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Back pain and IBS

I've recently been diagnosed with IBS after a bad bout of what I thought was trapped wind. The symptoms listed in various articles seem to bear this diagnosis out. However, nothing much is said about back pain. My IBS spasms start with bad back pain which then spreads round the right side to the front (I think it's called the epigastrium).

It mainly starts in the evenings and can end as abruptly as it starts for no apparent reason, leaving me feeling pretty tired. Otherwise I go and lie down and it eventually eases off.

Does anyone else get this with IBS?

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  • Jane38

    I've suffered for IBS for 8 years now, i suffer terrible back pain with it. It goes up from the base of my spine around my rib cage to the top of my back & shoulders. Lately the stomach cramps i suffer seem to be getting worse for me, It's basically driving me around the bend. I've also just lost my job due to IBS. I was on and off work. In the end my boss was on to me so much it was stressing me out and i quit. Does any one else have trouble like this?

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  • puppykins

    [quote:b4a77979d7=\"Jane38\"]I've suffered for IBS for 8 years now, i suffer terrible back pain with it. It goes up from the base of my spine around my rib cage to the top of my back & shoulders. Lately the stomach cramps i suffer seem to be getting worse for me, It's basically driving me around the bend. I've also just lost my job due to IBS. I was on and off work. In the end my boss was on to me so much it was stressing me out and i quit. Does any one else have trouble like this?[/quote:b4a77979d7]

    I suffer terrible pain around my back on a daily basis. I know the pain originates in my gut cause whenever I pass wind the pain eases off for a bit. It seems to come from deep inside, but always around the back for some reason. It's so bad I feel like ending it all some days. sad

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  • Guest

    I have suffered from IBS for about 10 years and I think that I've finally cracked it. I had terrible backache also, it would come at those times of year when there was nothing to do. It got so bad at times that I could not even walk. After my last bout I was adamant that I would finally beat it. I firstly gave up all alcohol, I started drinking Dandelion coffee instead of regular coffee and I started taking the probiotic Acidophilus. I felt queazy for 2 days, I'm told because of the battle that was going on in my stomach. After that I feel brilliant and I've just 'survived' shredded wheat breakfast cereal and can drink milk, eat chocolate ... with no symptoms. My energy has returned, I no longer need to sleep in the afternoon. I don't no what else to say ... it's really changed my life.

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    • lisa33471 Guest

      Hi I was just wondering whether your symptoms are still improving. I've felt awful this wkd sad I am waiting to have a laparoscopy as possible endometriosis suspected. I have read that this can cause IBS symptoms but the procedure needs doing anyway. In the meantime was given movicol and dioctyl. After taking them only a cpl days I had worse tum pain an horrible stitch pain down sides along with diarrhoea. Feel awful. Do u have any suggestions to help this and what is the best pain relief rolleyes

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    • Rei Guest

      Hi, my fiancé is suffering from IBS and it seems that his symptoms are getting worse. I have read many collums and healthy-eating website to see what I can do to make his condition better but it seems that these sources are contradicting in what IBS people can eat and not eat. He told me that the symptoms and what you can eat differ depends on the person. But It would be nice if you could share how you have managed to erase the pain, what you mainly ate etc with me. As I am Japanese, I am cooking a lot of Japanese food which are known to be somewhat wheat free and he is enjoying the Japanese porridge and stuff. What can I do more to help him get better? Thank you.

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    • tanya93560 Rei

      I too suffer quite bad and have found wheat free bread and pasta helps. Also eating small portions at meal times. Taking two senna tablets at night and occasionally having a fibregel sachet after a meal. The biggest help of all is exercises espec after food as helps the intestines along..hope this is helpful

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  • yeldham27

    Pleased to read your post. I haven't actually been diagnosed with IBS but I KNOW I have it. I have persistant wind, pain and cramps and generally the worst time for me is in the evening after my evening meal. On sitting down to watch TV afterwards I then begin to feel quite unwell, but this feeling only seems to last from 45 mins to an hour and then I feel quite OK again. That is unless I drink tea or eat during the evening without taking a Mebeverine tablet beforehand (they do help but are not the answer). You may say I should take a walk after eating, but this is not always convenient and I am a lady of mature years. Hope you find some answers (which you won't do from my post as I am just as puzzled as you as to what is going on!).

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  • Han28

    [quote:a0cdda8db4=\"hazel28\"]I've recently been diagnosed with IBS after a bad bout of what I thought was trapped wind. The symptoms listed in various articles seem to bear this diagnosis out. However, nothing much is said about back pain. My IBS spasms start with bad back pain which then spreads round the right side to the front (I think it's called the epigastrium).

