Referred Pain!

Hi, I have had IBS for over 30 years now, everyday for the last 25 years. It has changed quite a lot over the years. For some years now I have had pain in my legs and toes but over the years the pain seems to have increased in the number of sites in my body. I now have pain everywhere from my toes to the top of my head (in my arms, shoulders, neck, back (mostly on my right side) and also in my face, eyes and ears). All I can think is that it is referred pain depending on where the pressure is pushing in my colon. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Maureen.

17 Replies

  • Hello Maureen,

    Yes this does sound familiar. I had the same thing happen (I have since beaten IBS). In my case it was a nervous reaction that tightened up the nervous and muscles in different parts of my body, like a clenched fist. It looked as if that part was bloated, but it was just clenched (apart from the whole digestive tract, which was bloated).

    If this is happening with you, this is what I found helpful:

    - lightly massaging each part using a carrier oil and a few drops of a relaxing essential oil, like lavender

    - learning to breathe deeply. This article explains why this is so effective:

    - upping your intake of magnesium:

    If you find these effective, then other relaxation techniques outlined on my blog may be of interest to you.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hi Alison,

    Thanks for replying. I came across your breathing techniques recently. I had been doing something similar to your short deep breathing myself. I found myself keep holding my breath and decided it would be better to take deep breaths rather than holding my breath.

    Not sure about the magnesium though, it tends to go straight through me so I avoid it.

    Must get round to looking at the rest of your site sometime.

    Thanks. Maureen.

  • If magnesium goes straight through you, you may find Epsom salts in a bath or magnesium oil helpful. As the magnesium is absorbed through the skin, it should not give you the same reaction.

    You may want to talk to your GP or a nutritionist about your magnesium levels and how to improve magnesium intake.


  • Hi maureen.

    I have had it for about 25 years but it got really bad in the last year after a big lot of antibiotics.

    I went to see a gastro and alergist who said it had got worse as the antibiotics had killed my good gut bacteria and it needed to b restored.

    So i started taking strong probiotics, digestive enzyme, peppermint oil capsules, magnesium. And it has got so much better... have u tried any of these supplements? As it seems to b way to go even gastro told me this was what to do no medication.

    Also as alison says we must relax learn to relax our inner stomach and there is breathing texhniques breath from gut not shallow breathing and meditate just take time out and also massage ur stomach. Start on right outer stomach and with the flat palm do circles round and round till u get to lelft side it helps

    Colon relax

  • Hi Lulububs,

    Sorry for delay getting back to you. I have tried several probiotics but they all made me feel worse, tried digestive enzymes years ago and can't remember them helping, peppermint capsules did very little either and as I said to Alison I tend to steer clear of magnesium.

    I am trying to work on my breathing although my default always seems to be holding my breath!


  • Hi maureen, ibs is classed as digestive system problems. With bladder problems and backache.

    Have you seen a doctor about the pain symptoms ?

    I would not say pain everywhere is part of it. I also wouldn't accept it if my gp tried to say it was.

    My friend suffers pain in every area you list. Gp said she has fibromyalgia. She has ibs to.

    If your gp doesn't help you, its then best to see an alternative medicine practitioner etc for root causes of ibs and your pain symptoms.

  • Hi Little toad,

    Thanks for replying. I did once think it might be fibromyalgia but decided it probably wasn't because, on the odd occasion that I don't have IBS symptoms, all the pains disappear. I have an appointment at the hospital in about a month so will see what they have to say.

    Thanks. Maureen.

  • My friend can be symptom free 1 day yet others she is in pain all over.

    Problem is gps just keep giving her drugs. I don't believe in ibs etc. Theres normally 1 or more root causes for ibs symptoms.

  • I have a sharp pain in my right foot everytime I go to the loo. It started about 6 months ago. Sometimes it is excruciating. I think it is a nerve pain, like you say pressure from your colon.

  • Hi Sue, that's very interesting, is it always in the same place or does it move about? Maureen.

  • Yes it is always in the same place. Varying degrees of pain though. Sometimes very painful and other times less painful.

  • Do you ever get a numb feeling instead of pain. Just asking as I had this for a while this morning.

  • No just sharp pain. :)

  • Its like a sharp stabbing pulsing pain .

  • Yes, I know the sort of thing, does it last long or does it gradually fade away? Sorry hope you don't mind me asking all these questions but have never come across anyone else that knows what I am talking about.

  • Hi No its fine to ask questions . As soon as I go to the loo and pass my poop it goes. Excuse me for being a bit graphic but if I have to push the pain gets stronger. Its like a sharp stabbing that gets stronger as I push. As soon as poop drops out the pain subsides and goes away.

  • Yes, that makes sense to me. Unfortunately I never feel like I have finished so although it may go for a short while it soon comes back again. Thanks for all your information. Maureen.

You may also like...