Back Pain from Abdominal Swelling & Gas

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

abdominal swellingEveryone has experienced some form of abdominal swelling or gas in their lives. Depending on its cause, excess gas and swelling can result in back pain. Typically it’s no cause for alarm, but sometimes it may be indicative of a serious underlying condition. With that in mind, this article will focus on back pain due to gas. We will talk about when and why spine surgery can cause gastrointestinal issues, and what to do about it.

Back Pain & Gas

Gas and abdominal bloating can be caused by a number of different factors. Certain foods, for example, can cause excess air or gas to fill up in the abdomen. This can result in uncomfortable stomach pain that may radiate to the low back.

Other conditions can also cause back pain and gas. These can include any of the following:

Post-op Gas

Gas can also be a common after-effect of spine surgery, particularly following any procedure that requires an anterior approach (through the abdomen). Even in minimally invasive anterior procedures, disrupting the internal organs can cause some gastrointestinal issues. Patients may experience constipation and bloating for up to a few days following surgery. This can be quite painful and exacerbate the recovery pain. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about this possibility and how to deal with it before your surgical procedure.

When to Call your Doctor

Most back pain from gas and abdominal swelling is harmless, and can be traced back to a patient’s diet. This type of pain will typically resolve on its own given a few hours or days. However, there are other causes that could indicate a serious issue. If you are experiencing painful gas or abdominal bloating after a surgical procedure, you may need additional treatment. Contact your physician if you find yourself in this situation.

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