Back pain is something you need to see your GP about if it persists, gets worse, or if it stops you from doing day-to-day activities. Most of the time back pain isn’t caused by anything serious, but it could be caused by a number of things.
It isn’t always possible to identify the cause of back pain, but it’s rarely anything serious.
Most back pain is non-specific, which means there is no obvious cause.
Other types are mechanical, meaning that the pain originates from the joints, bones or soft tissues in and around the spine.
Non-specific or mechanical pain is sometimes caused by poor posture or lifting something awkwardly, but can sometimes happen for no reason.
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Both can develop suddenly or gradually but usually get better within a few weeks.
Back pain can be caused by a minor injury, such as a sprain or strain.
Sometimes you can get this type of back pain from feeling stressed or run down.
However, there are medical conditions that can cause back pain such as a slipped disc, sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, and spondylolisthesis.
These conditions are treated differently to non-specific back pain, and could become a serious problem.
People with IBS often report lower back pain, especially during the night.
This pain could be unrelated to the condition, or it could be referred pain.
Referred pain is felt somewhere other than where it originates. An example of this is when people feel jaw ache when having a heart attack.
The teeth and jaw aren’t the cause of the pain but the heart attack refers pain to the jaw.
The internal organs can refer pain to other sights, meaning it is possible for pain caused by IBS in the digestive system to be referred to the back.
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Bloating occurs when the abdomen fills will air or gas, making your abdomen appear larger and feel hard.
Bloating can be very painful and uncomfortable, and this pain may be felt towards your back.
Your back supports and stabilises your body but it is vulnerable to strain, so it isn’t uncommon to feel back pain when you are bloated.
This often happens during menstruation, pregnancy, when you have a UTI, or if you suffer from endometriosis.
Back pain is not a common symptom of constipation, but an achy back can accompany constipation.
Sometimes a condition, such as an infection, can lead to back pain.
Constipation may be a side effect of the condition, leading you to think one has caused the other.
Sometimes faecal impaction or chronic constipation can cause lower back pain.
The pressure from the condition can result in pain radiating to the back or abdomen.
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