It is not uncommon to suffer from constipation from time to time. If you are having a hard time passing stools, it is usually nothing to worry about if it resolves itself after a few days. Not having enough fiber in your diet is often the culprit. However, if you are regularly experiencing constipation and back pain lower left side of the body, you may need to see your doctor.
Are Constipation and Lower Left Back Pain Related?
You may not connect back pain with constipation, but the two can be related. When fecal matter gets backed up in your system and the colon, it can put stress on your back. If the condition becomes chronic, constipation and back pain lower left side can occur due to the pressure of you straining to have a bowel movement. The pain can spread to your legs and even hips.
Constipation can be triggered by many things including your diet, stomach problems or if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sometimes, it is accompanied by gas, nausea and bloating. These conditions can also cause diarrhea, which can go back and forth between constipation bouts. The pressure caused by this can result in back pain. However, IBS has several associated symptoms that aren’t always brought on by each other.
Other medical conditions that can result in constipation and back pain lower left side are pregnancy, a herniated disk, and even a woman going through her menstrual period. If any of these ailments already cause back pain, having a hard time passing stools will only make it worse. However, even if the original condition remains untreated, but if you are able to cure your constipation, often the back pain will go away. For example, pregnant women often have constipation due to the pressure of their growing baby. Even though the constipation alone is not the cause of the back discomfort, curing it can eliminate the pain.
How Constipation Would Affect Back Pain?
1. Sitting Wrong
You probably know bad posture and sitting while slouched can lead to back pain. However, when you are suffering from constipation, it can be difficult to sit properly with a straight back and good posture. When you are bloated, cramped and generally uncomfortable, you tend to move around in your chair until you can find a position that works. More likely than not, you will have to keep adjusting yourself. When this happens, consider sitting on a stool that allows you to keep your feet flat on the ground. If you can sit with your knees spread, it can take some of the pressure of your back. Things to consider when sitting on a stool to help with constipation and back pain lower left side include:
- Making sure to keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Sitting with knees spread so your back is close to its natural position.
2. Pushing Too Much
If you are constipated, do not try to resolve the problem by sitting on the toilet and pushing too hard and too long. This can make your back pain worse, and even compact your stools so they are harder to pass. Instead of excessively pushing, give a few gentle pushes and try these techniques to see if they might help:
- Lift your knees so they are higher than your hips.
- Consider using a foot rest to raise your knees.
- Keep your back straight.
- Lean forward with your upper body only.
- To relieve pressure, form a triangle position with elbows on knees.
3. Pain Referred From Other Area
Sometimes when you are suffering in one area of your body, another part of your body feels the pain. Often, this occurs between internal and external organs. For example, when you hit your knee or pull a muscle, the pain is evident and felt at the site of injury. However, if you are experiencing a problem with your heart, the pain and discomfort is often felt in the left arm, not in the heart.
The same applies to pain in your colon. You may be experiencing problems with your colon that are causing constipation and back pain lower left side, but you are feeling the discomfort in your back, not at the site of the issue. In this case, it is best to fix the underlying cause to rid the constipation and pain.
4. Lack of Exercise
Often, people who suffer from constipation on a regular basis are home-bound. The less physical activity, the greater the issue of constipation and back pain becomes. Practicing some of these tips may help alleviate your ailments:
- Even if you are not very athletic, follow a daily stretch routine. You can find videos on the internet that can teach you techniques that will relieve back pain.
- If you do not want to leave your home to exercise, purchase or rent exercise videos. You can also find free programs online. Daily exercise will help eliminate constipation and back pain.
- Try yoga. It incorporates relaxation, exercise and stretching into one routine. All of these elements have been found to be helpful when dealing with constipation.
Treat Your Constipation and Back Pain
Constipation can affect several areas of your health and well-being. Your colon may be suffering internally, but your back can be taking the brunt of it. Your mental state may be negatively impacted by the worry of having problems with your stools, as well as the concern that something medically severe may be going on. The best thing to do in this case is to try and cure your constipation first. Tips to help prevent or relieve constipation include:
1. Stay Hydrated
Not staying hydrating and drinking enough water is often the cause of constipation. While everyone does not need the same amount of fluids, an easy way to remember to drink enough is the 8 by 8 rule. It refers to drinking 8 eight-ounce servings of water daily.
2. Eat More Fiber
Adding more fiber to your daily diet can help keep you regular. Consider eating raw fruit, nuts, beans and whole grains. You can also drink products with psyllium seed husk designed to loosen your stool. However, when consuming these products make sure to follow the directions.
3. Consider Probiotics
Sometimes your digestive system gets out of whack and an imbalance of good bacteria occurs. When this happens, you can experience diarrhea or constipation. To get things back in working order, you might consider taking a probiotic to regain digestive balance.
4. Consume More Roughage
Foods rich in fiber can go a long way in treating constipation. There are a variety of options, including cauliflower, broccoli, whole grains, bran, apples, plums, pears and a whole range of fruits and vegetables. Stay away from refined white bread and white rice as these might make matters worse.
5. Exercise More
If you are suffering from constipation and back pain lower left side, you should try exercising more often. It does not have to be strenuous activity. It can be something as simple as walking or stretching. Swimming and yoga are other options. Any type of physical activity will help.
6. Use a Hot or Cold Compress
Either a hot or cold compress can help with lower back pain. The temperature is based on your preference as both can help with inflammation. Apply every few hours at 20 minutes intervals until pain is eliminated.
7. Consult a Naturopathic Doctor
A naturopathic doctor can prescribe a detox program specifically for you. Designed to rid your system of toxins and clean your colon, it can help alleviate constipation problems.
8. Consider Acupuncture and Chiropractic Therapy
You may find relief from constipation and back pain with the help of a chiropractor or acupuncturist. They offer alternative therapies that have been given comfort to many people.
9. Don’t Hold It
When you need to go to the bathroom, go. Don’t hold it. If you hold it too often, you can back up your colon and your body will begin to ignore the signals that it is time to go. This can lead to chronic constipation and back pain lower left side.