Do Something About Stomach and Back Pain
Cure-Back-Pain.org reports that 75% of people with unresolved back pain also experience stomach and intestinal problems.
There are a number of explanations for this; to name a few, back pain may cause stomach problems, a problem in one of the abdominal organs can cause back pain, or psychological issues may cause both.
Back Pain Causing Abdominal Pain
Below the thoracic spine is the lumbar spine. The lowest vertebra of the thoracic section and the top vertebra of the lumbar section are connected to nerves that travel to the intestines.
A problem in any one of these vertebrae or the discs between them can lead to stomach or intestinal problems. Conditions such as bulging discs or misaligned vertebrae (spondylolisthesis or subluxation) can impinge the nerves that exit the spine, disrupting the neurological pathways of the organ. Organs cannot function properly without intact nerve pathways. Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive disorders can be the result of back problems.
Tight, inflamed back muscles can also exert pressure on the nerves running to the digestive organs. Stretching the strained muscles and exercising the rest of the core group may solve this problem.
The stomach is effected by stress, be it physical or mental. Pain is a form of physical stress. Have you ever stubbed your toe so hard that you felt nauseous? The whole body responds to pain. Pain in the back, or anywhere else in the body, can be so physically stressful that the stomach becomes upset.
Abdominal Pain Causing Back Pain
Those with irritable bowel syndrome, chronic flatulence or other digestive woes are likely to experience lower back pain. These problems often involve inflammation. Pressure within the body may be felt in the lower back, causing pain.
The back and the stomach are the two areas most often linked to PIPS, or Psychologically-Induced Pain Syndrome. When the body experiences emotional stress, its defenses are turned on. The body’s stress system sends a flood of hormones to the body, resulting in increased heart and breathing rates. When serving its true purpose, the stress response system makes the body ready for action in times of emergency.
When stress is chronic, however, it attacks the body. Stress hormones are constantly released, tensing muscles and diverting blood from organs to the muscles. The problem is that when you’re emotionally stressed, you don’t necessarily need to use your muscles, and your stomach really needs the nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Inflamed, tense muscles grow sore and the malnourished digestive system malfunctions.
For more on the body’s stress response and how to manage it, see Help Guide.
Stomach and back pain can disrupt your daily life and limit your activities. It is always best to seek a proper diagnosis early on so that you can pursue treatment and get back to living.