Back and belly pain: 8 causes and what to do


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In most cases, back pain is caused by muscle contracture or spinal changes and it occurs due to poor posture throughout the day. The poor posture is as a result of sitting on the computer with your back bent, spending many hours standing and sleeping on a very soft mattress or on the floor.

However, when the back pain radiates to the belly, some of the possible causes may be:

1. Kidney stone

What it feels like: When experiencing a renal crisis, it is common for the person to feel severe back pain at the end of the spine either to the left or right side; but in some cases the pain may radiate to the abdominal region. Inflammation of the kidneys, bladder or ureters, which cause urinary infection can also cause pain in the foot of the belly.

What to do: In case ne experiences such symptoms, they should be taken to the emergency room because the renal colic can be very severe and there may be need to take medicines or even undergo surgery to remove the stone.

Some of the signs and symptoms experienced when one has kidney stones include:

1. Severe pain in the lower back, which may limit movements

2. Pain radiating from back to groin

3. Pain when urinating

4. Pink, red or brown urine

5. Frequent urge to urinate

6. Feeling sick or vomiting

7. Fever above 38ยบ C

2. Spine problems

What it feels like: In the case of arthrosis in the spine, the pain usually affects the neck or at the end of the back, and it is usually more centralized. It can also affect the belly.

What to do: For this reason, it is advisable to go to an orthopaedist who will do an x-ray of the spine to identify the possible alteration and start treatment early enough. Treatment can be done using analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs or physiotherapy to improve posture, combat the symptoms and prevent aggravation that comes with appearance of herniated disc or parrot beak.

3. Gases

What it feels like: In some cases, accumulation of intestinal gas can also cause pain in the back and abdomen hence leaving the body swollen. Pain can either be tipped or snarly and tends to begin around one part of the back or belly and then it radiates to another part of the belly.

What to do: Taking fennel tea then walking for about 40 minutes can be useful to eliminate the gases naturally. If the pain fails to cease, one can take plum water as it helps to eliminate faeces, which may be favouring the production of gases. Taking light meals and eating fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables and drinking small amounts of water throughout the day as well as drinking chamomile or lemon balm tea can also help ease the pain.

4. Inflammation of the gallbladder

A stone in the gallbladder can lead to an inflammation that manifests itself whenever a person consumes fatty foods, though it is not always severe.

What it feels like: When the gallbladder is inflamed, the person feels pain in the belly and there is usually poor digestion, a burning sensation in the belly, swollen belly as well as belching. Abdominal pain can radiate to the back.

What to do: Incase these symptoms are experienced, one should visit the gastroenterologist who will perform an ultrasound so as to confirm the presence of the stone and whether there is need for surgery to remove the gallbladder

5. Bowel diseases

Bowel diseases such as Irritable bowel syndrome, usually cause pain in the abdomen, which can also radiate to the back, becoming more diffuse.

What you feel: Symptoms such as abdominal pain accompanied by a burning sensation, in twinge or cramps may arise. One may also experience discomfort in the foot of the belly, soft or very hard stools as well as a swollen belly.

What to do: One should observe their bowel habits in order to identify whether it may be constipation, gas or diarrhoea. A consultation with a gastroenterologist might also be helpful in the identification of other symptoms. performing tests to arrive at the diagnosis and to start the appropriate treatment. Incase of gluten intolerance, gluten must be removed from the diet, but a nutritionist may recommend other changes required for each experienced intestinal change.

6. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a serous condition which may require urgent medical attention and there might be need to perform surgery.

What it feels like: The begins as poorly localised and it affects the upper part of the belly, at a section very close to the ribs, resulting in what is known as ”bar pain”. As the infections worsens, the pain becomes more localized and becomes very severe. Other symptoms that may be present are seasickness and vomiting.

What to do: One should be taken to the emergency room so as to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatitis and start treatment. The treatment is usually done with analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and enzymes that are specific to the proper functioning of the pancreas. Depending on the cause of inflammation, which may either be miscellaneous obstruction, tumour or infection, there may be need to use antibiotics or perform surgery to remove the stones that aggravate the disease.

7. Low back pain

What it feels like: The pain at the bottom of the back can be fet more in the middle of the back especially after using energy and efort like climbing the stairs or carrying heavy bags. Sitting or standing for a long timr tends to worsen the pain, which can begin to radiate to the abdomen. Incase it radiates to the butt or to the legs, it may be an inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

What to do: Placing a hot compress on the back can relieve mild or moderate pain. However, one needs to visit an orthopaedist who will perform tests and start treatment can be done with physiotherapy sessions.

8th Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is a high urinary infection, meaning it affects the kidneys and ureters. It occurs due to the rise if bacteria in this region or a complication of low urinary infection.

What you feel: It is common to experience severe back pain on the side that has affected the kidney, pain in the lower abdominal region when urinating, high fever with chills and tremors as well as malaise, nausea and vomiting.

What to do: One should go to the emergency room as it is necessary to take drugs for pain relief aside from taking antibiotics and antipyretics as well as conducting blood and urine tests.

When it happens in pregnancy

Back pain that radiates to the abdomen at the beginning of pregnancy can happen when there is intercostal neuralgia due to severe nerve stretch as a result of belly growth. However, another cause is usually uterine contractions. The pain that starts in the belly, around the stomach region and which radiates to the back, can be gastric reflux, a cause that is very common during pregnancy; due to increased volume of the uterus and compression of the uterus.

What you feel: The pain caused by intercostal neuralgia can be in twinge form and it is usually close to the ribs. The back pain can also radiate to the bottom of the belly and can be a sign of uterine contractions as is experienced during labour.

What to do: One should put a warm compress on the site if the pain as you stretch and tilt the body to the opposite side if the pain. The obstetrician may also prescribe taking of vitamin B complex, as it helps in the recovery of peripheral nerves. For reflux, one should takena light diet and avoid lying down after feeding.

When to go to the emergency room

It is important to consult the doctor when back pain radiates to the abdominal region and comes with the following characteristics:

  • It is very intense and makes it impossible to perform normal activities of daily life, such as eating, sleeping or walking
  • Arises after a fall, injury or blow
  • It worsens after a week
  • Persists for more than 1 month
  • Other symptoms such as urinary or faecal incontinence, shortness of breath, fever, tingling in the legs, or diarrhoea may appear

For this region, the cause of the pain can be caused by more serious situations such as inflammation of an organ or cancer. One should therefore go to the hospital for tests such as X-ray or ultrasound so as to start the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.


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