If your stomach hurts or feels bloated, and you have lower back pain, it may mean that your abdomen is filled with air or gas. But various other conditions can also cause these symptoms together.
The back acts as a support and stabilizing system for your body. It’s vulnerable to injury and strain, so it’s not uncommon to feel back pain along with abdominal bloating or pain.
The pain can vary in severity and type, from sharp and stabbing, to dull and aching. How it feels depends on the underlying cause.
Read on for a list of causes of abdominal pain or bloating with back pain.
The cause of your abdominal bloating and back pain may depend on which symptom came first.
There are various conditions that can cause all of these symptoms. They include:
Conditions of the reproductive system
- Menstruation:When the uterus sheds its lining once a month, it’s common to feel some pain, cramping, and discomfort. Period cramps may also be felt in your lower back.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): This a condition affecting a cisgender female’s emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the menstrual cycle. The symptoms can include lower back pain and abdominal pain or bloating.
- Endometriosis: You can experience endometriosis pain in your abdominal area or your back, and sometimes in both simultaneously.
- Pregnancy: You can experience both abdominal cramps and back pain during pregnancy. The cramps can feel like menstrual cramps, but if they are stronger and more regular, you could be in labor. You can also experience constipation, which may contribute to bloating. Back pain usually develops from the growing weight of the fetus and your changing center of gravity.
- Ovarian cysts: Sometimes, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst will develop on one of the ovaries. These can cause pain in the lower back, as well as abdominal bloating.
- Ectopic pregnancy:This happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix instead of the uterus. You can experience sharp abdominal pain and pain in your lower back. This is a medical emergency.
- Ovarian cancer: This can occur in several different parts of the ovary and can cause both abdominal pain and bloating, as well as back pain.
- Prostate cancer: This can cause lower abdominal pain from obstruction, as well as low back pain if the blockage reaches up to the kidneys, which can lead to hydronephrosis and infection. Back pain can also occur if there is bone metastasis.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is an intestinal condition that
can causebloating, abdominal pain, and lower back pain in some cases.
- Kidney stones: These usually originate in your kidneys but can develop anywhere along your urinary tract. You
can developpain on one side of your back or abdomen.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI):UTIs can occur in cisgender males and females and can affect any part of the urinary tract. They can cause pain in the upper back, as well as pain in your pelvic area.
- Celiac disease: This is a digestive disorder caused by an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. It can cause intestinal symptoms that contribute to bloating and abdominal pain. You can also experience back pain.
- Fibromyalgia: This chronic syndrome is associated with widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and general fatigue. This can include both abdominal pain and back pain.
- Polio:This a contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Polio itself
can causeabdominal pain. You can get back pain if you develop post-polio syndrome (PPS).
- Ascites: This leads to fluid buildup in the abdomen, which can cause pain and bloating. It can also cause back pain.
- Bowel obstruction or perforation: Both of these conditions primarily cause abdominal pain, but they can
also causeback pain.
- Cirrhosis:This is a liver disease that
can causeboth abdominal pain and back pain.
- Appendicitis: This is an emergency condition that typically results in surgery to remove your appendix. The symptoms include acute abdominal pain, which can also radiate to the lower back.
Seek immediate medical attention if:
- you’re pregnant
- your abdominal bloating and back pain are acute or more intense than before
- over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications or heat or ice packs don’t provide relief
- bloating and pain impact daily functioning
You should also seek immediate attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- blood in your stool
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- loss of consciousness
- uncontrolled vomiting
- fever or chills
Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms for more than 24 hours:
- stomach acid reflux
- blood in your urine
- itchy, blistery rash
- painful urination
- increased urinary frequency or urgency
- unexplained fatigue
In most cases, back pain by itself can be treated at home or by your doctor. But if your pain is acute or affecting your mobility, go to the emergency room.
If your abdomen is filled with air or gas, you can experience discomfort in the abdominal area as well as lower back pain.
That said, there are many other possible reasons for these combined symptoms.
Depending on the cause, they may mild or acute. See your doctor if your symptoms are severe, do not improve, or are interfering with your life.