Causes: Lower Back And Lower Stomach Pain
Many conditions can be behind lower back and lower stomach pain. In fact, it’s possible for pain to stem from a problem within the reproductive, musculoskeletal, urinary or digestive system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For instance, menstrual cramps are a common cause of abdominal pain as well as lower back pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Endometriosis, a condition that occurs when uterine-like tissue grows in areas outside the uterus, is another condition that can cause stomach and back pain at the same time in women, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
“There are many known chronic overlapping pain conditions with endometriosis, notably abdominal pain and low back pain,” Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy at Femina Physical Therapy in Southern California, says. “Endometriosis is known for creating cyclic and noncyclic pain in the abdomen, low back and jaw.”
Gastrointestinal conditions could be at the root of lower abdominal and potentially lower back pain as well.
Irritable bowel syndrome , a gastrointestinal disorder, could lead to pain in the lower stomach and possibly the lower back, according to Kaliq Chang, MD, a board-certified interventional pain management specialist at Atlantic Spine Center in New Jersey and New York. In addition to abdominal pain, common symptoms of IBS include gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic says.
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Lower Back Pain And Cancer
Cancer involving the lumbar spine is not a common cause of back pain. However, in people who have a prior history of cancer, for example, in the breast or prostate, or who have weight loss or loss of appetite along with back pain cancer needs to be considered.
Night pain can be a clue to cancer in the spine. A benign tumor called osteoid osteoma, which most often affects young people, causes pain that tends to respond well to aspirin. Multiple myeloma is a malignancy that occurs when the plasma cells in the bone marrow begin spreading uncontrollably. It is most common in older people, and can cause pain in many parts of the spine. When tumor or infection are suspected, blood tests may be ordered, including a CBC , sedimentation rate , and protein electrophoresis .
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt
Pain in the lower back or low back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 80% of Americans at some point in their lifetime. Many will have more than one episode.
Low back pain is not a specific disease, rather it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. In up to 85% of people with low back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified.
What causes pain in the lower back?
Back pain can have many underlying reasons, but often no specific cause will be found and the pain will stop. This chapter will review many of the causes of back pain and proper evaluation and diagnosis. Please be sure to discuss your individual symptoms as well as the suggested treatments with your health-care professional to determine the appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan for your circumstances.
- Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work. It is also one of the most common reasons to visit a doctor’s office or a hospital’s emergency department. It is the second most common neurologic complaint in the United States, second only to headache.
- For most people, even those with nerve root irritation, their symptoms will improve within two months no matter what treatment is used, even if no treatment is given.
- Doctors usually refer to back pain as acute if it has been present for less than a month and chronic if it lasts for a longer period of time.
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How Is Chronic Pancreatitis Treated
Depending on the severity and symptoms of the chronic pancreatitis patient, he or she may require hospitalization for pain management, IV hydration, and nutritional support.
Chronic pancreatitis requires the patient to eat a healthy low-fat diet, drinking lots of fluids, limiting caffeine, eating small frequent meals, and making sure you have enough calcium and vitamins in your diet. You may be prescribed pancreatic enzymes, which are taken at each meal. People with chronic pancreatitis should avoid alcohol and smoking.
Your doctor may prescribe pain medicines or even a surgical block for pain relief. Some patients take insulin to control glucose levels. In very severe cases, part or all of the pancreas may be removed.
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Diseases Of The Urinary Organs
Behind the small and large intestine are the urinary organs, which include the kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra.
A common urinary tract disease in affluent societies like ours is urinary stones. They are not always symptomatic. When kidney stones move the ureter, there can be a strong colic-like, that is, swelling and declining pain in the lower abdomen or the groin or flank region. From a clinical point of view, this is characteristic of the motor restlessness of a colic-afflicted patient who wants to relieve their pain by constantly changing his position.
