Rectal bleeding & back pain

Back pain and rectal bleeding can be caused by numerous medical conditions including anal fissures, haemorrhoids, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), polyps, diverticulitis, intestinal vascular issues and colon cancer. Some of the causes of rectal bleeding and back pain are benign such as rectal fissures.

Rectal fissures are tears in the anus which can cause discomfort and bleeding. Some causes require immediate medical attention. Because there are so many variations among the causes of rectal bleeding, it's imperative to see medical attention as soon as symptoms appear.


Diverticulitis is a disease of the intestines which causes pockets to form in the intestinal wall. The threat of diverticulitis increases with age; it is most commonly found in people more than 50 years old. Diverticulitis is the main cause of rectal bleeding in the elderly. For the most part, the condition is silent; however, pain and bleeding can occur when the pockets become inflamed or perforated. Blood loss associated with this disease is often sudden and heavy.

Haemorrhoids and Fissures

Haemorrhoids and fissures are benign conditions that cause rectal bleeding and back pain. Fissures are tiny tears in the rectum. Haemorrhoids are masses of vascular tissue that protrude from the rectum. Rectal bleeding associated with these conditions is most common after a bowel movement. Back pain can occur if the rectum and bowel become inflamed, irritated and cramped. Back pain can also occur if the patient strains the muscles due to the uncomfortable nature of these conditions.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Crohn’s disease, ulcers and IBS can all be considered inflammatory bowel diseases. Intestinal vascular diseases such as ischaemic colitis can also cause bowel inflammation. When the bowel becomes inflamed, the intestinal wall can become damaged causing rectal bleeding. Inflamed bowels can be painful with the pain appearing in the lower back and abdomen. These conditions most often present with bloody and mucous-covered stools. Some spotting can occur between bowel movements.


According to, treatment for back pain and rectal bleeding varies according to the underlying cause. First, treatment focuses on replenishing the blood lost. If shock or anaemia is present, these conditions are also treated. Once the patient is stable, the underlying cause of the blood loss is determined. Treatment for fissures and haemorrhoids include stool softeners and topical soothing agents. Diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease are treated symptomatically.

Medical Treatment

All new occurrences of rectal bleeding should be cause for concern. Medical treatment should be sought for each new occurrence of rectal bleeding. If a diagnosed condition is present and the symptoms change, seek immediate medical attention as well.