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Does Stretching the Bowel Cause Back Pain?

By Dr. Robert Petros ; Updated August 14, 2017

Strenuous bowel movements cause a rise in inner abdominal pressure. Prolonged stretches of high abdominal pressure may bring about a variety of medical problems. Intestinal blockage is the most common and one of the most dangerous causes of bowel associated back pain.


Intestinal blockage can be caused by a variety of factors, including tumors, loss of intestinal muscle movement due to nerve damage, ingestion of undigestible products, intestinal twisting and surgical complications. In most cases, the blockages and stretching of the bowels increase gradually. This stretching exerts pressure on the structures of the back, such as nerves, bones, organs near the back of the abdominal wall and muscles.


Intestinal blockages manifest themselves through abdominal and back pain. The level at which the pain occurs varies in accordance with the level of the blockage. Nausea and vomiting may also occur as a result of a blockage. Back pain and other symptoms caused by intestinal blockage usually start as a slight pain and gradually become more severe.


Diagnosing back pain caused by intestinal blockages comes after a thorough physical examination and collection of your medical history by your physician. He is aided by ultrasound equipment, X-rays and MRIs. Computerized tomography may also be used to assist with the diagnosis.


Laxatives and stool-softening medications are used to alleviate some of the symptoms such as back pain that are caused by intestinal blockages. This treatment will reduce the swelling temporarily. Surgery is generally necessary to totally alleviate this condition. This surgery is conducted under general anesthesia and requires a hospital stay of a few days.

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