In extreme cases, a stone can make it impossible for those affected to empty the bladder. Doctors call this a urinary retention. Especially in acute cases, this is accompanied by severe abdominal pain. For a majority of the patients, stones are not the cause, but rather an existing chronic bladder emptying disorder, for example due to an enlarged prostate in men.
Frequent visits to the toilet are typical for cystitis. A dull pain can appear over the symphysis here. Inflammation of the bladder is usually easy to recognize by the burning pain when urinating and the unpleasant urge to urinate. It is much more common in women than in men.
In general, abdominal pain is often perceived as a typical female condition. It is true that there are some diseases that only occur in men or only in women, since the internal genital organs are also in the pelvis.
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What Does The Pancreas Do
The pancreas is a gland located in your abdomen, underneath your stomach. Its shaped like a large tadpole, with a round head and a thinner, tapered body. The head is curved into the duodenum, the first part of your small intestine. The body of the pancreas sits between your stomach and spine.
The pancreas has two kinds of cells. Each type of cell produces a different substance.
- Endocrine cellsproduce the hormones insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide. Insulin helps lower blood sugar, and glucagon raises blood sugar.
- Exocrine cellsproduce enzymes that help digest food in the intestine. Trypsin and chymotrypsin break down proteins. Amylase digests carbohydrates, and lipase breaks down fats.
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What If Its Something Serious
Generally, simultaneous occurrences of stomach and back pain are relatively non-threatening and can be naturally remediated at home. However, there are some causes for concern, especially if the pain recurs often or simply does not subside. Some additional symptoms might indicate something more serious is going on.
Bloating, constipation, and spinal pain can indicate the presence of autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimotos thyroiditis, Celiacs Disease, and Sjogrens Syndrome. Those with different types of neuropathy sometimes report having these symptoms.
On a somewhat more rare occasion, spinal pain that leads into stomach pain can be an indicator of certain types of cancer. Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer often report feeling back and stomach pain as well as experiencing increasingly worse constipation prior to their cancer diagnoses. What Can Be Done to Ease the Pain?
Spinal and abdominal pain can be annoying, if not downright challenging to deal with. There are a few steps you can take to reduce pain in stomach and back areas. One of the most vital steps you can take is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will get the built-up fiber moving through your digestive system. This is especially important for people with disorders like Sjogrens who experience chronic dryness throughout their bodies.
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Causes Of Chronic Pancreatitis
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years.
This can cause repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis, which results in increasing damage to the organ.
In children the most common cause is cystic fibrosis.
Less common causes include:
In some cases, no cause can be identified. This is called idiopathic chronic pancreatitis.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If your pain is caused by a muscle strain, minor joint sprain, or overuse, the pain should begin to resolve with rest and improve without medical help.
If you are experiencing chronic or unusual lower back and groin pain, your primary care healthcare provider or OB/GYN can help you determine the cause of your pain or refer you to a specialist. Lower back and groin pain in women is a symptom that may have many possible causes, so be sure to see your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
Seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care center if your pain is severe, sudden, or you have any of these symptoms:
- Rapid breathing or heart rate
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Low Back Pain Exams And Tests
- Because many different conditions may cause back pain, a thorough medical history will be performed as part of the examination. Some of the questions you are asked may not seem pertinent to you but are very important to your doctor in determining the source of your pain.
- Your doctor will first ask you many questions regarding the onset of the pain. He or she will want to know what makes the pain better or worse. The doctor will ask you questions referring to the red flag symptoms. He or she will ask if you have had the pain before. Your doctor will ask about recent illnesses and associated symptoms such as coughs, fevers, urinary difficulties, or stomach illnesses. In females, the doctor will want to know about vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge. Pain from the pelvis, in these cases, is frequently felt in the back.
- Electromyogram or EMG is a test that involves the placement of very small needles into the muscles. Electrical activity is monitored. Its use is usually reserved for more chronic pain and to predict the level of nerve root damage. The test is also able to help the doctor distinguish between nerve root disease and muscle disease.