    It mainly starts in the evenings and can end as abruptly as it starts for no apparent reason, leaving me feeling pretty tired. Otherwise I go and lie down and it eventually eases off.

    Does anyone else get this with IBS?[/quote:a0cdda8db4]

    I have suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for about 5 years. I have recently started to experience back pain, at times exactly how you described it.

    I don't experience it too often at the moment, it is a mystery though as it seems to come and go with no apparent rhyme or reason!

    I do notice that when I am particularly tired it seems to rear it's ugly head!

    So when I do get it I just lie down and have a nap, and it does eventually seem to ease off.

    I did not realise that back pain was also a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as I have only just started suffering with it.

    Not many people seem to mention back pain on this forum site.

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  • Gill Mack

    I have suffered with IBS for most of my life. I have all sorts of pain with it - mainly left side. Sometimes it's so severe, I can only equate it to labour pain. This is relieved by going to the loo (eventually!). I also suffer with back pain - it's terrible right now and I am at my wits' end most days. My back pain is around my tail bone and even spreads to my legs.

    Sadly, IBS is one of those conditions that people in general just don't understand. Many of my friends think I am a hypocondriac most of the time.

    I avoid wheat and high saturated fat content - also alcohol, artificial sweetners and colours. My diet is boring and limited!!

    It's a very worrying, draining condition and I sympathise with all of you.

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    • rosemary72038 Gill Mack

      Ok the is the first time I've heard of someone else, other than myself, that has pain that radiates all the way down the legs.  I'm having it right now.  I had to stay home from work on Wednesday because the pain was driving me crazy.  I used a pain medication that knocked me out all day and the next day I felt somewhat better.  But today the pain it back.  With diarrhea, several bouts before it subsites, then the dull pain sets in.  it runs from my lower abdomen through my rectum and down my legs.  After the diarrhea, I have a lot of flatulence, with loud grumbling noise in my stomach that are quite embarrassing if I'm around people at the time.  There is really no rime or reason as to what I eat, but I do notice that stress makes the onset of it.  I'm using Lotronex but if I take it the way the Dr prescribes it, it makes me constipated, so I try to take one table every other day.  I may go back and see if there is another medicatio that might work better for me. Going to try the probiotics again and try the Candadi diet as well.  As I suffer from yeast infections that just make matters worse.  I've had this from many years now, since I was in my late twenties and I'm getting so tired of it.  I always have to make sure I knwo where the bathroom facilities are anytime I go anywhere.  My sister also told me that sits baths will help with epsom salts.  Someone om here mentioned peppermint oil as well and I'm going to run out today and find some, or the peppermint tea.  i'm at my wits end.

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    • josh06233 rosemary72038

      Hello.I have many of the same symptoms.i been having more rectum pain as well.i think it does aggravate our back and legs seeing as how our nerves are all connected down is awful as you all starts with our gi is fact that an unnormal bowel can cause all sorts of problems.its not out is real!! We have a tuff road ahead of us.knowing that I'm not alone reliefs some of my depression.wich is another battle.bless you.the best of luck to you.

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  • contractlady

    Hi there

    I was recently diagnosed with IBS, when I went on line to look up symptoms for it there was no mention of back pain and I get real bad, lower back and in between my shoulder blades, it's a dull knaring ache lower back and a stinging draining ache in my shoulder area if that makes any sense, thats why ive been thinking that the doctor has got it wrong, it's nice to know if you know what I mean that back pain is part of IBS.

    The thought of IBS for the rest of my life doesnt bare thinking about im sure you all agree to that point anway.....

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    • Reetah contractlady

      Hi Contractlady,

      I know yr message was over a year ago, but I just wanted to say that my symptoms are exactly the same as yours. With the burning ache in the shoulder area and the low pain.

      Can you tell me did you ever get over your problems? Jennyfwr

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  • purple peril

    oh my god!! ive just read this and now have an explanation!! I suffer terrible lower back pain on and off in the evenings mainly, I was thinking it was down to a back injury i had last year but i think my ibs is probably aggrevating this i also get a dull ache inbetween my shoulder blades, i feel a bit better now that i may have a reason behind this :D

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    • lisa33471 purple peril

      I also have the back pain. But the stitch pain down sides is horrible also sad I also feel breathless at times which I haven't read much of but again could b anxiety as IBS causes that too. I feel tired at times mainly I. The evening. Why does IBS make u feel tired. It's difficult to know what to eat to as in how much and exactly what fibre do u need? As previously mentioned the movicol and Dioryct tabs dnt seem to suit me. I'm so fed up with it all sad 

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  • zebedee

    im glad to have read these comments....i definatly think im suffering with ibs, i also get unbelievable pain in my right flank area most nights, more so painfull a week before i get my period?? that relieves when i lay down with a hot water bottle on the painfull area, or if i pass wind, or go to the toilet, the pain comes in waves, that i can only describe as feeling like labour pains, 3 times so far, the pain has gone into my right flank area, and was constant, not in waves any more, i got rushed into hospital with suspected kidney stones and pumped full of morphine to stop the pain, and sent home with no diagnosis, and after numerous tests, scans and x-rays, they cannot find anything wrong with me, i hear ibs is hard for a doctor to diagnose?? im back in hospital this wednesday, i have taken notes form this forum, and will be telling him, i seriously think i have ibs.......

