Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back pain and gas

I have seen so many people in the emergency room looking for relief from back pain until it is absolutely amazing; the sad thing about it is many folks don't sit down and make associations between symptoms and possibly associated causes such as the foods they are eating.  They put the solution right in the lap of the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctors treat the patient with anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, robaxin, etc.  which may provide some short term relief but, overall, are really harmful to the digestive tract.  Instead of helping themselves, most people eventually find that they have created another problem.  I know myself, I suffer from gas.

What are some of the causes of such painful gas buildup?  There are many. Poor food combinations and lifestyle are among the reasons, others are due to the the very medications aimed at improving the situation.

diagram of a human digestive systemImage via Wikipedia
This article will examine the causes of gas related back pain and what the sufferer can do himself to alleviate the discomfort.

What is flatulence or gas?

Flatulence or gas is the byproduct of digestion in humans and other mammals (endogenous causes).  It consists of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen and methane (which in significant enough quantities, can be ignited by the way).  The unpleasant smell is due to sulfur containing compounds.  Gas can be expelled from the anus, or the rectum. (

Certain foods are known to be producers of gas such as beans, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, bananas, garlic, onions, nuts and dairy products.  Also, in some cases gas is caused by swallowing of air (exogenous source); or, by the incomplete digestion of foods.  For example, poor mastication of meals results in poor digestion. 

What are the symptoms of gas pain?

Symptoms of gas are pain, pressure in the abdomen, excess belching, chest pain, pressure in anus, abdominal distension and back pain.  And, to sufferers of back pain,  it is important to eliminate any digestive problems or the consumption of foods that might add to the pressure and bloating in the abdomen which will affect the back, spine and other supportive structures in the lower body resulting in increased back discomfort.

How is gas pain related to back pain?

If you think about it this really makes sense.  As mentioned before, build up of gas in the intestines causes build up pressure against these organs pushing them into the spine and related muscles.  This also stretches muscles.  If you are receiving treatment for back pain, this will prove counter-productive.("Back pain and gas"  Further, if the colon is backed up with waste material that eventually becomes hard and impacted,  you will have a situation that will compound back pain and now potentially cause serious digestive issues along with build up of toxins in the body which will affect overall health.  And, with the addition of the anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, alleve and other medications, you are contributing to serious digestive system problems - such as increased likelihood of GI bleeding and ulcer formation.

What can you do?

Drink lots of water to prevent constipation and to stimulate the process of peristalsis which are the powerful contractions in the colon that expel stool and flatulence. 

Exercise is important to help supportive structures in the abdomen, pelvis and back.

Avoid overly processed foods which are gas builders.  Notice the foods that you consume and your symptoms and eliminate the suspect foods.

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