Lower Back And Stomach Pain: Possible Causes And Treatments
Lower back and stomach pain is an unpleasant and worrying experience for any person. Because there are a number of organs in the abdominal and lower back area, there are many different reasons for having pain there. Pain in the stomach and lower back can be caused by constipation, stones in the kidney or gallbladder, or a cyst. However, sometimes the pain could be a sign of a more serious condition like appendicitis or even a heart attack.
Lower back and abdominal pain should never be ignored. Some home remedies can help you find relief from some of the symptoms of lower abdomen and back pain. However, if your symptoms last for more than a few days, or you experience intense or severe pain in your stomach and back, you should visit your doctor for a checkup. This is especially true if the pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, severe cramps, or pains in your chest.
Lets look at the different reasons why you can experience lower back and stomach pain. This will help you find the root cause of your pain and discomfort and discover if there are any natural home remedies to give you relief.
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Living With Lumbar Strain
Cold reduces swelling. Both cold and heat can reduce pain. Protect your skin by placing a towel between your body and the ice or heat source.
- For the first few days, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes.
- After the first few days, try heat for 15 minutes at a time to ease pain. Never sleep on a heating pad.
- Over-the-counter medicines can help control pain and swelling. Try aspirin or ibuprofen.
Have A Concern Or Comment On Abdominal Pain Spreading To The Back
Are you suffering with abdominal pain that radiates to the back? Or do you have a past history with stomach pain that spreads to your back? If so, please share your experiences with our online community. Please feel free to leave comments here too if you read postings by others and you want to make a contribution. All postings are read by our abdominal pain team and we shall respond to some queries directly on this page.
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Kidney Stones Or Kidney Infection
The kidneys rest on either side of the mid-back. Experiencing pain in this area, especially if it is just on one side, may signal either a kidney stone or a kidney infection. The person may also experience nausea, and they may have pain that radiates to the groin.
Many kidney stones pass on their own, but it is important to seek medical care to assess them. A doctor can also offer pain medication.
Kidney infections are very serious and can spread to other areas of the body. A person with a kidney infection may also:
- develop a fever
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Menstrual Cramps And Endometriosis
Menstrual pains are not uncommon in women. Sometimes gynecological diseases such as endometriosis can also be behind cycle-dependent pelvic pain. With endometriosis, the endometrium is also outside the uterus. 2-10 percent of all women are said to be affected. These and other gynecological disorders that cause pelvic pain are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as irregular cycle and bleeding disorders.
When Should You See A Doctor For Your Lower Back Pain
Most back pain caused by sprains or overuse tends to get better without treatment within a few weeks. Over-the-counter pain relievers and/or heat or cold application to the painful area can help decrease your back pain. Bed rest is not suggested.
However, there may be other causes that require attention and treatment.
When to see your doctor
Call your doctor if your back pain doesnt get better after treating it at home for a week. It can mean theres a bigger problem that the doctor needs to evaluate. Youll also want to call your doctor if your back pain:
Spreads down one or both of your legs, particularly if you have pain extending below your knee
Is intense or constant, particularly when you lie down or at night
Occurs with redness or swelling on your back
Causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both of your legs
When is lower back pain an emergency?
While rushing to the emergency department is probably not something you want to do, you need to take back pain seriously left side, right side, or both.
When suffering from severe back pain, a visit to the ER is recommended. It could indicate a medical emergency. Some red-flag symptoms of back issues that may indicate an emergency are a combination of any of the following:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit the emergency room immediately or call 911 if youre unable to get to the emergency room on your own.
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Bowel Obstruction And Narrowing
This can be, for example, an intestinal obstruction , an intestinal narrowing , an intestinal breakthrough or circulatory disorders in the intestine. In these cases there is an acute, severe clinical picture with the warning symptoms mentioned at the beginning. These are absent in the case of harmless flatulence which can also lead to severe, cramping pain.
What Does It Mean If Lower Back Pain Is Shooting Into Legs
Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.
If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica , but its not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.
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