Diverticulitis & Back Pain

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According to Web MD, about 80 percent of Americans experience back pain at some point. It comes in many forms (low, middle or upper pain) and includes many causes. The abdominal pain caused by diverticulitis can radiate to your lower back, thereby causing back pain.

Definitions

  • Diverticulosis is a condition that causes pouches to develop in the colon. Diverticulitis occurs when those pouches become infected, causing problems in the large intestine and the digestive tract.

    Back pain is defined as any type of pain felt in the back. This pain can be dull or achy, sharp, acute or even chronic.

Diverticulitis vs. Back Pain

  • The two are related in that the pain from the diverticulitis can radiate up to your back. According to Relief Back Pain, diverticulitis may cause back pain.

    Furthermore, Relief Back Pain also reaffirms the link between diverticulitis and back pain, saying "most of the problems in the digestive tract may cause back pain sometime or another." When we feel abdominal pain, as with diverticulitis, the pain typically becomes localized in the back.

Symptoms

  • The most common symptoms associated with diverticulitis are abdominal cramping, constipation and diarrhea. Medicine Net lists more serious complications as collection of pus in the pelvis, generalized infection of the abdominal cavity and bleeding in the colon.

Causes

  • Diverticulitis is caused by an inflammation of the pouches that form in the colon wall. According to Web MD, pouches typically form when the "high pressure (in the colon) pushes against weak spots in the colon where blood vessels pass through the muscle layer of the bowel wall to supply blood to the inner wall."

    Other causes of back pain include back strain, strained ligaments, back muscle injury, strained back muscles, back muscle spasm, excessive exertion, excessive lifting, disc disorders and slipped disc. There are several types of back pain, including sciatica, coccydynia (pain in the tailbone), lower back pain, middle back pain and upper back pain.

Treatment

  • Those with mild symptoms of diverticulitis may not need any treatment at all. According to Medicine Net, "a high fiber diet and fiber supplements are advisable to prevent constipation and the formation of more diverticula." Treatment for mild symptoms include anti-spasmodic drugs (to relieve the muscular spasms in the area of the diverticula). These drugs include Librax (chloran diazepoxide), Bentyl (dicyclomine), Donnatal (atropine, phenobarb) and Levsin (hyocyamine).

    Treatment for back pain include resting, aspirin, physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, NSAIDs (an anti-inflammatory agent), steroid injections, analgesics, anti-depressants, ice pack, local heat and hot water bottle.

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References

  • Photo Credit back image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com
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