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We hope you found this article informative and it helped answer many of the questions you may have surrounding Craniocervical Instability, upper cervical spine instability, cervical spine instability, or simply problems related to neck pain. Just like you, we want to make sure you are a good fit for our clinic prior to accepting your case. While our mission is to help as many people with chronic pain as we can, sadly, we cannot accept all cases. We have a multi-step process so our team can really get to know you and your case to ensure that it sounds like you are a good fit for the unique testing and treatments that we offer here.
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Bowel And Bladder Complications From A Herniated Lumbar Disc
The spine is composed of small bones called vertebrae that surround the spinal cord. Between each vertebra is a cushion called a disc. With time or trauma, the jelly-like center of the disc may shift and leak out through a crack in the tougher, outer covering. This is called a disc herniation or “slipped disc.” The lower, or lumbar, regions of the spine are a common area for disc herniation. Although pain is the most common symptom of lumbar disc herniation, complications involving the bladder and the bowel may occur in rare cases.
The Spine And Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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A recurring theme for me in advocating on IBS and other health issues, is how often they intersect with each other. For many years, I have had back pain, that I believe used to be mainly due to a combination of IBS and endometriosis, as well as a general propensity of my muscles to go into spasm. However, in more recent years, it would seem that my back — or more specifically, the spine itself — has developed its own problems that can at times intensify my IBS and other gut issues.
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What You Need To Know
A spinal cord injury can lead to bowel problems:
- You may have problems moving waste through your colon .
- You may pass a stool when you dont want to, or a stool may be hard to pass.
- These problems can cause pain in your abdomen.
- When eating, you may feel full sooner than normal, or you may eat less than you usually do.
- Bowel problems can contribute to depression or anxiety. You may feel overly concerned about not being able to control bowel movements in public. You may not want to do things outside of your home.
A bowel program can help you to control bowel movements. Following a bowel program can help you to avoid other problems and perhaps bowel surgery.
Characteristics Of Painquality Location And Radiation
Because visceral nerves extend through the pelvic organs like a spider web, visceral pelvic pain is usually described as vague, poorly localized, and dull pain, or as general malaise rather than real pain, which generally radiates to the lower back along midline. Visceral pain is very often associated with vegetative symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pallor, diaphoresis, and tachycardia.
Somatic pelvic pain occurs due to somatic pelvic nerve damage and is classified as truncular or radicular . Neuropathic pain causes numerous symptoms, ranging from allodynia, paresthesias, and sensations of electrical discharges to phantom sensations, which are even more confusing when no morphologic correlates are found. Hyperesthesia is usually the result of lesion causing nerve irritation, while hypoesthesia, anesthesia, and phantom pain generally develop after neurogenic nerve damage . Somatic pain is well-described as localized pain with distal radiation in the corresponding dermatome . Generally, there is a trigger point at the level of irritation. Further symptoms may include increased sensitivity, electric shock-like sensations and/or stabbing, knife-like or aching pain, lump or foreign body sensation, twisting or pinching sensations, abnormal temperature sensations, constipation, pain and straining with bowel movements, straining or burning on urination, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction, including hyperarousal or decreased sensitivity.
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Is It Possible For Back Pain To Cause Constipation
Back pain that is being caused by a spinal cord injury or nerve condition may cause you to have constipation. This is because these conditions can damage the nerves that control part of your colon and intestines. Damage to these nerves can interfere with your ability to have healthy bowel movements.
Back pain may also cause you to sleep poorly. It may be so severe it causes you to lose your appetite and ability to properly care for yourself. It could also lead to physical and mental stress. All these factors increase the risk for constipation.
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Will I Need Further Investigations
Most patients will have had X-rays of their back, as well as a CT scan and MRI. Sometimes dynamic X-rays of the lumbar spine are performed, with X-rays taken bending forwards and backwards this is to determine the presence and site of any instability.In some patients there is uncertainty either about the diagnosis or exactly which disc or discs in the back are responsible for their symptoms: in those patients, nerve conduction studies and/or a nerve block may shed light on the diagnostic issues.
If you have not had an MRI for over 12 months before your surgery, or if your symptoms have changed significantly since your most recent MRI, then this investigation will need to be repeated to make sure that there are no surprises at the time of surgery!
