Published On By Rachel Nall

Can Gas Cause Back Pain

Back pain and stomach ache could mean your abdomen is filled with gas or air. However, there could be injuries to the back area, degenerative changes, or other non-mechanical reasons for having back pain.

Your back acts as a stabilizing support, making it vulnerable to strain or injury. When trapped gas builds up in the intestines, it may cause cramping or bloating, radiating discomfort and pain in the back.

While it may be strange to believe your trapped gas could also cause back pain. This article will analyze the relationship between gastritis and back pain and disclose the factors that cause gas-induced back pain.

It will also provide pharmacological and natural measures to subside back pain. Read along to learn everything about gastritis back pain.

Gastritis Symptoms

Gastritis is a digestive condition characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining. It could lead to debilitating symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, or more. It might result in pain near the central abdominal area that may even radiate to the back.

Gastritis could be associated with various symptoms, including:

  • Bloating
  • Feeling excessively full during or post-meal
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Dark stool
  • Stomach pain in the upper region
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weight loss
  • Hiccups
  • Indigestion
  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Burning sensations

Causes Of Gastritis Pain in the Back

  1. Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, many women encounter back pain and digestive discomforts like constipation, bloating, and gas. The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy may affect gastrointestinal function, leading to such issues.

    As the pregnancy progresses, the expanding uterus could exert pressure on the organs, further contributing to digestive discomfort.

    Pregnancy may put an additional burden on the body, including postural changes, pelvic changes, weight alterations, or weakened joints. These inconveniences may strain the back muscles and cause pain during pregnancy.

    Back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. The ligaments in the body deteriorate due to hormonal fluctuations, and the weight of the growing pregnancy places a significant burden on the lower back. These factors may result in varying degrees of back pain for pregnant women.

    Pregnant women could use supportive pillows while sleeping, adopt a fiber-rich diet to avoid constipation and apply warm/cold compresses on the pain-stricken areas.

    They should also strive to maintain a good posture and practice gentle exercises (recommended by their doctor) to help subside back pain.

    Consulting a doctor is advised to determine the underlying causes of such symptoms and discuss suitable treatment options.

  2. Hormonal Changes

    Hormonal changes could significantly impact musculoskeletal function and gastrointestinal health.

    Fluctuations in progesterone and estrogen hormone levels may affect muscle and joint function, leading to pain and discomfort. They could also impact gastrointestinal health, potentially contributing to the development of gas and bloating.

    An increase in the progesterone hormone levels in women may occur during the latter stages of periods. It might decrease the passage of food through the digestive tract, causing trapped gas and potential pain and discomfort.

    Women undergo significant hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle and ovulation, which may lead to excessive gassiness and back pain. These hormonal changes could lead to muscle and ligament weakness, altering posture and putting strain on the back.

  3. Air Swallowing

    Excessive air swallowing during eating or drinking could increase the amount of gas in the stomach, causing discomfort and pain.

    When eating or drinking too quickly, you tend to swallow more air, which may accumulate in the stomach and cause bloating and pain.

    Sipping through a straw might also cause you to swallow more air, leading to excessive gas buildup and subsequent back pain.

    Consuming carbonated drinks releases carbon dioxide gas in the stomach, contributing to bloating and back pain.

    Chewing gum or consuming foods that contain artificial sweeteners could result in excessive air swallowing, leading to gas buildup and discomfort in the back.

  4. Use of Alcohol

    Drinking alcoholic beverages could damage the protective stomach lining, potentially leading to ulcer formation. These open sores may cause abdominal discomfort and pain, which may radiate to the back.

    Alcohol may interfere with the normal digestion process, leading to indigestion. Indigestion could lead to bloating, abdominal pain, and discomfort, which might also be felt in the back.

    Excessive alcohol intake could cause inflammation of the stomach lining, known as gastritis. This might result in abdominal pain and discomfort, including back pain.

  5. Medications

    Regular intake of medications, like NSAIDs and other painkillers, may negatively affect the stomach's pH (acidity) level. Such a mechanism could potentially lead to ulcer development, gastric back pain, and damage to the stomach lining.

    These medications, typically used to relieve pain and inflammation, may disrupt the acid balance in the stomach, causing irritation and discomfort.

    The increased acidity in the stomach could contribute to gastric back pain, characterized by a burning sensation in the upper abdomen that might radiate to the back.

  6. Chronic Conditions

    Chronic health conditions may impact digestive system functioning, increasing the risk of trapped gas and potential back pain.

    Conditions such as intestinal diseases, diabetes, or food intolerances (lactose or gluten intolerance) might contribute to gastric back pain. These conditions could disrupt the normal digestive process, leading to excessive gas accumulation in the intestines and causing discomfort and pain in the back.

    The following table provides a summary of some common chronic conditions and their association with trapped gas and back pain:

    Chronic Health Condition Association with Trapped Gas and Back Pain
    Diabetes Disruption of normal digestion process
    Intestinal diseases Impaired functioning of the digestive system
    Food intolerances Difficulty in digesting certain substances
  7. Gas Released During Digestion

    During the digestive process, gut bacteria ferment undigested carbohydrates and may increase the gas level in the colon. These gases are produced due to fermentation and may cause discomfort and pain, including back pain, when they accumulate in the digestive system.

    The following table highlights the relationship between gas released during digestion and back pain.

