthcare provider.
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How Can I Prevent Constipation
Use the same home-based methods you used to treat constipation to prevent it from becoming a chronic problem:
- Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Fiber and water help the colon pass stool. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins, such as in apples. Fruits with seeds you can eat, like strawberries, have the most fiber. Bran is a great source of fiber. Eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, like soup and yogurt. People with constipation should eat between 18 and 30 grams of fiber every day.
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, can dehydrate you. You may need to stop drinking these products until your bowel habits return to normal.
- Exercise regularly.
- Treat mild constipation with a dietary supplement like magnesium.
- Move your bowels when you feel the urge. Do not wait.
Can Constipation Cause Pain In The Right Side Under The Ribs
Pain below the right side under the ribs can be caused by multiple factors. It can be caused by organs in the chest cavity which includes the gallbladder, lungs, and diaphragm. But the most obvious reason to get pain in the right side under the ribs can be because of constipation.
Because besides the lungs and diaphragm being present in that chest cavity area, there are also your stomach and intestines are located. The pain you may experience can be either dull or sharp depending on the condition youre having. It can be consistent or it can happen for a short time. The pain in the right side can certainly be caused by the organs situated in that location.
If you have a normal digestive system, bacteria in the colon help to digest your food properly. But while helping out, they form some gas in your intestine. If you have normal digestion, it wont be a major problem since these gases can be transported out along with your fecal matter and no huge problems get formed along the way.
But when you have an active condition of constipation, your intestinal mobility gets messed up and it forms a cycle of several symptoms. When your intestinal mobility gets stopped or slowed down, the fas formed by the helpful bacteria dont get anywhere to go and they form large bubbles of gas inside your colon.
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Constipation Chest Pain On Right Side:
Constipation causes more or less a generalized feeling of fullness or unease in your abdomen. However, for various causes, it may also cause localized pain. On the right side of the chest, the pain manifests on the lower right abdomen, which may also have rebound tenderness.
You may be wondering hey! Isnt that the site for appendiceal pain? Yes, it is. However, you can easily differentiate between the two as constipation sets in before and then after a period of time causes chest pain, unlike in appendicitis which you can only identify after the pain has manifested.
Q Can Constipation Cause Back Pain
Many patients complain of lower back pain when constipated. Causes connecting the two may include:
- Muscle strain from trying to force a bowel movement
- Pressure from abdominal bloating, gas, and swelling
If you already have a back condition, straining to defecate can make it worse. Abdominal pain is common when constipation has your digestive system backed up.
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Association Of Pregnancy With Constipation And Chest Pain
Constipation is a very common condition during pregnancy. Fluctuating hormones, dietary changes, lack of exercise, changes within the body oftentimes can cause difficulty in gut motility.
The constipation pain during pregnancy is often described as a stabbing, cramping type of pain usually in the abdomen.
With the progression of pregnancy, there occurs an upward shifting of the uterus towards the abdominal region. Digestive tract manifestations as gastric reflux, the gas formation can be assisted by constipation which may lead to chest pain.
Where Do You Feel Pain From Constipation
Constipated patients may feel tightness in their abdomen, or a sharp, cramping pain deep in their gut. They may also feel full all the timeas if they’ve just eaten a large mealeven when they haven’t eaten for several hours. Patients may also feel gassy, but passing gas does not relieve discomfort.
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Can Too Much Sugar Cause A Uti
Too much sugar may lead to more frequent urinary tract infections, a condition that sometimes causes short-term incontinence. The bacteria that cause UTIs love sugar. Sugar makes the acid level of your urine higher, creating a better environment for this bacteria, and causing the infection to grow more quickly.
Should You Eat When Constipated
Consider water, prune juice, and warm fluids in the morning such as herbal tea or hot lemonade. Eat more high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, fresh raw vegetables, fresh raw fruits or cooked fruits with the peel on, dried fruits, dates, apricots, prunes, popcorn, seeds, and nuts.
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What Is Constipation
Having fewer than three bowel movements a week is, technically, the definition of constipation. However, how often you go varies widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements several times a day while others have them only one to two times a week. Whatever your bowel movement pattern is, its unique and normal for you as long as you dont stray too far from your pattern.
Regardless of your bowel pattern, one fact is certain: the longer you go before you go, the more difficult it becomes for stool/poop to pass. Other key features that usually define constipation include:
- Your stools are dry and hard.
- Your bowel movement is painful and stools are difficult to pass.
- You have a feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowels.
When To See A Doctor
Its normal for adults to get occasional constipation.
And for cases of minor constipation, home remedies will normally alleviate mild discomfort.
However, there are serious symptoms you should be aware of that require immediate medical attention.
If you are experiencing one of the following symptoms, contact a health care professional, as you may have a medical emergency.
- Havent had a bowel movement in more than 7 days
- Blood in your stool or from your rectum
- Back pain that does not get better after a bowel movement
- Constant pain in your abdomen
- Inability to pass gas
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How Long Will I Need To Take Laxatives For
If you’ve had constipation for a short time, your pharmacist will usually advise you to stop taking the laxative once your stools are soft and easily passed.
However, if your constipation is caused by an underlying medical condition or a medicine you’re taking, your GP may advise you to take laxatives for much longer, possibly many months or even years.
