Constipation and pain: what is the link?

Apart from being a significant source of digestive discomfort, both chronic and occasional constipation can cause abdominal, back or even cerebral pain. How do you identify pain linked to constipation? What can be done to relieve it?


Constipation: What are its characteristics?

Constipation is an intestinal function disorder that is primarily defined as insufficient bowel movements. As stool remains within the intestines for too long, it becomes dry and hard, which makes it difficult or even painful to pass. In general, we talk about constipation when stool is passed less than three times a week. Constipation is considered “severe” when stool is passed once a week. Stool consistency is also an important part of the diagnosis. You could be passing stool every day and still be constipated if defecation is painful.


Constipation: What type of pain do people experience?

Apart from classic symptoms that constipation causes in most cases (bloating, gas, etc.), it can also incur different types of pain:

• Abdominal pain: It can be more or less intense depending on how severe the disorder is and the faecal matter retained. Usually, the pain is located in the iliac fossa and can radiate to all the abdominal cavities. Be careful not to confuse it with stress-related epigastric pain.

• Low back pain: In the long term, the accumulation of stool in the colon puts excessive pressure on the lumbar vertebrae. This particular pain tends to be resistant to painkillers. It can even be aggravated by the need to pass stool.

• Pelvic pain: Constipation mainly affects women. As such, they are the ones who mainly suffer from this type of pain, located in the lower abdomen.

• Anal pain: It can be explained by excessive activity of the anal sphincters, the formation of lesions as hard stool is passed and the development of haemorrhoids.

• Headaches: Constipation, and more generally intestinal transit disorders, can also cause headaches.


Constipation: What painkillers can be used?

To relieve these different types of pain, you must eliminate the cause. To overcome constipation, the most effective way is to change your diet. If there is no obvious organic, medical or disease cause, intestinal laziness is usually functional in nature. To restore peristaltic action to a natural state, it is essential to watch what you eat. A low fibre intake is often responsible for constipation. You can increase your fibre intake with OptiFibre®.


As a product that is 100% plant-based, it naturally and gradually improves intestinal transit.

More from the blog