What to Do if Back Pain Is Making You Nauseous

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 3, 2021

Nausea and Back Pain

Back pain can make life uncomfortable in a number of ways, including making you feel nauseous. But why do certain spinal conditions oftentimes make a person feel nauseous, and what are the best ways to treat your spinal condition and your nausea? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Why Is My Back Pain Making Me Nauseous?

One of the reasons why back pain that is accompanied by nausea can be difficult to treat is because it’s typically not the back condition that is causing the nausea. Instead, there’s an underlying health issue that is leading to the onset of multiple symptoms, which include both back pain and nausea. In other words, it’s rare that a pinched spinal nerve is what’s causing your nausea. That doesn’t mean that a spine specialist won’t be able to help, but we’re not as versed in treating some of the conditions below that cause symptoms of both back pain and nausea. Here’s a look at some conditions that can lead to both symptoms.

  • Pregnancy – Pregnancy involves a lot of bodily changes, especially in your hips and core. These muscle and ligament changes can cause your back to feel quite uncomfortable, while fluctuating hormones can account for the nausea. We shared some tips on this blog on how you can prevent and treat spine pain that develops during pregnancy, and you can talk to your OBGYN about the best treatment options for your nausea.
  • Gastroenteritis – Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the intestines due to the presence of a virus or bacteria. This inflammation can cause stomach cramping that can radiate to your spine. The presence of bacteria or a virus can also cause nausea and the chills. If the condition causes you to vomit, that can also place strain on your spinal muscles and lead to back pain. Eating a simple diet and working to stay hydrated can help you overcome mild causes, but a trip to your doctor or a gastrointestinal specialist may be best if a virus is suspected
  • Gallbladder Disease – If the gallbladder cannot secrete bile as expected when food is being digested, it can lead to nausea and painful symptoms in the upper abdomen and back. Symptoms can be the worst soon after you’ve eaten when the digestion process is in full swing. If you’re dealing with digestive problems caused by a gallbladder issue, it’s in your best interest to sync up with a gastroenterologist to determine a treatment plan.
  • Liver Disease – Similar to gallbladder disease, an issue with your liver can cause back pain, nausea, the chills and a host of other uncomfortable symptoms. These issues could be caused by liver cirrhosis or liver cancer, and again aren’t something a spine specialist would be best at treating. However, working with a gastrointestinal specialist can help treat your liver problem, which in turn should help to control your back pain symptoms.

So if you’re dealing with back pain and nausea at the same time, know that it’s likely not being caused by an issue in your spine. That being said, if you are on medications as part of treatment for a back pain issue, it’s certainly possible that nausea is a side effect of the medication, and in this instance a conversation with your spine specialist about different medications with fewer side effects would be beneficial.

For more information or for help with your spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his talented team today.

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