Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cause Lower Back Pain?

Does IBS cause back pain or backache? Yes it does – though backache (particularly lower backache) can be categorized into less common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (particularly if compared to other top common symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation & diarrhea, and bloating gas). Other less common signs or vague symptoms of IBS are headache, lack of appetite, fatigue, bad breath, nausea, and feeling full quickly after eating – according to the National Health Service.

Though there are many patients with IBS experience back pain, but experts often don’t know the answer with certainty to explain the link between both.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that the abnormal functioning of bowel muscles may cause irritable bowel syndrome. But there is no clearly answer why this occurs. In other words, the exact cause of IBS is also a mystery (still not known).

How do you get irritable bowel syndrome – how does it occur?

Some layers of muscles that line on the walls of intestines are very crucial for our digestive system. They can relax & contract in a coordinated rhythm as they distribute the food that we eat from stomach to the rectum.

In people with IBS, the contractions of these muscles are more likely to be stronger and also typically last longer than usual. As a result, food can be forced to move more quickly than normal and then eventually can increase the risk of developing bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

And in some cases, there is a chance for the opposite to occur. Foods move more slowly than usual through the intestinal tract, as a result, stool may become dry and hard.

There are a number of other possible causes that may lead to IBS, some of these causes are:

  1. Abnormalities in the colon or nervous system. This can put you at greater chance of having more discomfort when the walls of your colon /intestines stretch from gas.
  2. The abnormal levels of serotonin (a kind of chemical messenger that naturally links to the brain function)!
  3. Poor balance of good bacteria in the gut. In fact, lack of natural good bacteria in the intestine is pretty common in people with digestive problems.

If you have IBS, you need to make sure that foods that you eat are safe or will not trigger the symptoms of your irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, don’t forget to manage your stress and do moderate exercises regularly!

Though the exact cause of this syndrome is still not known, experts have confirmed that it is more likely to occur in one /some of the following conditions:

  1. Young age! Most cases of IBS are diagnosed before the age of 35. If you are over 35 and not diagnosed with this spastic colon problem, it is less likely to occur.
  2. Gender – women are more likely to have this chronic condition than men.
  3. If you have a family member (especially for the first-degree relative – such as father, brother, sister, or mother) who have IBS, your risk is relatively higher than others who don’t have any family history of this syndrome.

Does IBS cause back pain?

First, you need to clearly understand that back pain is not a disease, but in many cases it is a symptom of certain health condition.

does_IBS_cause_back_pain_illustrationThough most pain in the back is musculo-skeletal in origin, but there are also some back pains that occur due to another pain from other parts of the body (this is often called referred pain). In other words, referred pain of back is pain arising from other parts of the body that can be felt in the back.

In fact, there are some people with irritable bowel syndrome report that they also experience lower back pain. So, is there a link between this symptom and spastic colon (another alternative name to call IBS)?

Unfortunately the link of both is still not completely understood, and there is less information about this issue. But in general, many experts believe that there is a chance for the spastic colon to also cause lower back pain – according to the National Institutes of Health.

If you have IBS and also experience lower back pain, make sure you tell your doctor! Your doctor may ask you to take some tests to analyze the condition of your spine. This symptom is less common in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, but it may also signal another health condition (such as bowel dysfunction).

Common causes of back pain

While there is less information about the connection between IBS and back pain, doctors have confirmed that there are some common conditions that linked to back pain.