Thursday, January 18, 2007

Back Pain Constipation

Defining Constipation

Constipation is a term used to describe infrequent bowel movements and affects many people every year.
However, surpassed only by cold and flu symptoms as “motivators,” having a sore back is the second most common reason people visit their doctors.
While the most obvious symptom of constipation is difficulty in having regular bowel movements, another prevalent symptom is back pain.
Most of us will experience some sort of pain or discomfort in our backs at some point in our lives, and constipation could be the cause.
Structure and Function of the Back

The back has many muscles attached to, intersecting, or covering the spine. The spine itself is made up of an elongated, curved stack of bones called vertebrae. These vertebrae are basically round and between each of them is a special disc.
These discs are composed of rubber-like tissue and provide flexibility of the spine. Without this flexibility, we wouldn’t be able to bend over, twist, sit, or walk. However, we wouldn’t want to be as flexible as a snake either. Along with the discs, we have strong ligaments spanning from vertebrae to vertebrae for more support.
The spine also has the critical job of protecting the spinal cord, which sends messages back and forth to the body and the brain, so we can see the logic of having spinal “armor” shielding it.

It’s no wonder people end up with sore back muscles, “slipped discs,” and other lower back problems because we have so many different parts to twist, pull, tear, and strain!
Back pain can be caused by lifting something too heavy, twisting too suddenly, or even sleeping in an awkward position and it can even be related to something unusual like constipation. The lower back also feels impact from walking, running, and many other everyday motions.
Constipation only worsens the situation as the lower back feels greater strain when natural movement is obstructed or hindered by an over-full or impacted colon.

Incredibly, even children can experience back pain constipation. You see—constipation is really just the body not getting rid of waste often enough. If waste remains in the colon too long, the body can reabsorb the water and thus the stool becomes too dry.
If a child is trying to pass a stool that is hard, dry, or very large, they have to strain to manipulate the intestinal muscles. As a result, they may experience lower back pain from all that extra effort. Children may experience additional pain in the anus from it getting stretched open for the large, dry stool to get pushed out.

When to See a Doctor

People with severe or chronic constipation can also develop a condition known as fecal impaction. This occurs when the rectum is blocked by a hardened bowel movement and it can lead to back pain and cramps, bloating, and even feelings of lethargy from the waste remaining inside the body too long.
Most people endure these types of problems without realizing a solution can be obtained; they find ways to work around any lower back pain they might be experiencing and just trudge along with the added difficulty. Nonetheless, it can be a sign that something else is wrong. If you have any of the following symptoms, consult a qualified physician:

The pain is constant and doesn’t improve by resting your back or lying down.
The pain developed suddenly and you are under 20 years old or over 55 years old.
The pain travels up the back and into the chest area.
The pain came on slowly and gradually became worse (most back pain comes on quickly from some injury or stress).

Recurrent nausea or loss of appetite affects your normal diet patterns.
You experience weakness or numbness in your legs or feet or any part of your buttock region.
You are also experiencing problems with your bladder or bowel function.

Of course, if you’re experiencing back pain constipation, once you begin having regular bowel movements again the pain should subside. But what if you’ve had back pain recently, and it feels better now, yet you are still constipated? Surprisingly, back pain constipation can also be related to medications you're taking such as painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs.

Medications and Constipation

Stronger painkillers, like Codeine, have a tendency to constipate, as do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Here are some medications or drugs you may not recognize as potential causes of constipation:

Antacids containing aluminum hydroxide
Anti-diarrhea products
Anti-spasmodic drugs
Medications for Parkinson’s disease
Iron supplements
Calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure treatments)
Decongestants and anti-histamines
Pain Relief

Helpful Hints for Reducing Back Pain Constipation

Some people are surprised to learn constipation could be causing lower back pain, but the truth is—constipation can cause all sorts of aches, pains, and general malaise. Abdominal pain pain and nausea are common symptoms, as well as a loss of appetite.
If there is fecal impaction associated with your back pain constipation, it can cause rectal cramps. Fecal impaction may occur in the elderly; and because liquid stool tends to ooze out around blockages, it can often be mistaken for diarrhea.
If you are suffering from the discomfort of back pain constipation here are some resolutions you can try:

Dehydration can be a major cause of back pain constipation. Drink lots of water, or hot teas and broths.

Begin exercising more. Easy, relaxed swimming or walking are excellent choices.

Cut back on eating refined foods and get back to the healthful basics such as fresh fruits and green, leafy vegetables.

Raise your feet with a footstool when you are sitting on the toilet. It puts the bowel at a better angle for passing the stool more easily.

Try using a natural oxygen-based intestinal cleanser, like Oxy-Powder®.

Take the time to thoroughly research your sleeping conditions. Invest in not just an “okay” bed but the best one you can afford. Getting a great night’s rest is critical to keeping the body in proper working order.

Back pain constipation is a detriment to health we may all have to face someday. If you find it’s happening more often, it's probably a good time to change your routine.
Focus on exercises strengthening both stomach and back muscles such as good old-fashioned sit-ups, rowing, back extensions, leg lifts, or the afore-mentioned aquatic activities. Be aware of potential side effects from any medication you are taking. Make sure you're sleeping well on a comfortable mattress;
some people prefer firmer and some prefer softer, but everyone should feel refreshed in the morning. And, perhaps most beneficial, begin eating a healthful, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit, whole grains (for fiber), and vegetables.
Back pain constipation can be a debilitating, painful condition but can be alleviated with a little common sense and preventative measures. Be good to your back—it’s really the foundation of a body’s strength and must be maintained for overall good health.
more info at: oxypowder

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