Constipation and Lower Back Pain: The Link You Need to Know

Lower back pain is a common complaint among most adults. Sleeping in the wrong position, sitting for long periods, or engaging in strenuous physical activity can contribute to lower back pain.

Read more: How To Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain?

But did you know that constipation can also cause lower back pain? While it may not seem obvious initially, there is a clear link between constipation and lower back pain. Read on to understand this connection and what you can do to address it.

What Is Constipation and How Does It Occur?

Constipation is a condition in which the body has difficulty passing stool. This can happen for several reasons, such as lack of dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, changes in activity levels or diet, and certain medications. People with constipation often feel bloated and uncomfortable because they cannot pass the hard stool that builds up in their intestines.

Here’s how it occurs:

The body doesn’t absorb enough water in the intestines, so stools become complex and difficult to pass. Once the stool is hardened, it can press into the walls of the colon, leading to inflammation and pain. Constipation also reduces muscle contractions necessary for normal digestive function, reducing the amount of food that can be digested properly. This can cause a buildup of toxins in the body, leading to fatigue, discomfort, and lower back pain.

In addition to the physical symptoms associated with constipation, it can also have psychological effects. People who are severely constipated may become frustrated or depressed due to their inability to pass stool.

How Does Constipation Cause Lower Back Pain?

Constipation and lower back pain often go hand-in-hand. This is because constipation can strain the abdomen, hips, and lower back muscles, leading to pain in these areas. Additionally, when stool becomes hard to pass due to constipation, this can put extra pressure on the spine and muscles in the lower back. This pressure can lead to pain and discomfort.

Moreover, lingering constipation can cause other issues like acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, or indigestion that may contribute to lower back pain. Furthermore, if you are straining during a bowel movement due to constipation, this can also lead to a muscle spasm in the lower back, which may cause an episode of lower back pain.

The risk of developing constipation-related lower back pain is higher if you are overweight or obese, have a sedentary lifestyle, don’t exercise regularly, and eat a diet low in fiber. Therefore, it is essential to make lifestyle changes and dietary modifications if you suffer from chronic constipation to reduce your risk of developing lower back pain.

If lower back pain persists despite making these changes, speak to a medical professional who may suggest other treatment options, such as medication or physical therapy. Physical therapy can help strengthen the abdominal muscles, reduce pressure on the spine, and improve overall posture. Additionally, if psychological or emotional factors are to blame for your constipation, therapy may also help address these issues. If you think constipation is causing your lower back pain, it’s essential to get evaluated and treated to reduce discomfort and improve your quality of life.

Call Ascension Saint Agnes for the best treatment for back pain in Baltimore. Our experienced team of healthcare professionals will help you find relief with minimally invasive spine procedures.

How To Sleep Better With Lower Back Pain?

Millions of people suffer from lower back pain; sleep is the best medicine for many. However, finding a comfortable sleeping position can take time and effort. When you have lower back pain, you may experience discomfort when you sleep in certain positions, such as on your stomach. Fortunately, several strategies can help improve the quality of your sleep while also providing relief from lower back pain. An expert orthopedic doctor in Baltimore will help you understand how to sleep better with lower back pain.

1. Sleeping on Your Back

Lower back pain occurs when the muscles and ligaments in the lower back become overly strained. Sleeping on your back is ideal for reducing strain on your back as it keeps your spine in a neutral position and evenly distributes weight across your body. Place pillows under your knees to keep them slightly bent while you sleep, which will help relieve pressure from the lower back. This position is also beneficial as it helps reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

2. Sleeping on Your Side

When sleeping on one side, place a pillow between your knees to help keep the spine in proper alignment. Doing so will provide extra support for your lower back and even out pressure points in the hips and shoulders. If your pillow is too thin, consider investing in a body pillow designed to give extra lumbar support. An adjustable bed that can be raised or lowered at the head and foot may also help provide better posture, making it more comfortable to sleep on your side.

3. Sleeping on Your Stomach

Some back pains, like herniated discs, may worsen by sleeping on your stomach. However, if you find that this position is comfortable for you and helps to reduce pain, there are specific steps you can take to make it more supportive:

• Place a pillow under your hips – this will help keep your spine in a neutral position and decrease the pressure on your lower back

• Place a pillow under your head – this will help keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine

• Place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under your ankles – this helps to reduce tension in the hips and upper legs and can make sleeping on your stomach more comfortable

• Avoid tucking your arms under your pillow – this can cause you to curl up and lead to a rounded back position.

By taking these steps, you may find that sleeping on your stomach is the most comfortable and supportive position for managing lower back pain.

4. Using  Foam Roller To Support the Natural Curve of Your Spine

A foam roller is a long foam cylinder used to help stretch, massage, and loosen the muscles in your body. Using a foam roller can help relieve tightness and tension in the muscles of your lower back and provide support for the natural curve of your spine during sleep. Place a small or large foam roller under your lower back when lying on your bed to help alleviate pain. You can also experiment with different positions and angles until you find the best one for your lower back pain.

Call Saint Agnes Hospital for treatment of lower back pain in Baltimore. Our doctors specialize in identifying the underlying cause of lower back pain and designing a treatment plan that can help reduce or eliminate the pain.

When to See Your Doctor About Back Pain?