Difficulty In Bowel Movement
Aside from the frequency of bowel movements, the difficulty of stool evacuation should also be considered. If youre having trouble with your bowel movements, it could be that the stool inside your digestive system has become too large to push out. Forcing a bowel movement in that situation can cause serious damage to your rectal lining.
Under no circumstances should you consider self-medication unless approved by a doctor. While laxatives and other medications can help alleviate mild symptoms of constipation and lower back pain, any serious or chronic back problems should always be diagnosed by a medical professional first.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Early lumbar spinal stenosis may have no symptoms. In most people, symptoms develop gradually over time. Symptoms may include:
- Pain in the back
- Burning pain going into the buttocks and down into the legs
- Numbness, tingling, cramping, or weakness in the legs
- Loss of sensation in the feet
- A weakness in a foot that causes the foot to slap down when walking
- Loss of sexual ability
Pressure on nerves in the lumbar region can also cause more serious symptoms known as cauda equine syndrome. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to get medical attention right away:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Severe or increasing numbness between your legs, inner thighs, and back of the legs
- Severe pain and weakness that spreads into one or both legs. This makes it hard to walk or get out of a chair
What Questions Should You Ask The Doctor About Cauda Equine Syndrome
People with the symptoms described above should be seen and evaluated by their doctor to determine if they have cauda equina syndrome. People should ask their doctor to determine the cause of their symptoms .
People with symptoms similar to those previously mentioned who do not have cauda equina syndrome should ask their doctor for treatment recommendations and for further warning signs to watch for the development of cauda equina syndrome.
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Managing Your Herniated Disc
If you have a herniated disc, the key question is not whether it will technically heal. Rather, the most important question is how you should focus your treatment and rehabilitation to reduce your acute symptoms and prevent future problems.
If you have recurrent symptoms from a herniated disc, there are known surgical options that have favorable results in improving pain and dysfunction.
While early surgical intervention may be recommended for severe pain and disability, non-surgical treatment is usually the first prescribed course of action.
The bottom line is to not worry too much about whether or not your herniated disc is healed. MRI research studies have identified many people who have a sizable disc herniation and yet are totally pain free. For those folks, the disc herniation is not a source of pain .
Diagnosing Herniated Disc L5/s1
Your doctor will have to diagnose the condition in order to give you proper treatment. This type of diagnosis is considered as more complicated, hence there are multiple steps a doctor will have to complete before giving you an accurate diagnosis.
First, he or she will start with questions. These should give the doctor a better idea about your problem and the pain. Questions such as type of pain you are experiencing, other medical conditions, your job, history of your health, and your family are essential, and usually, all Herniated Disc L5/S1 patients get all of these questions.
A physical exam is more complicated and there are 6 tests a doctor will perform. He may perform just a few or all of these, depending on your age and your initial symptoms. Anyway, you can expect tests as mentioned below.
If the condition is not severe, a doctor may prescribe you treatment right away. In other words, imaging tests are not needed. On the other side, getting at least one of the following tests is beneficial and can confirm doctors diagnose. Dont forget that most doctors recommend that a person waits for 6 weeks in order to see if symptoms go away. Usually, they do.
Anyway, if imaging tests are required, your doctor will order one or more of the following tests.
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Abdominal Pain From L5 S1 Nerve Damage
- March 23, 2018 at 7:13 amPost count: 4#27924
My 19 year old son had a bilateral pars repair two years ago which never healed properly and still has back pain . In the last 5 months he has developed very severe abdominal pain above the belly button , plus severe sickness. I was wondering if the pain in the abdomen could be related to the back injury, he has had lots of tests looking into his stomach and everything is clear. If this is nerve pain can you recommend the best medication for this.Thank you so much for any information you can give me.
March 24, 2018 at 2:46 amPost count: 8355
Abdominal pain generally is not related to lumbar disorders as the nerve supply for the abdomen does not originate from the lumbar spine. There are very rare exceptions .
PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON. Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
Can A Bulging Disc Cause Digestive Problems
A range of spinal cord issues can cause problems in other parts of the body. The spinal cord sends nerve signals to the rest of your body, impacting its function, which can cause digestive problems. Issues that can lead to these problems include disc compression, herniated discs, or strained ligaments.