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    • deepti kharband zebedee

      Hi Zebedee, i know you posted this last year.. but i was searching for symptoms similar to mine.. have you been diagnosed with IBS finally? did the doctors also test you for Ovarian cancer. Please let me know how you are and what you did to releive symptoms. 

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    • sharon93679 deepti kharband


      I have only been diagnosed with IBS a few months ago and i did not know back pain was part of the problem.

      I have had a really dull ache in my lower back for over  a week now and a bloated abdomen. Looking on this site i realize the back pain its quite common

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    • sswanson923 zebedee

      Hello zebedee, I have been having several of the same symptoms as you and am also worried about ovarian cancer from these symptoms and other symptoms I've also been experiencing . I was wondering if you have figured out what you are experiencing ? Thank you 🙂.

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  • hazel28

    My pain seems to be moving round my body during the current bout. It's covered the lower back/pelvis area, my RH side, the upper back/shoulder blades, and epigastrium with trapped wind feeling. Have also been finding that lying down in bed triggers the need to open bowels, which is a new one for me.

    On this occasion I'm blaming gardening. Have been doing an awful lot of it recently, with much bending and stretching which seems to put pressure on and irritate the bowel. Also think I aggravated it by stretching & weight exercises at the gym. Last week I was able to rest up a lot and it went off but as soon as I went back to the exercise class, back it came.

    Being anxious about it makes it worse too.

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  • ice-cream-sarnie


    I suffered from IBS for last 12 years.

    My problems started around 6 months after of getting food poisoning but this was also a very stressful period in my life, so the exact cause is not known.

    Trust me, diet changes are rarely the answer for curing IBS. Eating little but more often is best as the bowel seems to get more distressed when eating more volume of food. Of course a better diet will make you generally feel good over time and eating less processed foods is best anyway.

    I can eat a curry and be fine or just a glass of water will set it off. However, some foods may trigger it more often when in a period of IBS and if you notice one in partiular then avoid. If anything boiled potatoes are less reactive. Often it rarely is one food type. When the stomach feels fine you can eat anything and it will not trigger it.

    It is a mystery illness that seems to be triggered for no apparent reason.

    I believe its basis is in stress related or psychological changes. Some chemicals in the brain related to mood, Seratonin are also present in the gut to regulate function. The spasms or cramps are due to the muscles in the gut not working properly. But the direct cause is not known by the medical profession.

    Anxiety, stress or worry will make it worse.

    Pain symptons start with cramps in stomach, bloating and enlarged abdomen. You may feel pain, ache and tenderness in the lumber or upper back region. In fact both front and rear of the trunk feels affected by IBS but generally go when the IBS is subdued. You may have problems disgesting food with wind at both ends. Passing wind and emptying the bowels seems to help with cramps. I also notice my saliva is very frothy. Faeces are with muscus and not well formed. You can feel tired and fatigued during bouts.

    All of these symptons disappear when IBS is subdued.

    Sometimes excercise will also bring on the onset of IBS.

    Dont eat much when you have bad IBS. It only triggers the worse symptoms and you lose the nutition through diarrhea. Only problem I have I that I eat only once a day now through habit and have lost weight but feel tired a lot. Psycologically I have no confidence in eating much food.

    I have found Meberevine 135mg or trade name Colofac will subside the bloating and cramps and most associated trunk pain. This works very very well! However, you are never far away from the next bout.

    Eating less but more often helps and more than likely you can monitor your own triggers and adjust accordingly. It just very worrying when you dont know what it is.....and the doctors piss about diagnosing it. They are USELESS!

    **I have been still taking mebrevine but for the last 6 months & IBS free apart from one bout. I have been carefree, going out drinking, eating fast food, staying out late and been fine. So my guess its more stress than anything.

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    • LIVERLAD ice-cream-sarnie

      I don't know if you check your post but if you are reading this thank you for being so thorough you really have gone into detail and covered several of my symptoms that I was looking to confirm were it's symtoms.

