Back Pain With Crohn's Disease

Updated November 21, 2016

Crohn's disease is sometimes referred to as IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. When suffering from this disorder, an individual will experience inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract or the digestive tract. Crohn's can cause back pain. A portion of those suffering from Crohn's also develop sacroiliitis and inflammation of lower back joints as well as the sacroiliac joint, according to


Crohn's can be asymptomatic for long periods of time and then burst forth with a myriad of symptoms, a process called exacerbation, that happens when the inflammation returns. One of the symptoms can be back pain, although, typically, the symptoms involve abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, mouth sores, joint pains, loss of appetite, pain when having a bowel movement, mucus or pus around the anus, sores around the anus, weight loss and vision changes in one or both eyes as well as pain in the eyes.


When the joints become inflamed, joint stiffness and lower back pain results. This pain and stiffness can spread to the pelvis and buttocks. Arthritis may eventually occur because the inflammation that is present in the digestive tract due to Crohn's can spread into the other joints.


The severity of Crohn's does not necessarily correlate with the severity or presence of arthritis. Eight-five per cent of those with Crohn's do not suffer from back pain, which is associated with sacroiliitis and arthritis.

Treating All of Your Pain

However, if you are among the 15 per cent that do have Crohn's-related arthritis in your spine that is causing back pain, inform your physician. He may have a recommendation for treating both the sacroiliitis as well as your inflamed gastrointestinal tract.

Types of Pain

The kind of pain that you will experience with Crohn's depends on what section of the gastrointestinal tract has been affected. Disease in the colon will result in cramping pain, which sometimes resolves after a bowel movement. If the disease is in the terminal ileum, this will result in sharper pain. The terminal ileum is located in the small intestine.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.