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Dr Chip (M.D.)
Dr Chip (M.D.), Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 32187
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Why does my lower back hurt so badly before I have a bowel

Customer Question

why does my lower back hurt so badly before I have a bowel movement? It progressively gets better with subsequent bowel movements during the day.
Submitted: 7 years ago via HealthBoards.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
How long has this been goin on? No problems on days you don't have a bowel movement? Are you constipated?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
This has been going on since mid April, progressively getting worse and is to the point now that I can barely move in the mornings. It is much worse if I DON'T have a BM (I have daily bowel movements for the most part) and being constipated doesn't seem to intensify the pain since the pain is pretty consistent. I have been constipated from time to time throughout my whole life, but as I get older I have developed a much healthier diet.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
You may have a herniated intervertebral disk in your lumbar spine or spinal stenosis or both. The strain of the bowel movement can put pressure on the disk and cause the pain. I'd suggest you get an MRI of the back to check this. Inflammatory bowel conditions like colitis can also cause back pain, but, usually, there's diarrhea involved with these.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
After researching the definition of spinal stenosis and herniated disk, I do see the correlation to my symptoms, however, I am not understanding why the pain intensifies when I either have gas or need to have a bowel movement, and practically disappears completely after either have been eliminated. There are times during the day that I have absolutely no pain and no restriction in movement and that doesn't seem like it would be the case if I had either of these conditions.
I would like to mentionted that last month I went to the chiropractor, had x-rays done, was diagonsed with scoliosis and was being treated twice a week to try to eliviate the pain. He didn't see any herniation then, did mention some 'compression' on the left side of my lumbar spine, but stated that it was nothing to be too concerned about.
Regarding the actual bowel movement putting strain or pressure on the area, I have to say that as I am eliminating, there is little to no pain and in fact, it is quite a relief.
Colitis symptoms do not fit my symptoms either. Any other ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. TIA
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
Well, as I said abdominal pressure as when having to have or having a BM or with gas, can put extra strain on the disk which would naturally be relieved later. It's a little like standing very erect or arching the back, which does the same thing. You can't see a herniated disk on plain X-Rays--only with an MRI.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ah, I understand. So in your opinion, if either or both spinal conditions are present, what options do I have to eleviate the pain, if any? Also, with this service, are YOU able to fax a request to radiologist in my area for this MRI or do I need to have a local doctor do that? I do not currently have a primary care physician but do have Aetna insurance to cover the MRI.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, I can't order the MRI. With chiropractic help, along with antiinflammatories like ibuprofen, the problem may subside. Not all herniated disks need surgery If the MRI were normal, then I'd suggest a referral to a gastroenterologist for endoscopy, since this may then be a GI problem and not truly a back/spin issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your time and answers. I do have one last question however, regarding this being a GI problem, which I feel may be an issue AS WELL AS possible back issues. In your opinion, would a colonic irrigation or colon cleanse be detrimental or beneficial? I ask this primarily because, as I mentioned, I do not have a PCP for the referral to a gastroenterologist, but can get a colonic or do a colon cleanse without needing a Dr.. Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
No danger with the cleanse, but it won't help a disk problem. Somehow I doubt this is truly GI related, but I can't be sure.
Dr Chip (M.D.) and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Fair enough! I tend to agree with you about this probably NOT being GI related since I have many 'aches and pains' relating to my bones and joints the older I get, and since the scoliosis is already present, it makes sense that these symptoms are also spine/back related. I shall 'accept answer' now and see to obtaining that MRI. Have a good day.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 7 years ago.
OK.