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Gas Pain In Back

Sometimes, too much gas builds up in your stomach or intestines, making your belly feel swollen or bloated. This might cause sharp or intense pain that spreads to your back.

Knowing how gas might lead to back pain can help you recognize the signs when you feel uncomfortable. Burping, feeling bloated, or passing gas a lot are common signs that gas might be causing your back to hurt.

If your stomach or intestines are inflamed, or if you eat foods that give you gas, swallow lots of air, or drink fizzy drinks, you might get back pain from gas more often. Usually, back pain or bloating isn’t a big deal, but sometimes it could be risky.

Luckily, there are some changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that might help lessen the pain caused by gas in your back. Let’s look at what can make gas and back pain worse and how to deal with them.

Can Gas Cause Back Pain?

Gas may cause back pain, especially when it is severe and accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal bloating or belching. The proximity and shared nerve networks between the digestive system and the back might trigger gas-related back pain.

When gas builds up in the digestive system, it may stretch the abdominal walls and cause pain that may radiate to the back. Severe gas may lead to nausea and back pain, indicating a pressure buildup in the abdomen.

Inflammation in the digestive tract could also manifest as back pain. Digestive conditions like an imbalance in gut bacteria or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may cause increased gas production, potentially manifesting as back pain.

Digestive System and Back Pain

Gas buildup in the digestive system may induce significant back pain. Given below is a table that highlights the connection between the digestive system and back pain:


Causes of Gas and Related Back Discomfort The Connection Between Digestive System and Back Pain
Diet: Ingesting foods rich in fiber can cause gas. Bloating can stretch the abdomen’s walls, causing pain that may radiate to the back.
Swallowing Air: Chewing gum or drinking carbonated beverages can lead to excess gas. Severe gas can cause nausea and back pain, indicating a pressure buildup in the abdomen.
Digestive Conditions: Disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or inflammation in the digestive system may cause gas production. Inflammation in the digestive tract can manifest as back pain.
Imbalanced Flora: An imbalance in gut bacteria can result in increased gas. Nerve networks in the abdomen link the digestive system and back pain.
Certain medications can also contribute to gas production. Understanding this connection can help identify the cause of discomfort and seek appropriate treatment.

What Causes Gas & Back Pain?

  1. Stress

    Increased stress levels may cause your muscles to tense up, lower pain tolerance, and trigger inflammation. Research has found that people experiencing severe stress levels have an almost three-fold increase in lower back pain incidence.

    These elevated stress levels may delay digestive processes, leading to indigestion, bloating, and trapped gas. It might result in an increased risk of developing gas-induced back pain.

    When stressed, you may unconsciously adopt a slouched posture, putting additional strain on the back muscles and spine. Over time, this may lead to back pain.

    Stress may also contribute to emotional and psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, which have been linked to increased back pain incidence.

  2. Imbalanced Flora

    An imbalance in the beneficial bacteria count may induce digestive issues, including excess gas production. Stress may influence the gut bacteria composition.

    Your body’s ability to efficiently digest food and absorb nutrients may be compromised during periods of stress. It may lead to imbalanced gut flora and increased gas production, potentially manifesting as back pain. It could also induce inflammation in the digestive tract, further contributing to back pain.

  3. Unhealthy Diet

    If your diet lacks essential nutrients and is filled with unhealthy food choices, it may cause digestive issues, including excessive gas production.

    Consuming high-fiber foods like beans, lentils, broccoli, and cabbage may cause excess gas formation in the digestive system. Swallowing excess air while chewing gum or drinking carbonated beverages may also contribute to excess gas in the body.

    An unhealthy diet may cause bloating that could induce abdominal distension, causing pain and discomfort radiating to the back. These foods might also contribute to gut inflammation, manifesting as back pain.

  4. Changes In Hormone Levels

    Fluctuations in hormone levels might contribute to the development and exacerbation of back pain. For instance, changes in estrogen levels are associated with gastrointestinal discomfort, gas, and joint and muscular pain.

    Progesterone hormone levels increase in women, particularly during the latter stages of their periods. Such a mechanism may decrease food passage through the stomach, causing trapped gas and potential back pain.

    During ovulation or menstruation (menstrual cycle phases), hormonal changes can lead to increased ligament laxity, resulting in back pain. Hormonal imbalances, such as during menopause, might also contribute to back pain.

  5. Pregnancy

    Hormonal changes during pregnancy could raise estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Such hormonal increase may affect the ligaments and muscles in the pelvic area and induce back pain.

    Pregnancy may cause rapid hormonal changes that may disrupt healthy gastrointestinal function. It could lead to digestive distress, including constipation, bloating, and gas, alongside back pain.

