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IBS and back disc problem

Hi. I have had digestive problems during some horrible hormonal changes at the age of 55. This is fairly normal during menopause but I have always had an ache in my left buttock, loin area and odd twitching in my legs and groin weakness, this has now been investigated via an MRI scan and my consultant has told me that I have two bulging discs in my lower back, do you think that a back problem can make IBS worse? I believe that the back problem can also be caused by hormone depletion as many women develop musculoskeletal problems. I just wondered if it is just coincidence that both arrived at the same time, or that one has aggrevated the other?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, although my consultant says I think too much!!

10 Replies

Funny you should mention this as I posted a similar question a couple of weeks ago. For me, IBS started a few months after a spinal trauma for which I'm awaiting surgery. I recently read that in some quarters it's thought that there may indeed be a link between spinal damage and IBS although nobody's prepared to stand up and be counted about it yet! It'll be very interesting for me if my IBS clears up after I've had the op on my back.

I also know someone who, having finally got a spinal problem corrected by a chiropractor, was cured of irritable bladder.

It makes some sense to think that if the nerves located in the spinal column aren't happy, other organs with some connection to the same nerves must be affected too.

If you find out anything else about this, I'd be very grateful if you'd share it.



Hi Roz, I do remember your post, my meno brain had forgotten! I do have many other menopause symptoms that arrived very quickly, and rather late, just when I thought everything was over, I also sit at a desk all day, which doesn't help. I have stopped HRT, which didn't really help at all, and am going to start yoga, as suggested by my reflexologist, who detected a lot of tension. I will let you know if the ease of tension in my lower back helps the digestion,here's hoping!


There are a lot of nerves and tendons running through the lower ab. IT's all connected! I have 3 kinds of IBS pain because I have Parkinsons. One is a spasm in the pelvic floor after a bm (obturator terminus)! Another is a burning after I eat broccoli, calcium carbonate or foods containing such, and the third is from constipation and impaction. THe physical therapist for ab pain told me I had adhesions in the fascia.


That's interesting PatV, my consultant has said that my pelvic floor muscles are VERY tight, even asked if I had had cosmetic surgery, cheeky monkey! When I wake in the morning I can feel an odd squeezing and painless contractions, it's only when I sit that my back feels tight, but could that be because the pelvic floor is pulling on an already weak back? Do you think yoga would help, I do walk a lot but is it enough?

Ruth. xx


I have the same problem as you, two bulging discs L4 and L5 I think, similar symptoms and I'm really suffering with it today! My IBS has been the same as it always has been though, however I have joint hypermobility syndrome which has predisposed me to lower back problems and that is linked to IBS but that's more to do with the differences in the cartilage and collagen in the body.


I am 42 and have suffered with IBS since i was 18 and at 19 i had a problem with my back and found out i had a curved spine, which they think i may have been born with.

Over the years both have got a lot worse and now have a triple curved spine, a prolapsed disc and bulging discs.

2 years ago i was knocked over by a police officer that was running, i ended up with quite a few problems including broken bones in my foot that have needed 2 ops lots of physo and hydro therapy, he also caused 2 very large bulged discs which have ended up with me having sciatica and arthrits in the spine and foot.

Last month i had a large op on my spine to remove the 2 large bulges and all other bits that were reducing the space in my spinal canal, which i am still recovering from, but my IBS does not seem to have been anywhere near as bad since the op as it has been for over half my life.

So maybe there is some connection and if it continues to be better i will be very pleased and agree that the 2 seem to go together.

There are risks going for spinal op's but sometimes the risks are worth taking.

Hope this helps someone

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I'm convinced it's a Pinched nerve causing the bowel problem. No one wants to hear it. Though I have a high thyroid now so they are treating that and ignoring my theory.


Definite connection. Just try to get some one to believe it. I've spent so much time and money. I feel defeated already. Low right abdomen ache awful buttock pain, now bowel problems. Which are being blamed on a high thyroid. I'm glad I'm being treated for high thyroid but it throws my pinched nerve theory under the bus.


I'm wondering the same thing. I've had awful IBS since I had a herniated disc in my lower back. But I always assumed it was due to having my gall bladder out around the same time. I'm having surgery this week to decompress my lumbar vertebrae and free a couple of trapped nerves. It would be heaven if this also relieved the IBS. Everything seems to irritate my digestion and cause diarrhea. Not wonderful.


All the nerves up and down the spine are connected to all organs and other areas of your body. When a nerve is pinched or damaged it can affect the organ it corresponds with. I was told by my chiropractor many years ago. I also have IBS and herniated disks and degenerative disk disease. When my upper back hurts it affects my breathing and causes intermittent pain in my chest. When my mid back hurts, I also have stomach discomfort. When my lower back hurts, I have the IBS symptoms, cramping and gas pain. I believe IBS is caused by nerves in the spine. This is from my own experience only as I am not a doctor. It may be a good idea to see a chiropractor.


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