Back pain and now swollen lymph nodes - anxiet... - IBS Network

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Back pain and now swollen lymph nodes - anxiety continues

Rose_7 profile image

Hello - Was wondering whether long term lower back pain was common in IBS? I am 42 and have had on again - off again pain near the hepatic flexure - sometimes with associated constipation - for over a year. In the last month, this had become more constant and also crept around my flank to my back. At the same time my lower back has become more constantly stiff, with no obvious relation to constipation. I had a colonoscopy at the end of Nov which found two small polyps in the area I’ve been having pain, but the consultant said they were too small to give any symptoms. Also, over the last month I’ve had swollen painful lymph nodes in my neck. I had a viral infection at the start of the month - just after the lymph nodes went up - and they have not cleared and have been much worse, with shattering fatigue, the last week. I am diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and on blood tests for medication and these have been fine. I can’t stop stressing that my stomach issues are not IBS and are related to cancer somehow - which I know is health anxiety speaking. Would be helpful to hear anyone with long term back pain in IBS?

14 Replies

Hi rose

I've just posted about my recent IBS diagnosis , constipation and awful back pain. I'm sorry your suffering too. It's interesting we've both also got an inflammatory illness as well which can give back pain too so it can be hard to differentiate!.

My Gastro recommended I take buscopan for my pain and it has helped me. I've just had a reply from my post from gurgle guts saying to try magnesium tablets without Vit d which I'm going to try . You might like to as well. The pain can be excruciating can't it?. Hope that might be helpful , great to know we're not alone . X

Rose_7 profile image
Rose_7 in reply to misty14

Thanks for the reply. I think if I could feel secure in the diagnosis I’d be less anxious, but this has come out of nowhere and it’s hard not to connect all the ways I’m feeling rubbish and fear there’s something Really Wrong. And anxiety then makes the physical stuff worse.

Will try the various things suggested by folk on your thread, though. Have been on movicol for a while now and still pretty backed up I think. If just one area of discomfort would ease off it would do a world of good for my mental health.

By the time you have pain, you would have a tumour easy to see with imaging. And definitely with a colonoscopy. So you don't have gut cancer. I don't know if you have had abdominal imaging or back x-rays? Back pain with chronic constipation is common because hard poos can press on the sacral nerve. I've had them press on my sciatic nerve a few times. Not fun.

Rose_7 profile image
Rose_7 in reply to Kilgh

Thanks, Kilgh. I’ve had several abdominal ultrasounds over the last year and a chest CT scan about 18 months ago. Nothing since this back pain and swollen lymph nodes became constant though - which is only 4-6 weeks. It’s not colon cancer but lymphoma or other cancer metatsized to the lymph nodes that my anxiety is settled on now. But I know logically this is probably anxiety and IBS and/or immune stuff related to the arthritis. Never having had any gut symptoms previously it’s the IBS I’m least knowledgeable about. Thanks again

Kilgh profile image
Kilgh in reply to Rose_7

I love how you phrased that "my anxiety has settled on now". What do the docs say about your lymph nodes? Also lymphoma lymph node swelling is painless. So if you have painful lymphs that is a sign of infection. Have you had a blood test recently? That could be useful to rule out lymphoma.

Rose_7 profile image
Rose_7 in reply to Kilgh

Yes, I’ve had blood tests to monitor sulfasalazine for arthritis and they’re all fine. So it really is anxiety speaking and the fear that something’s been missed. Just feel so rotten.

Kilgh profile image
Kilgh in reply to Rose_7

If your doctors don't think it is have asked them about it right?...then it probably is just anxiety. If you start having a cough you can't get rid of, then go back for sure.

Yes yes yes!!

I have had constant lower back pain and ibs c all My life and it only since i been seeing a very good osteo that he has told me the reason this happens is because our distending colon sits on our sacro and sciatic nerves so if one inflames or there is impacted 💩 in there making it heavy and full it will Sit on these nerves and give extreme back pain ...

So i make sure i never ever get backed up any more... he suggested magnesium tabs from holland and barratt and they make me go every day if not rhubarb complex is a natural lax. Both work for me...

I also do alot of yoga it helps the digestives system work better.

Thanks, I will try the magnesium. I seem to be going normally today after several days of constipation, but back’s still tetchy. No agony, just twinging and pressure and discomfort. It may be arthritis flaring, as I’ve also got the glands up and joints are more painful than usual.

Eliana5 profile image
Eliana5 in reply to Rose_7

Magnesium Glycinate or Citrate are both excellent anxiety reducers and excellent for constipation which makes me have lower back pain too. Just make sure to consult your pharmacist or Doctor to make sure you are not taking too much magnesium which can lead to kidney damage or any drug interactions. I too have swollen lymph nodes..have had several tests..have not had much in the way of answers..but for some reason a Hematologist is helping me. My saliva glands are very swollen, the ones under my right jaw all swollen and behind my both ears. Another swollen one under my right armpit. There is also a lymph node we have on the back of our head..and that is swollen too. It can be very scary. I even had an ER Doctor for an impaction (I suffer from severe constipation) tell me I had Hodgkins lymphoma..but It is all getting sorted out now, and the glands are getting smaller and no longer tender, but they were swollen badly for eight months. I don't have lymphoma..thank God. I do have severe degenerative back disease..ruptured disks and sciatica..had to get off prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxers and Naproxen 500, because of their severe constipating effect. I hope you get to feeling better. Keep is posted on how the magnesium is working. But try to stay away from Magnesium oxide, it is cheap and poorly absorbed leaving one with loose stools all day..

Rose I feel for you I sincerely hope all settles down. Anxiety can play havoc with us. Try to find a supportive person who will listen to your concerns keep in touch on this site

Yes , I have had lower back pain off and on and it has been confirmed by my doctor that it certainly can be related to IBS . I too have had my colonosopies on regular basis , but I still stress about having cancer . I think the anxiety and IBS just goes round in endless cycle you are sure not alone.

Many thanks for your very kind responses.

Back pain is the main problem I have with mi IBS but as others say stress starts the ball rolling and one thing leads to another.Stress>IBS>Back Pain>More Stress>more IBS>more Back Pain>>>>> and so on.I was always at my doctor who I feel got fed up with me,I've had all the pipes tubes and thing that the NHS has !!!

Now that is over 10 years, now I still hurt but give up going to doctor if I am still here after 10 years then it can't be anything to lethal can it ;-)

Hope my story help.

Oh and Buscopan and Activia really help me.

Take Care


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