back pain

How Are Stomach and Back Pain Related?

Anyone who has experienced gas and bloating knows that sometimes stomach and back pain go together. Two other digestive problems that can lead to back pain, though they are not as commonly discussed, are constipation and ICV dysfunction.


Constipation occurs when stool evacuates the body too slowly. A number of things can cause constipation, poor diet and dehydration being among the most common.

Stool that cannot leave the colon, or large intestine, becomes compacted and dense. The longer it remains, the harder it becomes. The colon runs in close proximity to the muscles of the lower back. When inflammation and pain is present in the colon, it can easily radiate to the muscles of the lower back.

Another reason constipation and back pain may coexist is the tendency to strain while trying to eliminate waste. Pushing too hard can harm your back muscles just as lifting something too heavy can.

ICV Dysfunction

The ileocecal valve (ICV) is located where the small intestine meets the large intestine. When in the small intestine, nutrients are extracted from the food we eat into the blood stream. Once their nutrients have been expended, the ICV opens to allow the contents through to the large intestine, where water is extracted from them before being eliminated from the body.

Two things can go wrong with the ICV; it can become stuck open or closed. This dysfunction can occur due to dietary problems or a neurological problem affecting the nerves that control the ICV. If the valve is stuck closed, then prolonged and recurrent constipation can occur. If the valve is open, waste that has entered the large intestine can travel back into the small intestine. In both of these situations, the stool is broken down further the longer it remains in the body. Once nutrients have been absorbed, the contents decay. Toxicity is a great concern for people with ICV dysfunction and prolonged constipation, since toxins are not evacuated from the body normally through bowel movements.

When toxins infiltrate the body, a host of symptoms arise, including indigestion, joint pain, muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, allergic reactions, faintness, nausea and headaches.

Constipation and back pain can be relieved by altering your diet to encourage bowel movements; this generally involves consuming more fiber, fresh fruits, vegetables and water. Abdominal massage can also be used to encourage the flow of stool through the colon. Watch the video at for instructions on administering a safe and effective self-massage.

ICV repair generally entails diet alterations. Also, the spinal nerves that control the valve’s activity must be assessed as a possible cause of dysfunction. Once the valve’s normal operation is restored and toxins have been flushed from the body, back pain will subside.

The body is an intricate system whose parts affect one another; for this reason, a healthy digestive system is a necessary component of back pain management. Back pain felt in conjunction with stomach pain may not be a coincidence. Make sure you take note of all your symptoms and consider the possibility that they are related.

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