Pain from Constipation

Nuwanthi Fernando - pain from constipation article



By Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando

Pain from Constipation - a real belly ache


Constipation is a condition in which it is difficult to empty the bowels, usually due to the drying out and hardening of feces.

This can result in pain in a number of locations:


     •    Back pain
     •    Chest pain
     •    Pelvic pain
     •    Bladder pain
     •    Leg pain


Constipation Pain Break-Down

Back pain
Back pain is a common symptom of many diseases. Constipation can cause back pain in two areas:
     •    Upper back pain
     •    Lower back pain

Lower back pain may occur when defecation has partially or fully terminated but stool continues to press on the rectum. This exerts extra pressure on the colon that can be transferred to the lower back. As this pressure increases, the back pain can intensify. In severe cases, this pressure may extend into the upper part of the abdomen, causing severe pain in the upper back as well.


Chest pain
Extensive gas accumulation can result in chest pain. Digestion of food releases a variety of gases. When the bowel is blocked, there is no exit for these gases and they exert pressure on different parts of the body such as the chest, causing compressive pain.

Pelvic pain
This symptom can be very severe and cause an enormous amount of pain. During bowel movements, excessive straining can exert a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor, which in turn causes pelvic muscles to tighten. Severe spasms of these muscles can cause sharp pain.

Bladder pain
The bowel is located close to the urinary bladder. When there is a large amount of stool in the bowel, the bladder cannot expand to accommodate urine. This results in pain and discomfort during urination.

Leg pain
When pelvic muscles tighten and start to spasm, it can cause associated leg pain. Leg muscles can also obstruct the neurovascular bundle that connects nerves in the leg, causing severe leg pain.

Management of Pain from Constipation

Taking pain medications is not the best way to ease pain caused by constipation. The best solution is to get rid of constipation that is causing the pain. The two main ways of treating constipation are:

1.    Use medications to stimulate easy passage of stool
2.    Cultivate a healthy lifestyle conducive to good digestive health

As Easy as 1, 2, 3


Medications such as milk of magnesia and Epsom salts are effective for treating constipation, but the high amount of magnesium in a single dose dictates that they not be used long-term.

Perhaps the best way to treat constipation is by taking a daily magnesium supplement.

Magnesium supplements are non-habit forming. They work by drawing water into the colon. This helps to moisten the stool, making it:

        1. Softer

        2. Slicker – making it easier to pass

        3. Bulkier, which give the colon something to push against to move it along


In Closing


A sea mineral supplement is rich in beneficial magnesium, but also contains valuable trace minerals.

This supplement is low in sodium, so that it will not alter the mineral balance in the body.

Only a teaspoon a day may be just what is needed to win the ongoing war with constipation.

It can also be given to dogs and cats.

(Return from Pain from Constipation to Constipation Pain Overview)

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