What is a bloated stomach & lower left back pain?

Updated July 19, 2017

According to Women's Fitness, "a bloated stomach is often caused by a sudden increase in fibre from vegetables, fruits and beans." If you reduce your intake of these foods, the bloated feeling should disappear.

Low back pain is a common complaint and typically resolves itself within a few days to a few weeks. However, if it doesn't, you should seek medical care. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, Americans spend at least £32 billion a year on lower back pain problems. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma or a disorder, such as arthritis.


A bloated stomach, also called abdominal bloating, is defined as an abnormal swelling of the abdominal area. The abdomen is larger than normal.

Lower back pain is defined as any pain or discomfort felt in the lower back area. It can be described as sharp, dull, achy, acute or chronic.


Symptoms of a bloated stomach include a feeling of fullness, tightness in the region, gas, pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or even bloody or dark stools. Other symptoms include swallowing air, burping, indigestion, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and breathing problems.

According to Medline Plus, "you may have a tingling or burning sensation, a dull achy feeling, or sharp pain. Depending on the cause, you also may have weakness in your legs or feet." Other symptoms include limited flexibility, limited range of motion or an inability to stand up straight. Additionally, the pain may range from a muscle ache or spasm to a shooting or stabbing pain.


There are many causes of abdominal bloating, including overeating, excessive gas build-up, lactose intolerance, a food allergy, air swallowing (aerophagia), irritable bowel syndrome (which affects the lower gastrointestinal tract), hernia, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), partial bowel obstruction, constipation, menstruation, diverticulosis and pregnancy. Other causes include contraceptive pills, too much alcohol, too little protein in the diet, carbonated drinks and excessive water intake.

Causes of low back pain include a strained or overused muscle, injury, ageing, arthritis, broken vertebrae (compression fractures) or a herniated disc. Other causes include disc disorders (any condition affecting the discs), slipped disc, osteoarthritis (joint degeneration), nerve conditions (such as shingles) or spinal conditions (for example, arthritis or scoliosis). There are several types of back pain, including sciatica (pressure on the sciatic nerve), coccydynia (pain in the tailbone), lower back pain, middle back pain and upper back pain.

Exams and Tests

To help determine the cause of abdominal bloating, your doctor will take a complete medical history and likely will request several tests. Those tests could include abdominal X-rays, small intestine X-rays, gastric emptying studies (which measure the stomach's ability to empty its contents), ultrasound, CAT scan and MRI.

Back pain is diagnosed through a series of tests, including X-rays, discography (injection of a special contrast dye into a spinal disc), CAT scan, MRI, bone scan, ultrasound and an electromyography (which assesses the electrical activity in a nerve).


Treatment for abdominal bloating will be determined by the cause. For example, if you have appendicitis, the resulting treatment may be surgery. Or if you are diagnosed with short bowel syndrome, treatment could include diet changes, intravenous feedings, vitamin supplements and mineral supplements, as well as medications to ease the abdominal bloating. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), treatment may include avoiding foods that aggravate the symptoms, avoiding overeating or avoiding eating gas-producing or greasy foods that can cause indigestion. Additionally, adding fibre to your diet might help. Some medications help alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

Treatment for back pain could include rest, ice, physiotherapy, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory agents), steroid injections, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and mild painkillers.

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About the Author

Jennifer Sobek has been a writer since 1993, working on collegiate and professional newspapers. Her writing has appeared in the "Copperas Cove Leader Press," "Fort Lewis Ranger," "Suburban Trends" and "The Shopper News," among others. Sobek has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rowan University.