Back pain is one of the most common medical issues in the United States. It can be caused by various things, from an injury to poor posture. In some cases, back pain will go away on its own. But in other cases, it may be a sign that something more serious is happening, and you should see your orthopedic specialist in Baltimore. We will discuss five signs that it’s time to call a doctor for your back pain.

1) Pain After an Accident

Accidents like a fall or car crashes can cause back pain. If you experience a sudden onset of back pain after an accident, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. This could signify a severe underlying issue, such as spinal fractures or other internal injuries that require further care.

Spinal fractures happen when the spine’s bones, and vertebrae, weaken and break. It can be caused due to an accident or a condition like osteoporosis. Spinal fractures can cause severe pain and difficulty in movements.

2) Pain That Wakes You Up At Night

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with intense pain that keeps you from sleeping? If so, it’s time to see a doctor about your back pain. Several medical conditions, such as sciatica, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease, can cause nighttime back pain. A doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to help you find relief during the night.

For example, spinal stenosis is a spinal canal narrowing that can cause pain and symptoms, such as numbness and tingling. Treatment for this condition may include lifestyle changes to relieve pressure on your nerves, like losing weight or avoiding repetitive movements that aggravate the condition. Medications can also provide relief from the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

3) Pain That Radiates Down One Or Both Legs

Some issues, like sciatica, can cause radiating pain that spreads down one or both legs. This type of back pain tends to be more severe and is usually accompanied by other signs like numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected leg. You should visit a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing this type of back pain so they can determine the underlying cause. For example, some reasons for radiating leg pain can include a herniated disk or sciatica.

4) Loss of Bladder Or Bowel Control

When you start to experience any form of bladder or bowel control issues, it’s time to seek medical help immediately. This could signify cauda equina syndrome, a severe spinal cord condition requiring urgent treatment. Suppose you have any bladder or bowel incontinence when trying to move, feel numbness in the genital area, have sexual dysfunction, or have lower body weakness. In that case, it’s essential to get help from your doctor.

5) Foot Drop

Foot drop is a condition that occurs when the muscles of the ankle and foot are weakened. It can make lifting your feet while walking difficult, causing you to drag them along the ground. If you experience this symptom in addition to back pain, it is essential to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Contact Saint Agnes Hospital for treating lower back pain in Baltimore. Our team of experienced orthopedic specialists understands the challenges posed by lower back pain.

Is Poor Posture Causing Your Back Pain?

Do you suffer from back pain? If so, it may be due to your poor posture. Believe it or not, how you sit, stand, and move can significantly impact your spine and overall health. Unsupported posture often causes the loads on your spine to exceed their tolerable limit, resulting in pain. Here are some everyday bad posture habits that could be the cause of your back pain:

1) Sitting for Extended Periods

Prolonged sitting can cause your spine to adopt an unhealthy curved shape and lead to muscle fatigue. Furthermore, sitting for too long can put pressure on the discs in your back that cushion vertebrae from one another. Your back muscles can also become weak and unable to support your spine. Orthopedic surgery in Baltimore will help to correct this problem permanently.

2) Poor Posture When Standing

When standing, your upper body should be straight with your chin parallel to the ground. Poor standing posture can cause the same pain-inducing problems as sitting for too long–including an increased risk of a slipped disc or herniated disc. Standing with a bad posture places strain on the spinal column, placing it under tremendous pressure and causing pain. Good standing posture allows your body to distribute weight evenly, reducing or eliminating pain in your back and neck.

3) Lifting Heavy Objects

Lifting too heavy items can cause poor posture and muscle imbalances, which may lead to neck and back pain. When lifting items that are too heavy, your body cannot maintain a good posture leading to excessive strain on the spine. To reduce this risk, it’s essential to limit your weight in a single session and use proper lifting techniques.

4) Slouching

Slouching can cause the spine to be misaligned and strain your muscles, leading to neck and back pain. You may feel like slouching is comfortable, but it can strain your spine and muscles excessively. To avoid this pain, make sure to sit up straight and keep your head in an upright position.

Tips To Maintain Good Posture

Good posture is an essential part of being healthy. Poor posture can lead to back pain and even cause long-term damage to your spine. Fortunately, you can follow some simple tips to maintain good posture and reduce or prevent back pain.

1) Maintain Proper Posture When Sitting: Sitting with your back straight and feet flat on the floor is one of the essential tips for maintaining good posture. It’s also important to ensure that your chair supports your lower back, which helps prevent slouching.

2) Use Proper Lifting Technique: When lifting objects, you must use your leg muscles by bending at the knee and hip. This will help evenly distribute the weight across your body rather than straining your back. Additionally, always keep the object close to your body while lifting it.

3) Stand Straight: When standing, ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. Also, keep your head up and shoulders back, avoiding any slouching. Finally, try to keep weight evenly distributed on both feet.

4) Take Breaks: Breaks will ensure that your posture remains good throughout the day. Take breaks from sitting or standing every 30 minutes and get up and move around for at least a few minutes.

For immediate back pain relief in Baltimore, contact Saint Agnes Hospital. Our ortho experts can provide customized treatment plans to fit your needs.

For more than 150 years, Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital has been dedicated to the art of healing by providing exceptional care to the greater Baltimore area. Built on a strong foundation of excellent medical care and compassion, Ascension Saint Agnes is committed to providing the best care for our patients for many years to come