    As the female body prepares for childbirth, it releases the relaxin hormone, causing ligaments to loosen and joints to become more flexible. The increased flexibility may lead to spinal instability and contribute to back pain during pregnancy.

    Regular exercise, like gentle stretches and low-impact activities like swimming or prenatal yoga, might help strengthen your back muscles and prevent back pain.

  6. Swallowing Air

    Swallowing air (also called aerophagia) may accumulate excess gas in the digestive system, potentially contributing to gas-related back pain.

    When you swallow excess air, it gets trapped in the digestive system, contributing to gas formation. This excess gas might cause discomfort and pain, including in the back.

    Swallowing air is a behavioral habit that could be caused by drinking or eating rapidly, consuming carbonated drinks, chewing gum, or using a straw. Focusing on behavioral changes might mitigate the occurrence of gas-related back pain.

    Effects of Swallowed Air:

    • Increases the overall volume of gas in the digestive system
    • Causes bloating and distension in the abdomen
    • Triggers, belching and flatulence
    • May lead to gas-related back pain
  7. Back Injuries

    Back injuries can result from various factors, including accidents, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, or engaging in activities that strain the back muscles and ligaments. These injuries may induce acute or chronic back pain, radiating to other areas, including the back.

    Injuries to the back may vary in severity, ranging from muscle sprains and strains to more severe conditions like herniated discs or fractures. Injuries to the spinal cord or herniated discs may cause gastrointestinal disturbances that may lead to back pain.

    Fractures (although less common) could also cause intense back pain, especially if there is a break in the spinal bones.

Other Causes Of Gas & Back Pain

  1. Celiac Disease

    Celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder) is marked by gluten intolerance, a protein present in barley, wheat, and rye. It may induce various symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, or back pain.

    Those with celiac disease may suffer from sacroiliitis (joint inflammation around the tailbone), which may result in back pain and discomfort. People with osteoporosis or osteopenia could also experience back pain as a presenting symptom of celiac disease.

    Following a gluten-free diet could help manage symptoms, promote intestinal healing, and prevent further complications.

    Those with celiac disease should avoid cross-contamination of gluten-containing foods by avoiding shared utensils, cooking surfaces, and food preparation areas.

  2. Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder recognized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in specific body areas. It is a complex condition that affects how the brain processes pain signals, resulting in heightened sensitivity to pain.

    More than two-thirds of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia have experienced gastrointestinal issues, such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, or nausea. It may lead to excessive gas accumulation, potentially leading to back pain.

    Back pain is a common symptom indicative of fibromyalgia that may induce a sharp, aching pain often accompanied by tenderness, stiffness, and sensitivity to pressure.

    The exact factors that trigger fibromyalgia are unknown, but it may arise due to a combination of environmental, genetic, and psychological factors.

  3. IBS

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal issue characterized by symptoms like abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and bloating. Factors like abnormal intestinal contractions, changes in the gut microbiome, and increased pain sensitivity may cause IBS.

    Gas production is a common sign of IBS, as the disorder may affect how the intestines move and process food. It may induce excess gas accumulation in the digestive tract. In some cases, this gas could cause pain that radiates to the back.

    The proximity of the digestive system and the nerves in the abdomen and back might contribute to IBS-induced back pain. The stretching and distention of the intestines due to gas buildup may stimulate these nerves, leading to pain that is felt in the back.

  4. Kidney Stones

    Pain in the back can sometimes be a symptom of kidney stones, characterized by the formation of hard deposits in the kidneys. Kidney stones may cause severe pain and discomfort and may require medical intervention.

    Kidney stones may cause gastrointestinal pain (renal colic). The pain usually creates a sharp and severe sensation in the abdomen, lower back, sides, or groin. Digestive concerns, such as vomiting, nausea, or bowel obstruction, might also accompany kidney stones.

    Lack of sufficient fluid intake may lead to the formation of kidney stones. Consuming foods high in oxalate, calcium, or uric acid may also increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

  5. UTI

    Urinary tract infections may cause inflammation and infection in the urinary tract. UTIs might occur in any region of the urinary tract, including the ureters, bladder, urethra, or kidneys.

    The irritation and inflammation induced by urinary tract infections may increase gas production and retention, contributing to bloating. Those with recurring UTIs often experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as constipation, flatulence, or diarrhea.

    UTI symptoms could vary, but common signs include:

    • A frequent urge to urinate
    • Lower back pain
    • A burning sensation during urination
    • Cloudy or bloody urine
    • Pelvic pain

Beverages And Foods To Avoid

Stay mindful of specific beverages and foods that may trigger gas buildup and discomfort. Avoiding these items can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall digestive health.