If you’ve been taking laxatives for some time, you may have to gradually reduce your dose, rather than coming off them straight away. If you have been prescribed a combination of laxatives, you’ll normally have to reduce the dosage of each laxative, one at a time, before you can stop taking them. This can take several months.
Your GP will advise you about when it’s best to stop taking long-term laxatives.
Check If It’s Constipation
It’s likely to be constipation if:
- you have not had a poo at least 3 times during the last week
- the poo is often large and dry, hard or lumpy
- you are straining or in pain when you have a poo
You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, constipation may be easily missed. Look out for any behaviour changes, as it might mean they are in pain or discomfort.
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Is Lower Back Pain A Result Of Constipation
As we mentioned, a buildup of stool in the intestines can cause pain in the lower back in the form of a persistent dull ache.
But the symptoms can mimic lots of other medical conditions. For example, suppose the pain in your lower back is due to constipation.
In that case, it will gradually dissipate once regular bowel movements begin.
Another less common reason for lower back pain is a more severe form of constipation called fecal impaction.
This condition occurs when dry stool lodges in your rectum or colon. This situation leads to a build-up of additional pressure in the bowel and surrounding areas that often cause lower back pain.
Some signs of fecal impaction include bloating, abdominal cramps, and bleeding when passing stools.
So, if you have constipation in the lower back and some other symptoms of fecal impaction, we recommend you consult your physician.
How Do You Pass Big Hard Stools
Functional constipation can be relieved by several different remedies and medications. It can be problematic if you have problems with hemorrhoids. Because if you have the condition of hemorrhoids, its not the normal constipation case that you can use on normal occasions.
But its up to you whether you want to see a doctor and get prescribed medicines for treating your constipation problem, or you can try different remedies at home. Passing hard stools can be a huge problem and there are different ways you can go through. For instantaneous solutions, you may use external remedies to get temporary relief. Here are other options you can go through.
You can try this different variation of laxative that holds water in your stool to soften it and pass it without any problems. Natural osmotic laxatives work in a good way without causing any kind of bad side effects. Since this laxative uses water to soften your stool, youll need to drink a lot of water and fluid to make it work properly.
When your stool is softened enough, a natural stimulant laxative will stimulate the nerves of your large bowel so that it becomes an instantaneous bowel movement within a moment. You can take this laxative instead of taking osmotic ones or you can just take both of them for a good combination.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Constipation
Constipation can be an uncomfortable problem. In severe cases, constipation can be painful or even life-threatening. Because normal bowel frequency can vary greatly from person to person, many people may not be entirely sure whether or not they are constipated.
Constipation is a medical condition in which bowel movements become less frequent than normal, and/or difficult to produce. While clinically defined as not producing bowel movements for three days or longer, if a person’s regular bowel schedule is two or three times a day, that person might be constipated if he or she hasn’t produced a single bowel movement after only one day.
Patients may be constipated if they are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Abdominal pain and bloating. Constipated patients may feel tightness in their abdomen, or a sharp, cramping pain deep in their gut. They may also feel full all the timeas if they’ve just eaten a large mealeven when they haven’t eaten for several hours. Patients may also feel gassy, but passing gas does not relieve discomfort.
Small stools followed by a feeling of not emptying the bowels. Constipation may cause people to produce only tiny bowel movements. These tiny bowel movements are often followed by frequent and continued urges to “go,” but constipated patients may find they are unable to produce another bowel movement despite the constant urges.
What Side Should You Lay On If You Are Constipated
Place a firm pillow between your knees and hug one to support your spine. While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning.
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Stay Active To Stay Active
Besides diet and hydration, physical activity is the greatest lifestyle factor affecting constipation. Moving around keeps the muscles in the abdomen working, including the ones that move the stool through the digestive system. Getting a healthy amount of exercise doesnt just make you fit, it helps keep you regular too. Patients should also be encouraged to go to the toilet as soon as they feel the urge if at all possible.
Further Help For Constipation
You will find further information about causes and how its diagnosed on our Constipation information sheet.
If you are concerned about your problem and it is starting to affect your day to day life make an appointment to see your doctor, continence nurse or specialist physiotherapist. A continence nurse and specialist physiotherapist are healthcare professionals who specialise in bladder and bowel problems.
Treating Back Pain And Constipation
You can try over-the-counter medication to treat constipation. Just remember that laxatives and other similar medications and supplements are temporary fixes.
If you have chronic constipation, they won’t solve the problem long-term. A healthy diet, exercise, and physical therapy are much healthier ways to do it.
But those things dont work for everyone either especially if its a functional problem associated with physical issues.
The most effective treatment for back pain and constipation depends on the cause of both conditions. In cases where you’re not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber, which leads to dehydration and constipation.
You can quickly rectify constipation with more water and fiber. But if your lower back pain and constipation result from sciatica, spinal cord injury, or another nerve-related condition, treating the root cause with physical therapy usually resolves constipation and reduces pain and discomfort.
How does physical therapy benefit constipation?
- Can treat pelvic floor dysfunction and chronically tight pelvic floor muscles
- Teaches you to relax pelvic floor muscles
- It helps to increase peristalsis
- Reduces chronic stress and tension