Gas and Bloating: Do They Have Anything to do With Your Back Pain?

Most likely, you probably don’t live with constant back pain like others you may know. What you have noticed is that if you eat something that causes bloating, you do notice discomfort in either your upper back or possibly lower back pain on one side. Is this all in your head, or can gas really cause back pain? In fact, gastrointestinal distress can trigger backaches that are quite painful.

What Does the Gas Have to do With the Back?

Think for a moment about what happens when you experience gas, bloating, or any other type of stomach issue. Along with the discomfort, the cause of the problem is triggering contractions and expanding certain parts of the gastrointestinal system. As those parts expand, they place additional stress on the surrounding organs.

When the gas is severe enough, the pressure exerted on the stomach and other internal organs leads to more tension on the back. Your back serves as one of the stabilizing features of your body. When there’s additional internal pressure on the discs, the nerves, and the muscles in the back area, you can expect to experience some type of pain.

Why is the Pain in Different Areas?

You’ve noticed that sometimes the gas seems to cause pain in your upper back. At other times, the problem is lower back pain from gas that is on one side or runs all the way across that area. It really depends on what sort of issue your system is experiencing.

When the gas and bloating is of the type that makes you feel as if you are about to regurgitate, the contractions are likely placing more stress on the upper portion of your system. That would mean the impact on your back would be higher rather than lower. If the gas is accompanied with the sensation of having a brick stuck in your stomach, the odds of some type of lower back pain occurring are higher.

Keep in mind that pain from gas and bloating will be different than constipation or back pain you may experience when eating or drinking.

otc-meds-for-gasWhat Can Be Done?

With this type of gas pain in the back, you’re won’t experience much relief from applying a heating pad or using a topical cream. The best bet is to tackle the underlying cause for the gas.

If you are lucky, taking an over the counter medication which includes Simethicone (such as Gas-X) or a digestive aid (such as Beano) will settle your stomach and reduce the pressure on the muscles and nerves running along your spine.

What if Over the Counter Products Don’t Work?

It’s possible that you have developed some type of health issue that is exacerbated by your diet and not know it. With some health conditions, you won’t get any real relief from taking something you pick up at the pharmacy. The only real option is to see a doctor and find out if there is some problem that was not detected previously.

For example, you may be developing gall bladder problems. Foods that you used to eat freely, especially fatty or fried foods, now cause you to experience gas and the accompanying back pain.

If your doctor determines that you do have gall bladder issues, it may be possible to control the condition for a time by making changes to your diet. By reducing the odds of having gas, you in turn decrease the chances of having an aching back.

What if Diet Changes Aren’t Enough?

Depending on the reason why you are experiencing the gas, something more intense than changing the way you eat may be necessary. Your doctor can provide prescription medication that will work well with some conditions. You may find that undergoing a surgical procedure is necessary to eliminate the gas, bloating, and the accompanying pain in your back. Typically, invasive procedures are considered the last resort, and your doctor will want to try other means before taking this serious step.

The thing you need to remember is that the underlying cause for your condition is likely to be treatable. That means you don’t have to put up with the pain forever. Start with simple remedies, but don’t hesitate to move on to a solution that is more involved if that is what it takes. In the long run, you’ll feel better, reduce the strain on your internal organs, and eliminate one more possible reason for having back pain.


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(Editor at Back Pained) – Adam is a former longtime back pain sufferer who is now pain-free. He has created this site to help others get back pain relief at home as an alternative to expensive specialist appointments or physical therapy that may or may not work. A research junkie, he's spent considerable time determining which of the countless back pain products actually work and which ones are a waste of money. He now enjoys spending time on the basketball court re-learning that jump shot from when he last played in high school.

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