Lower Back Pain and Constipation: Understanding the Connection

When dealing with lower back pain and constipation, it can feel like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Both issues are widespread but can cause severe discomfort. The connection between the two is so strong that doctors have given it its own name: the “hidden duo.” 

Let’s start by talking about what each of these issues entails on its own.

  • Lower Back Pain

For those who have never experienced it, lower back pain can seem like a minor inconvenience at worst. But it can be absolutely debilitating for those who struggle with chronic or acute pain in this region of their body. From dull throbbing to sharp stabbing sensations, lower back pain can interfere with everything from sitting comfortably to getting out of bed in the morning. 

There are many potential causes of lower back pain. Sometimes it’s simply due to age-related wear and tear of joints; sometimes, it’s related to poor posture or injuries; and sometimes, underlying medical conditions (such as herniated discs) or even constipation. 

  • Constipation

On the other hand, constipation may not seem as severe as lower back pain- but anyone who has experienced regular episodes knows just how much discomfort and frustration this issue can cause. Constipation occurs when stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract or cannot be passed easily or fully from the rectum- resulting in infrequent bowel movements often accompanied by straining and incomplete evacuation.

Constipation is one of those topics that people rarely want to discuss openly – but did you know that approximately 16% of adults experience occasional constipation? It’s more common than most think!

Here’s where things get interesting: these seemingly unrelated issues may be very closely linked. In fact, one frequently leads directly into the other! 

The Connection Between Lower Back Pain And Constipation

So why do lower back pain and constipation often go hand in hand? A few different factors contribute to the relationship between these two issues. Here are some of the critical connections:

  • Lack of mobility: Lower back pain can make it challenging to move around comfortably, creating a cycle where someone becomes even more sedentary, leading to weaker abdominal muscles and digestive issues.
  • Nerve disruptions: The nerves that affect bowel movements also pass through the lower back region; thus, inflammation or pressure on these nerves can cause irregular bowel movements.
  • Pain medications: Sometimes, people who take medicine for lower back pain find themselves dealing with constipation as a side effect. Painkillers such as opioids and NSAIDs slow down intestinal movement, making it tough to have regular bowel movements.

And remember we talked about “hidden duo”? Constipation is a common underlying factor in most patients suffering from chronic non-specific LBP; research has shown that up to 80% of long-term chronic sufferers have concurrent gastrointestinal complaints!

What To Do Next

Whether you’re dealing with chronic low-back pain or occasional episodes, if you suffer from frequent bloating & gas, straining with stools, or any other gastrointestinal symptoms, then make sure to talk to your doctor or health specialist about how to cope effectively with both conditions as one will aggravate the other. Don’t just cover symptoms by taking constipation relief pills like dulcolax while ignoring what may be causing it in the first place! 

To wrap things up, do not ignore anything that might seem unrelated when dealing with lower back pain discomfort – always share your entire medical history (including family history) during consultations so healthcare providers can consider all probable causes carefully. 


Lower Back Pain and Constipation might sound unrelated, but they pose significant problems together! Understanding their connection will help you not only deal better when they occur together but also to take measures that will keep them from happening in the first place. Stay healthy, stay safe!