Constipation and back pain: What's the link? (explanations)

Constipation

Millions of people suffer every day from constipation and back pain. Although these two conditions do not appear to be related, there is a connection between them.

In this article, we will explore this link and discuss how it can lead to both conditions. We will also offer tips for preventing and treating constipation and back pain.

Spine Definition and Anatomy

La spine is a long flexible rod composed of bones (vertebrae) and other tissues extending from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail. It supports the head and trunk, protects the spinal cord and allows the body to bend and twist.

La spine is composed of 33 vertebrae: 7 cervical (neck), 12 thoracic (middle of the back), 5 lumbar (lower back), 5 sacral and 4 coccygeal (coccyx). The bones of the spine are connected by joints called facets, which allow the spine to move.

The facet joints are surrounded by cartilage, a type of tissue that helps reduce friction between the joints. The space between the vertebrae is filled with a cushioning material called intervertebral disc.

Discs consist of a tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus) and a gelatinous inner core (nucleus pulposus). They act as shock absorbers, helping to protect the spine from shocks.

La spinal cord is a long, thin bundle of nerves that runs through the center of the spine. It carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is surrounded by a layer of protective tissue called the dura mater.

Everything you need to know about the digestive system

Le digestive system is a group of organs responsible for breaking down food and converting it into nutrients that the body can use. The digestive process begins in the mouth, where food is masticated (chewed) and mixed with saliva.

La saliva contains enzymes which begin to break down carbohydrates in food. Food then travels down the esophagus and then into the stomach, where it is further broken down by stomach acids.

From the stomach, food enters the small intestine, where most of the operations of digestion and absorption of nutrients take place. The intestine is lined with tiny villi, finger-like projections that increase the surface area for absorption.

The intestine also secretes enzymes that complete the digestion of nutrients. Food then passes into the large intestine, where water and electrolytes are absorbed and stool is formed. Feces are then eliminated by defecation.

Le digestive system is a complex and essential part of the human body, which performs a variety of functions necessary for good health. By breaking down food and absorbing nutrients, the digestive system provides the body with the energy and materials it needs to function properly.

En outre, le digestive system helps protect against harmful microorganisms by producing antimicrobial substances and physically protecting the body against these invaders. The digestive system is therefore essential to the survival and good health of the body.

Composition of the digestive system

The organs of the digestive system work together to break down food and absorb nutrients. These bodies include:

  • The mouth : The mouth is responsible for masticating (chewing) food and mixing it with saliva.
  • esophagus and stomach : The esophagus carries food to the stomach, where it is broken down by stomach acids.
  • The pancreas : The pancreas secretes enzymes that help digest nutrients in the small intestine.
  • Liver : The liver also produces enzymes that help with digestion, while the kidneys absorb water and electrolytes.
  • Kidneys : The kidneys absorb water and electrolytes.
  • The small intestine : The small intestine is responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • The large intestine : The large intestine absorbs water and electrolytes and produces feces and forces the digestion of food to the rectum, where the feces are eliminated.

Each of these organs plays an important role in the digestive process.

Constipation Causes

There are a number of different causes of constipation:

Lack of physical activity

When you don't move enough, muscles in your gut hail contracts less well and digestion slows down.

It is therefore important to exercise regularly to help prevent constipation. Physical exercise stimulates the muscles of the colon and promotes intestinal transit. Activities like walking, jogging, swimming or cycling are great for preventing constipation

A diet low in fiber and insufficient hydration

Food rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, help prevent constipation by helping the colon contract better and increasing stool bulk.

Foods low in fiber, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and fried or fatty foods, can contribute to constipation.

Also, drinking enough water is important to prevent constipation. Water keeps stools soft and helps them pass through the colon.

Mental or stress problems

Stress can have a negative impact on the digestive system and lead to constipation problems.

Stop smoking

When people quit smoking, they are more likely to suffer from constipation. This is because of the changes that occur in their body when they quit smoking.

Back pain

La Dehydration can also cause electrolyte imbalances, which can contribute to muscle spasms and lower back pain.

Link between constipation and back pain

Although constipation is often thought of as a minor annoyance, it can actually lead to serious health issues. A potential complication of constipation is back pain.

This connection may seem confusing at first, but there are actually several ways constipation can contribute to back pain.

  • First, the Constipation can lead to tense abdominal muscles, which can cause lower back pain.
  • Secondly, Constipation may cause stool bags to form in the intestine, putting pressure on surrounding tissues and nerves.
  • Third, the Constipation can lead to an overflow of toxins into the intestine, which can cause inflammation and pain in the lower back.

When you are constipated, your bowel or colon has trouble passing stool through your digestive system. Complications of constipation can include hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction.

  • Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anus and rectum that can bleed and cause pain.
  • rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum slips out of place and exits through the anus.
  • Fecal impaction is an accumulation of hard stools that get stuck in the intestines and can block the passage of other stools.

Symptoms associated with constipation

Symptoms associated with constipation can include:

  • Hard or compacted stools
  • Abdominal pain or the family middle back
  • Bloating and intestinal gas
  • Feeling of discomfort or intestinal blockage
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite

Constipation Treatments

Everyone suffers from occasional constipation. This does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong. But if you're constipated most of the time, it could be a sign of a medical problem.

If changing your diet and lifestyle doesn't help, talk to your doctor. He may look for an underlying condition and prescribe medication.

There are several things you can do to relieve occasional constipation and prevent it from happening again:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Aim for six to eight glasses a day.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. The fibers bulk up your stools and make them softer, making them easier to pass.
  • Avoid foods that can make constipation worse, such as dairy products, processed foods, and foods high in sugar or fat.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps move food through your digestive system. Taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day is a good place to start.
  • Feel free to go to the bathroom when you need to. If you hold your stools, you will have more difficulty passing them later.
  • Use stool softeners or laxatives if it's necessary. These drugs can make it easier to pass stools and reduce pain. Speak to your doctor before using them, as some may cause unwanted side effects.

Back pain treatment

What is the best way to treat back pain? As the answer varies according to the individual, it is preferable to consult for an adapted care.

Treatment includes medication, physical therapy (physiotherapy or osteopathy), and therapeutic exercise. In severe cases, infiltration or surgery may be necessary.

In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are several products and accessories available on the market to relieve lower back pain, whether or not it is related to constipation. It should be remembered that these tools generally provide temporary relief, and should be used sparingly. Among the products recommended by our professionals, we have:

What about natural remedies?

Like accessories and anti-back pain products, natural products and grandmother's remedies are very popular with people suffering from back pain.

Often, these remedies include anti-inflammatory properties to relieve various body pains.

On the other hand, it should be noted that most of these natural products are not scientifically proven. It is therefore important to speak to your doctor before using them, particularly to avoid any interaction with your medications.

Natural remedies that may relieve symptoms include (click on the product you are interested in for purchasing options):

Turmeric

Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.

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Ginger

In addition to the particular flavor it brings to cooking and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. THE gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).

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Omega-3

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove to be very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Sciatica, being most often linked to an inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3 provided it is consumed regularly. 

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Lemon eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.

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wintergreen

Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the essential oils most used in aromatherapy. This oil, extracted from the shrub of the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.

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