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Constipation and Back Pain

back-pain-constipationBack pain can result from many medical situations, including constipation. In fact, constipation and back pain have an ongoing relationship in the lives of many people. Back pain can cause constipation and constipation can cause back pain as well. Backaches that are caused by constipation are not uncommon; they simply don’t get the attention they should and are often attributed to other reasons.

What’s The Connection Between Constipation And Back Pain?

When a person becomes constipated, it basically means accumulated waste has led to an impacted colon. In more severe cases, the bowels swell to the point where they’re actually pressing against nerves in the lower back. As the nerves are compressed, they send shooting pains and spasms throughout the lower back area and occasionally down the legs as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, individuals suffering from back pain are in many cases prescribed codeine to help with pain management. Codeine is a painkilling narcotic that can also unfortunately cause constipation as one of its side effects.

Constipated individuals have been known to herniate discs from straining too hard when trying to force a bowel movement. Pregnant women routinely face constipation along with back pain. Also, it’s common for people who follow the Atkin’s Diet to experience frequent constipation due to its recommendation of consuming high amounts of animal-based protein. Meat, which is difficult for the human system to digest, can accumulate over time in the colon and end up blocking it altogether.

So What Causes Constipation?

Constipation and back pain symptoms can result from numerous factors. Lack of fiber is generally one of the more common reasons. It can also result from not drinking enough water. Some of the other causes of constipation can include:

  • Stress and/or depression
  • Eating too much meat or dairy products
  • Various medicines(mostly painkillers or antacids)
  • Any sudden change in dietary habits
  • Consuming unclean or exotic foods while traveling
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer

Not only can constipation cause severe backaches, it can also result in mood swings, a weakened immune system, a general lack of energy, foul breath or body odor as well as bloating and weight problems.

How Do I Know If I Am Constipated?

Traditionally, if you haven’t had a bowel movement in 3 days or more, you’re considered constipated. But don’t think just because you have bowel movements every other day that you’re free from this condition. There are a few factors determining if you are constipated. It’s the quality of those bowel movements that make the difference.

For example, if you produce hard stools more than 25% of the time, you may be constipated. If you have to strain frequently and/or have incomplete bowel movements more than 25% of the time, you could be constipated. Likewise, if you have two or fewer bowel movements within a week’s time, you’re probably constipated.

Staggering Statistics

Some incredible data supports the fact these two health problems affect Americans on a routine basis.

Constipation affects at least 4 million Americans each year, and over half of them seek out professional help for this problem. Many sufferers choose to try to solve the problem themselves, giving the laxative business over $725 million dollars a year.

Experts believe approximately 80% of all Americans will experience constipation and back pain difficulty at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the leading health related problems in this country. The following statistics speak for themselves.

  • One out of three Americans over 18 years old experienced back pain severe enough to seek professional help within the past 5 years.
  • Half of all American workers claim to be laboring with back pain every year.
  • Thirty-one million Americans are suffering from back pain at any given time.
  • Care costs for back conditions are estimated to be approaching $50 billion dollars a year.

How Can I Help Prevent Back Pain?

In order to control both constipation and back pain, it makes sense to target what’s actually causing the pain–the constipation! It’s sometimes not enough to simply increase your water and fiber intake. Occasionally, your colon gets so impacted toxins begin to accumulate and attack your system. What’s needed is a complete flush and detoxification of your colon.

The health benefits from a clean and healthy colon are remarkable. Some of the ways a person can see and feel a difference include:

  • Relieves the “bloated” feeling many people experience every day
  • Helps your body absorb nutrients and vitamins
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Easier to digest foods
  • Less toxins result in fresh, vibrant skin
  • Lose weight more effectively
  • Fewer problems with constipation

Constipation and back pain can each be distressful, but when combined they can be unbearable. It’s important to attack the cause of the pain and not the symptom. In this case, the pain is most likely a symptom of severe constipation. By taking a pain reliever to help manage the pain, you could actually be making the constipation worse due to chemical side effects. But by effectively managing the cause, the constipation, you will notice the change!

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