Does Osteoarthritis Contribute to Constipation?

In general, joint pain and stiffness are the common symptoms often reported by people with osteoarthritis (a common problem that affect joints of knee, spine, and hip – even it is the most common arthritis type). As the disease progresses to the advanced stage, the affected joint can be swelling. However, some sufferers say that they experience constipation (a distinct symptom that has nothing to do with joint problem).

The common constipation causes

image_illustration224Constipation itself is one of common gastrointestinal problems, especially in elderly people. In general, it is more likely to be caused by dietary factors, these include:

Diet low in fiber

It is the most commonly cause behind constipation. Fiber have a significant role to help foods that you eat can move smoothly in the digestive system. Without plenty of fiber, you can be difficult in a bowel movement.

Fiber itself is divided into two major categories; insoluble and soluble. Both types can be used to help improve constipation by making the waste easier to pass through the intestines.

Most cases of constipation improve with dietary approaches. This suggests that our gastrointestinal tract is so sensitive to the amount of fiber that you consume. So far, experts agree that dietary fiber is the most effective way to prevent and treat this gastrointestinal problem.

Fruits and vegetables are great sources for fiber and other essential nutrients. But when it comes to treating constipation, oat bran and wheat bran is more recommended. The fiber of these foods seems to be more effective to help cope with this digestive problem.

If you are individual with diet low in fiber, it’s more recommended to increase the fiber gradually. Don’t jump directly to eat large amount of fiber suddenly!


If there is lack of liquid in the body, it’s hard for the system to push the waste in the intestines, causing difficulty bowel movement. Furthermore, fiber needs to absorb plenty of water.

If you have plenty of dietary fiber without drinking adequate water, this can work less effectively in dealing with constipation. Therefore, the intake of drinking water also should be increased as your fiber intake increases.

Any food you eat will travel from the stomach to intestine and colon. If you are being dehydrated or there is not enough water in the body, the large intestine will take more water in the food waste, causing hard stools that are not easy to pass.

So after ‘diet low in fiber’, dehydration is another common cause behind constipation. Water and fiber can work together to keep the food we eat smoothly moving through the guts, making our bowel movement easier and keeping the guts flexible.

Other causes

  1. Pregnancy, see more in here!
  2. Your bowel movement routine can be affected by traveling.
  3. Sedentary condition (lack of exercise or too little physical activity).
  4. Ignoring the urge. When you have an urge of bowel movement, it’s much better to follow it.
  5. Certain health conditions such as under-active thyroid and diabetes.

How about osteoarthritis? Does it also contribute to cause constipation?

Actually, osteoarthritis has nothing to do with constipation. Nevertheless, some factors related to osteoarthritis can have contribution in causing this digestive problem.

Poor in physical movement is common in people with osteoarthritis

The limited movement with the affected joint can be the most challenging issue to deal when you have osteoarthritis (OA). When your joint is hurt, it is a human nature to avoid anything that can make the problem become painful even more. But this doesn’t mean you can ignore exercise!

Holding the affected joint at bent position seems good idea to cope with the symptoms of osteoarthritis. You may also think to rest it for long period of time. But actually, it is not the real option you are looking for!

It’s ok to get rest when the symptoms flare up. But when you know that your body is ready for exercise, you need to take it! Even exercise is approved as one of the most effective ways to cope with this joint problem.

Constipation is only one of problems triggered by lack of physical activity. For other reasons of why you need to remain active as much as possible even though you have osteoarthritis, see this section!

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