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Although most people are familiar with abdominal pain caused by gas, gas pains may be felt in the back as well. Among the things that may cause back pain and gas are constipation and diarrhea, an excess of air in the gastrointestinal tract, food allergies and sensitivities, and sometimes even the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In most cases, these symptoms are only temporary in nature. If they linger for a long period of time, however, or the pain is excruciating, a person may want to speak to a medical professional.
Many people who have constipation also get gas. In some cases, however, they develop back pain as well, which will typically fade once the person’s constipation has been relieved. In such a case, the pain often develops in the lower back and can be nearly constant or come and go. In addition, some people also develop back pain when they have diarrhea; as with constipation, it will usually fade once the episode is over.
Sometimes, back pain and gas develop because of excess air in the gastrointestinal tract in the absence of other symptoms. The conditions may occur when a person swallows an excess amount of air, such as when talking a good deal while eating. Some people also develop gas when they chew gum for a long period of time or drink a lot of beverages through straws. In some cases, bacteria in the intestines are at fault; this is particularly true of the colon, which is a section of the large intestine.
Food allergies and sensitivities can also cause gas that leads to back pain. A person who is lactose intolerant, for example, may develop back pain, abdominal pain, gas, and bloating when he consumes dairy products. Some people may also develop these symptoms when they consume too many or certain types of alcoholic beverages. Fortunately, the symptoms they develop in these cases are usually only temporary.
In some cases, back pain and gas can be symptoms of a serious medical condition. Someone who has these symptoms along with an upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea could have a bowel obstruction. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Appendicitis is another example of a condition that can cause gas as well as an upset stomach and sharp pains in the back and abdominal region. Like bowel obstruction, appendicitis requires urgent evaluation and treatment.
Gas pain seems to be a possible problem almost anywhere in the body. My mom frequently experiences pain from gas buildup in her chest, which can be somewhat alarming since it feels like the heart is the source of the pain. Once she figured out what the cause was, she was less alarmed, of course, but it's still a rather atypical place to be experiencing pain from gas.