You should avoid drinking carbonated beverages like soda or sparkling water. These drinks contain carbon dioxide, which may cause gas buildup and potentially result in back pain. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages could also contribute to increased gas production.

Some gaseous foods should be avoided or consumed in moderation. These include beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, and Brussels sprouts. These foods contain complex sugars that are difficult for the body to metabolize, leading to increased gas production.

Dairy products may also cause excess gas and discomfort, especially for lactose-intolerant people. High-fat and fried foods may delay digestion, leading to increased gas production.

Chewing gum and eating too quickly may lead to excess air swallowing, contributing to gas buildup.


Strategies to Manage Gas and Back Pain

  1. Supplements and Medicines

    Probiotics may help restore healthy gut microbiome balance, reducing gas production and improving digestion. Probiotics are available in multiple forms, including powders, capsules, and fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

    Digestive enzymes are another option that may aid in food breakdown and reduce gas production. You may take these enzymes in supplement form before meals to help your body digest food more efficiently and minimize the likelihood of gas buildup.

    Over-the-counter medications like simethicone might provide relief from gas pain in the back. Simethicone works by breaking down gas bubbles, making them easier to pass through the digestive system.

    Beano and lactase formulations might help those struggling to digest certain carbohydrates, like those found in beans and dairy products.

  2. Physical Therapies and Home Remedies

    Physical therapies like massage and stretching exercises may help relax your muscles and soothe tension in the back.

    Massage therapy may target specific areas of discomfort and promote blood flow, reducing gas buildup and easing pain.

    Stretching exercises like gentle twists and back stretches could help release trapped gas and improve digestion.

    Besides physical therapy, some home remedies might help relieve gas pain in the back. These may include:

    • Heat application: Applying heat to the affected area, such as using a warm compress or taking a hot bath, could help relax your back muscles and reduce pain.
    • Drinking herbal teas: Consuming herbal teas like fennel, peppermint, or chamomile may help soothe your digestive system and alleviate trapped gas.
    • Stay mobile: A sedentary lifestyle with limited physical activities may contribute to excess gas and back pain. Engaging in exercises or taking regular walks could help you expel trapped gas and might reduce the incidence of back pain.
  3. Adjustments In Diet

    Making dietary adjustments could help mitigate gas pain in the back. Avoiding gas-producing foods like beans, onions, and carbonated beverages might prevent gas buildup.

    Consuming dairy products may cause increased gas buildup if you are lactose intolerant. These simple dietary adjustments might help provide some relief from back pain:

    • Consider avoiding or reducing your intake of milk, cheese, yogurt, or other dairy-based products.
    • Try consuming foods that aid digestion, such as ginger and fennel, to promote digestive health and reduce gas.
    • Opt for low-gas fruits and vegetables like bananas, grapes, cucumbers, and zucchini.
    • Integrate probiotic-rich foods like kefir, yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut in your diet to encourage a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

When To Contact A Doctor?

If you are experiencing severe or recurring gas pain that spreads to the back, it is vital to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Here are some instances that require a doctor’s consultation:

  • If your gas or back pain doesn’t subside after a few days or is unbearable and sudden. It could hint at a more severe condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  • If symptoms like rectal bleeding or liver failure accompany your gas pain in the back.
  • A recent case of severe injury like a spinal cord injury or herniated disc may warrant medical attention.
  • If you experience signs of gastrointestinal disorders like appendicitis or infection in the digestive tract.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Can I Differentiate Between Gas Pain in the Back and Other Causes of Back Pain?
    If you experience back pain with gastrointestinal discomfort like bloating, abdominal pain, or constipation, it might indicate the prevalence of gas-induced back pain. However, consulting a doctor is crucial for accurate identification and appropriate treatment.
  • Can Yoga Poses Reduce the Severity of Gas Pain in the Back?
    Doing yoga poses, such as the Bridge pose, seated or reclined twist, or Apanasana, could help relieve trapped gas and minimize the severity of gas-related back pain.
  • How Long Does Trapped Gas Remain in The Digestive Tract?
    Trapped gas in the digestive tract may cause discomfort or abdominal pain. However, trapped gas usually passes on its own within a few hours.


If your abdomen is filled with gas or excess air, you might experience discomfort in the abdominal area or pain that may radiate to your lower back.

Most cases of gas pain in the back resolve independently, while severe cases may require medical intervention.

Increasing fluid intake, practicing deep breathing exercises, getting a gentle massage, or consuming fennel seeds may reduce the risk of gas accumulation and associated back pain.

Applying warm or cold compresses over your back, maintaining a moderate weight, and performing muscle-strengthening/stretching exercises might reduce your back pain severity.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.
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