Back pain is a common complaint, and your first instinct may be to dial a chiropractor or orthopedist. Such discomfort is not always orthopedic in nature, however. In fact, when back pain is coupled with abdominal pain, one of your organs may be the culprit. If you are experiencing this achy combination, learning which conditions fall within this group of backaches and knowing which ones warrant a trip to the emergency room will enable you to seek proper care for effective relief, and it could even save your life.
Unisex Causes of Back and Abdominal Pain
Men and women are both affected by painful conditions that strike in their digestive and excretory systems. These problems can all present symptoms of back and abdominal pain. Some of these conditions include the following:
- Kidney stones are stones that form within the kidneys. If the stones become large and migrate through the ureters and urethra, the pain becomes severe and can result in a urinary blockage.
- Gallstones, which are not truly stones, can migrate from the gall bladder to the liver and become lodged in a bile duct while en route, resulting in a dangerously high bilirubin level in the blood.
- Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas, the gland that is responsible for the production and secretion of insulin to regulate your blood glucose levels.
- Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and encouraged with infectious material, or pus. If the condition is not treated promptly, the appendix can rupture and deposit the bacteria into your body cavity, resulting in fatal peritonitis.
The above conditions are diagnosed through an assessment of your additional symptoms, a physical examination and testing. Laboratory screenings confirm the presence of infection and evaluate organ function. Imaging tests, which may include abdominal radiographs, computerized tomography scans, and abdominal ultrasounds reveal any abnormalities in your abdominal organs.
Gender-Specific Causes of Back and Abdominal Pain
Whether you are a man or a woman, the combination of lower back and abdominal pain can be caused by a gender-specific condition. A gynecological examination will detect the following causes of the discomfort in woman's reproductive system:
Some potential causes of lower back and abdominal pain in the male urogenital system include the following:
- Seminal Vesiculitis
All of these conditions can affect fertility, so it is essential to confirm a diagnosis and treat the condition as soon as possible.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs if your aorta, which is the large vessel that carries blood from your heart into your abdomen, distends and swells in your abdomen. If it ruptures, death will result as internal hemorrhaging takes place. If you or a loved one is experiencing back pain, abdominal pain and a pulsating sensation around the navel area, seek emergency medical attention at once.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Nearly everyone experiences occasional back pain, abdominal pain or a combination of both at some point over the course of their lifetimes. Temporary back pain could be the result of working out too hard at the gym, and abdominal pain can occur if you dined on something that did not agree with you. However, if any of the following additional symptoms occur, then you should see a physician as soon as possible:
- Blood in the stools
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
Whether or not these additional symptoms are present, you should seek medical attention if your back and abdominal pain persists for more than three days. Visit a health clinic right away if your back and abdominal pain follows a known event that inflicted abdominal trauma.