      I am getting severe right back pain that radiates through to my abdomen and bloating. Occasionally aching all over my abdomen and then a boutique of severe tiredness.

      My doctor says it's doesn't cause back pain but so many people on here have said it does!! I have had ultrasound scans cat scans liver and kidney blood tests stool sample tests for inflammation and blood tests for inflammation hepatitis and vitamin D deficiency and I was low on vit d which was sorted but the pains got worse. No I have had all the blood tests again and I am booked in for an MRI scan doctors thinking I may have arthritis of the spine.

      They said if this shows up no problems like all the other tests then I will have to learn to live with the pain by going to a pain psycologist but I won't as I want to know what the pain is not just live with it.

      After reading your post I am now 99% certain it's IBS and maybe this will make me less stressed about symtoms and therefore ease the IBS

      Thanks again

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  • ice-cream-sarnie

    If IBS has some physiological basis then I cannot see acupuncture working. It needs a medical cure or treatment. However it is so widespread but no single identifying cause is attributed to it.

    I have tried all the fibre bulking agents, linseeds and general advice..........and staying up late, sedentry life and drinking has seemed to help! I had a huge fried chinese meal the other week and not a problem for weeks. Work that out? maybe it is neurologically linked between stress hormones. Flight or flight syndrome possibly?

    So if it is based on that then any treatment, alernative remedies, maybe yoga or accupuncture or whatever that convinces the mind all is restful then why not.

    People are looking for a one fix solution without knowing what causes it. All I know is mebrevine relieves the symptoms very well.

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  • RJ92

    yeh I was initially put on mebeverine and it helped for a while then my symptoms worsened again so i'm now on colpermin peppermint oil capsules but again although they worked initially I seem to be getting worse again so I was wondering if all me worrying about what i'm eating and how it will make me feel could be causing some symptoms ... it's all so complicated but i'm finding it hard to go out and do much at the moment only recently I had to leave a meal with the girls as I got bad cramps after eating and had to go to the loo sad

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  • ice-cream-sarnie

    Yup they started me on colpermin too, didnt do a thing...except make the loo smell nice!

    Watch colpermin, make sure it swallowed and not crunched that peppermint oil is quite strong outside of the gut. Try both maybe?

    Of course a stressful worry of "will my ibs effect my evening out" is a worry.....and that adds to the anxiety. The cramps are painful and debilitating I know.

    Just eating less and try to relax, take the meds and hope.

    Dont expect a fix on the nhs as the docs are only worried about the £160,000 lump sum and £60k a year pension.....i feel sorry for them having to deal with the dreggs like me.

    I complained about the attitude of my doctor for accepting it so long without investigation........ I said I expect my condition to be taken seriously and if not I will complain. She replied "Complain, I dont really care. Do it." I find this totally unprofessional. If a person responsible for my health has this manner, I do not feel I am being adequately given due care.

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  • RJ92

    That's definitely not on! I'm thinking about changing my doctor too as i don't feel he is taking me seriously!

    Thank you for the advice it's good to know i'm not the only one feeling like this i've been so emotional with all this at the moment i'm running out of people to cry on haha I'll try both tablets and making sure these ones are intact smile thank you xx

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  • ice-cream-sarnie

    Oh loads suffer in silence from it but some peoples stomachs are more sensitive to it so obviously want a satisfactory solution. You arent alone but thats no help at 2am sitting on the loo in pain.

    Personally I think its anxiety attack for the stomach hence they cannot prove it. Some antidepressants relieve I think I am on the right track.

    Or all these chemicals on/in the food are having a reaction with the immune system in certain prone to it.

    Plus I am ugly, so that makes me feel even worse...Bwhahaha lol

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  • RJ92

    Yeh I really feel that there is something behind trying not to worry about it ... if only it was so easy! haha

    I've heard antidepressants could help may try asking my doctor (or a new doctor)

    And really considering acupuncture too which I feel could work if I believe it will haha positive thinking smile

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  • clareash73

    hi there, im starting to wonder if i have ibs, i thought i was suffering from a stomach bug but after a week of it im starting to think its not it doesn't occur everyday so that was another reason i didnt think it was a bug the symptoms are like a severe stitch like feeling in my left side then feels like its burning the pain then shifts to the middle giving me terrible heart burn then i have a bout of diahorea which admittedly feels better but then left with a dull ache in my lower back it also seems to ease off if i lie down but when i get up and walk about i can feel the pain comming back, i often feel like i have trapped wind i will be going to the doctors next week but thought i'd ask to see if anyone could ive me some advice on what it could be i have had to cut back on coffee and coca cola as the symptoms are much worse after drinking these drinks

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