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Old 29th August 2011, 07:21 PM
sapahesi sapahesi is offline
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Default Linked to bowel problems?

Sorry if this is a bit TMI *blushes*

I was diagnosed with a slight curve of the spine earlier this year. I tend to get a pinching sort of pain in my hip, and a dull ache across my lower back, which has got worse over the last few months. I've been having physio, which has helped a bit with the pain, but by the time I go back for the next session I've stiffened up again.

I've also noticed over the last few months that my bowel movements are, shall we say, a little "loose". I do have intolerances to wheat and yeast, which I've cut from my diet, but lately I've noticed I feel very bloated after most meals regardless of what I eat. The physio did say last week that there could be a connection between by back problems and my bowel, but she wasn't specifically trained so couldn't really advise. I do find that my bowel symptoms are worse if my back is giving my gip.

Having researched this myself, some websites do agree there could be a link, but really I don't know if I'm clutching at straws. My GP has referred me to a gastroentorologist but I've not an an appt through yet.

Anyone got any thoughts or been in a similar situation? Any advice??
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Old 29th August 2011, 08:51 PM
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GillyG GillyG is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

Well, I can only speak from my own experience, but prior to surgery in 2006 I had terrible problems with constipation (with intermittent periods of looseness ) and bloating which resolved completely post-op. I have recently encountered similar problems since I'm 'crunched' in the middle and have been taking high doses of opioid pain killers following the breakage of my rods and actually ended up in hospital very recently with a perforated bowel, so I think it's very important to keep a close watch on bowel movements now I take Lactulose daily to keep things 'soft' and occasionally a Movicol sachet if I miss a day going to the loo!
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Old 29th August 2011, 10:24 PM
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Cassie Cassie is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

My experience is very similar to Gilly's. I think the combination of opiod pain killers, being a bit squished in that area and not being able to do much exercise isn't great for bowels! I also take Lactalose and the odd Movicol.

I went to see a Gastroentorologist Consultant last year as I was a bit worried as it seemed to get worse, so had lots of investigations and an IBS diagnosis - I have a check up later this year. But I think IBS isn't helped by stress and pain is stressful so it all sort of combines.

I'll stop rambling on there as I'm not sure if that's even helpful! Hopefully there will be some more replies that make a bit more sense! xx
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Old 30th August 2011, 12:53 PM
sapahesi sapahesi is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

No that makes complete sense! Thank you for your replies - my back is nowhere near as bad as yours, Gilly and Cassie, but my bowel movements are definitely affected when my back is sore. I just needed to know I'm not imagining things!
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Old 31st August 2011, 11:39 AM
ellen124 ellen124 is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

Hi

I have similar issue with my bowel movements and never thought to put them together with my back problems. I too alternate from loose to constipated.....

I saw a gastroentrologist and he said it was IBS as well. But there might be a connection just never really thought about.

Ellen
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Old 31st August 2011, 02:11 PM
Astra_Sam Astra_Sam is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

I have found that as my problems with my back have progressed so have problems with my bowels...im squashed to one side, infact over the past 2 months ive had a large bulge appear over my left hip and i have found it to be incredibly tender and when i get toileting problems its even more incomfortable and sore. I imagine that bulge must be my bowel being pushed out of its natural space and being restricted. Aside from this it seems my ribs on my right side are now not far from touching my right hip / pelvis aswell so things are certainly progressing but im in no mans land at the moment waiting for another follow up appointment.

Sam, xx
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Old 2nd September 2011, 02:57 AM
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Mustang Sal Mustang Sal is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra_Sam View Post
I have found that as my problems with my back have progressed so have problems with my bowels...im squashed to one side, infact over the past 2 months ive had a large bulge appear over my left hip and i have found it to be incredibly tender and when i get toileting problems its even more incomfortable and sore. I imagine that bulge must be my bowel being pushed out of its natural space and being restricted. Aside from this it seems my ribs on my right side are now not far from touching my right hip / pelvis aswell so things are certainly progressing but im in no mans land at the moment waiting for another follow up appointment.

Sam, xx
About that bulge Sam, have you been checked over by a doctor to make sure it's not a hernia? It sounds uncomfortable whatever it is.

As for the link between scoliosis and bowel problems, if you have a lumbar scoliosis and are 'crunched up' in the middle, it's seems obvious to me that this could cause or at least exacerbate constipation, because the intestines just have less room to do their job. I have a lot bowel problems, most of which can probably be attributed to nerve damage, but i'm sure the fact that I have such a shortened torso because of the vertebral abnormalities and scoliosis (my ribs are virtually on my pelvis - I have no waist at all) doesn't help things either.
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I'm Sally, 31, and I have congenital kyphoscoliosis in association with Spina Bifida, Diastematomyelia and tethered cord. Surgery to detether spinal cord and remove bone spur at Addenbrooke's in 1984 aged 3. Developed 'pes cavus' and weakness in legs, various foot surgeries between '92 and '94. Decompression of spinal cord, hemivertebrectomy and fusion L2-L4 with instrumentation by Mr Crawford and Mr Laing (neurosurgeon) in 1998 aged 17. Had two stage anterior-posterior T10 to pelvis fusion surgery on 27th February 2012 at NNUH by Mr Crawford and Mr Lutchman. Fused well but now curving over top of fusion, so facing fusion extension up to T1. Trying a brace first in order to put off surgery til next year
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Old 2nd September 2011, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

Yes, I would second Sally on getting this checked as it certainly sounds like one - or at the least, a weakened area of the abdominal wall that threatens one even if there is not a complete herniation yet.

I would also agree about a link simply on grounds of being squashed. I know certainly my function improved within less than 3 weeks of my revision surgery - basically as soon as I managed to actually start going again, it all worked a lot better than it had done previously and my "IBS" didn't trouble me for several years afterward. Of course, one of the problems that we tend to have is that when scoliosis progresses to the point of serious squishing, then as an adult that tends to lead to both pain, and painkillers. Restricted activity levels mean the bowels don't work so well, and often painkillers are constipating as well, so it's probably not too surprising that things don't work so well for some of us
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:41 PM
sapahesi sapahesi is offline
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Default Re: Linked to bowel problems?

Thanks again for the further replies. I am still waiting for appt to see the gastro specialist. I've been keeping a food/poo diary and the upshot of it all is that it makes no difference what I eat, really!

I have a feeling that the gastro won't be able to do much If I'm right and my bowel problems ARE being caused by by spine, he'll just refer me elsewhere. And my spine is nowhere near bad enough to warrant surgery or other intervention at the moment, the curve is pretty slight compared to what I have seen and read about on here. I can still walk and drive and do all the regular things, just with some discomfort, some days worse than others.

*sigh*
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