    Gas Released During Digestion Facts
    Fermentation of undigested carbs by bacteria Saccharolytic Bacteria in the colon ferments undigested carbohydrates, like fiber, sugars, and starch, producing gas as a byproduct.
    Increase in gas level in the colon The fermentation process increases the level of gas in the colon, causing bloating and discomfort.
    Partial consumption of gas by bacteria The bacteria themselves consume some of the gas produced during fermentation.
    Release of remaining gas The remaining gas not consumed by bacteria is released, leading to the sensation of gas and potentially causing back pain.
    Causes back pain The accumulation of gas in the digestive system may cause distention and pressure, resulting in back pain.
  8. Stress

    Stress may have detrimental effects on the stomach, leading to decreased blood circulation and increased stomach acidity. Such effects may damage the stomach lining and lead to ulcer formation, ultimately causing back pain.

    Consistently elevated stress levels may delay the digestive processes, leading to trapped gas, indigestion, and worsened IBS flare-ups. These effects may disrupt normal digestive functioning and potentially lead to gas-induced back pain.

    Excessive stress may cause muscle stiffness, an increased sensitivity to pain, and inflammation. Such effects may increase the likelihood of lower back pain three-fold in people with severe stress levels than those with minimal stress.

  9. Back Injuries

    Back injuries might lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, including gas, abdominal pain, cramps, or difficulty controlling bowel movements.

    Injuries to the back, like herniated discs or spinal cord injuries, may compress the nerves in the spinal cord.

    The compression may disrupt normal nerve functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, giving rise to digestive distress symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, or gas.

    Back injuries might cause muscle spasms in the surrounding muscles. These spasms may affect the muscles involved in digestion, such as the abdominal muscles. Such effects may lead to symptoms like cramps and difficulty passing stools.

How To Treat Common Back Pain?

Applying warm or cold compresses over the pain-stricken area(s) may reduce inflammation and provide comfort.

Prescription medications like COX-2 inhibitors and opioids may be used under careful supervision. OTC options include acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.

Additional therapies like traction, nerve blocks, acupuncture, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) could also be considered.

Behavioral options like biofeedback, meditation, distraction, or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might provide relief for some people.

Resuming regular activity is essential, as bed rest could aggravate back pain. Physical therapy may strengthen core muscles, improve back support, and enhance mobility.

Surgery is usually a last resort and should only be considered after other treatments have failed. Note that surgeries may not always be successful and might result in reduced flexibility.

Home Remedies To Treat Gastritis Pain

You may consider employing specific home remedies that could help relieve back pain and bloating associated with gastritis pain.

  • Taking anti-gas medication: Over-the-counter medications such as simethicone could help relieve gas and bloating, promoting comfort.
  • Drinking plenty of water: Staying hydrated may support healthy digestive function and prevent constipation, which may contribute to back pain and bloating.
  • Resting: Giving your body time to relax and recover might help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation associated with gastritis pain.
  • Deep breathing: Practicing deep breathing exercises could help relax the tense muscles and relieve muscle stress in the abdomen and back.
  • Taking pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help temporarily reduce back pain associated with gastritis.

Treatment For Gastritis Pain Through Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy techniques might alleviate gastritis pain by promoting blood circulation, improving the functioning of secretory glands, and aiding the regeneration of the stomach lining.

It implements breathing exercises, stretching, and low-impact exercises that could help enhance blood circulation to the aching areas. Such a mechanism may help reduce inflammation, improving the healing process of the stomach lining and reducing gastritis pain.

Physiotherapists could stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and gastric juices by targeting specific exercises and movements. Such effects may aid in the breakdown of food and reduce signs of gastritis, such as bloating and abdominal discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Gas Cause Back Pain in Specific Areas of the Back?
    Excessive gas buildup in the intestines may cause back pain in specific back areas. Severe gas accumulation may lead to intense pain across the abdomen, radiating to the upper or lower back, even under the shoulder blades.
  2. Is There a Connection Between Gastritis-Related Back Pain and Digestive Issues?
    Yes, there might be a connection between gastritis-related back pain and digestive issues like heartburn or acid reflux. Gastritis could simultaneously cause stomach and back pain, and eating may trigger abdominal discomfort, leading to back pain.
  3. Can Back Pain Be a Symptom of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) or Hormonal Changes?
    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infections may cause some people to experience pain in the sides of the torso or below the ribs. If left unattended, UTI might spread to one or both kidneys, resulting in kidney and back pain.
  4. What Are Some Self-Care Options for Relieving Gas Pain and Discomfort in the Back?
    Some self-care options for relieving gas pain and discomfort in the back include warm or cold compresses, improving posture, and taking adequate rest. Increasing fiber intake could also help avoid constipation and excess gas buildup in the intestines.
    Consult a doctor for severe or recurrent episodes of back pain and get appropriate medical treatment in such instances.

Conclusion

Excessive gas buildup in the body might lead to gastritis and back pain with debilitating signs of digestive distress like abdominal bloating, nausea, or a burning sensation. However, identifying the causes of back pain by consulting a doctor may help manage it effectively.

Applying heat or cold packs to the pain-stricken areas, using OTC medications, getting physiotherapy, and taking doctor-prescribed medications could help tackle gastritis-related back pain.

Improving your posture, doing core strengthening exercises, gently massaging the painful areas, and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet could help reduce and prevent back pain.

Disclaimer
  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before using the product.

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