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What Is A Bowel Program
A bowel program is a plan to retrain your body to have regular bowel movements. A doctor or nurse designs a bowel program specifically for you. Your health, bowel and personal history, physical examination are an important part of this review:
- The level and completeness of your spinal cord injury
- Description and pattern of bowel problems
- Past and present medical problems
- Intake of food and drink
- Physical activities
The goals of a bowel program are:
- Passing a stool on a daily or every-other-day basis
- Preventing unplanned bowel movements
- Emptying your bowel around the same time of day
- Passing medium or large stool every time you have a bowel movement
- Emptying all or most of your rectum each day
- Having stools that are soft, formed, and bulky
- Emptying your bowel completely within 30 minutes after eating
What Treatments Are Available
For a patient with acute cauda equina syndrome, surgery is likely an urgent need. The goal is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves to restore sensation and muscle function to the bladder, bowel, and legs. Depending on the cause, one of the following surgeries may be performed:
Discectomy for a herniated disc removes the portion of the disc that is compressing the nerves. The surgeon makes a small incision in the middle of the back. The spinal muscles are moved aside to expose the bony vertebra. A window of bone is removed to expose the nerve root and disc. The portion of the ruptured disc compressing the spinal nerves is carefully removed.
Spinal decompression for stenosis removes the bone spurs and ligaments compressing the nerves. A small incision is made in the back. The surgeon removes the bone that forms the roof of the spinal canal. Next, soft tissue and bone spurs are removed to create more room for the nerves. Tumors and other lesions can also be removed.
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Colon Pressing On Sciatic Nerve
When one of the nerves in your lower lumbar area becomes compressed or is damaged in some way, the pressure on the sciatic nerve sends pain shooting through your lower back and down into your leg.
Tingling and numbness can also result. As The Sciatica Authority website states, central, foraminal, and cervical central spinal stenosis are all known to cause constipation and sciatica.
Anything that places a good amount of pressure on the sciatic nerve can trigger sciatic pain. Spinal tumors and colon cancer can be culprits that cause sciatica.
Sciatica can also be triggered by distention of the bowels, which can press the colon onto the sciatic nerve.
Constipation and sciatic pain can occur separately or together, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine which one triggered the other.
Even a highly-qualified neurologist might need to run several tests on a patient and look at the correlation between symptoms before settling on a diagnosis.
As a non-spinal agent in causing sciatic nerve pain, when constipation is properly treated, some of the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve by the colon can be alleviated.
Common Symptoms And Signs Stemming From L5
Vertebral and disc pain from L5-S1 may occur suddenly following an injury or gradually develop over a period of time. Typically, a dull ache or sharp pain may be felt in the lower back. Discogenic pain is typically worsened by prolonged sitting, standing in one place, and repetitive lifting and bending activities.
Compression or inflammation of the L5 and/or S1 spinal nerve root may cause radiculopathy symptoms or sciatica, characterized by:
- Pain, generally felt as a sharp, shooting, and/or searing feeling in the buttock, thigh, leg, foot, and/or toes
- Numbness in the foot and/or toes
- Weakness in the leg and/or foot muscles and an inability to lift the foot off the floor
It is also possible for a stabbing pain or ache to be isolated to any of these areas. While these symptoms typically affect one leg at a time, sometimes, both legs may be affected together.
Cauda equina syndrome may occur at L5-S1 due to an injury to the cauda equina nerves that descend from the spinal cord. This syndrome is a medical emergency and typically causes severe pain, weakness, numbness, and/or tingling in the groin, genital region, and/or both legs. There may also be loss of bowel and/or bladder control. The condition must be treated on an urgent basis to preserve leg function and restore bowel and/or bladder function.
Safe Natural & Effective Slipped Disc Treatment
The good news is that we can treat most slipped disc problems at our clinic in Norwalk, Slovin Chiropractic Center. Using targeted techniques, Dr. Slovin examines the body as a whole and doesnt focus on just one symptom. A Gonstead adjustment isnt the same as spinal manipulation. Manipulating the spine is like shaking up a puzzle box and hoping all the pieces fall in place. With a Gonstead approach, you can expect a tailored, personalized treatment that targets the unique issues youre experiencing.
Learn more about how a Gonstead chiropractor treats slipped discs.
No matter how long youve had a herniated disc, our chiropractors are well-equipped to help you find the right solution. Dr. Slovin has successfully treated hundreds of back pain conditions over the last two decades without using dependency-causing medications or invasive surgeries. Experience the relief for yourself and request an appointment at Slovin Chiropractic Center today.
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