Does Osteoarthritis Contribute to Constipation?

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The side effects of certain medicines for osteoarthritis (OA)

The treatment options for this joint disorder can include non-surgical and surgical options, depending on the severity. Surgical options are usually the last resource when the use of non-surgical options fails to work.

Non-surgical treatment options include prescribed medicines, physical therapy, diet changes (particularly to help control weight and reduce excess inflammation), stress management, and so on. See also facts of natural alternatives for OA!

Currently, the treatment for OA is not to cure the disease – but to make it treatable and controllable, which then eventually can help improve the quality of life of sufferer.

While medicines for OA are helpful to ease inflammation and relieve the pain in the affected joint, the side effects of the medicines also should be concerned as well. One of possible effects is constipation.

The following are some medicines that are often reported can contribute to cause constipation:

  1. Narcotics such as opioids and opiates! The use of them for OA is controversial, but they can help cope with the joint pain. The risk of becoming addictive should be concerned before taking them. If they have to be prescribed, they are usually prescribed at low dose, as lowest as possible. Constipation can be one of common side effects with these medicines.
  2. Other pain medications such as oxycodone and hydromorphone – but they are commonly not used for OA.

The common choices of medicines to help cope with pain in osteoarthritis are Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. Constipation is rarely reported in these medicines.

If you think that one /some medicines that you are taking cause constipation or other side effects, discuss more with your doctor to consider alternative choice.


Osteoarthritis can be very bothersome, particularly if the symptoms have become severe enough to interfere with the daily routines. The problem may also cause financial trouble and social relationship problem with others.

All these things can put you at high risk of stress. Stress itself is reported as a trigger to make many health conditions worse. The same goes in osteoarthritis.

And you are at greater chance of getting constipation if you cannot cope with your stress. Because this psychological problem can contribute to changes in bowel habits such as causing constipation!

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