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Back Pain Center

Tightening and Pressure in the Stomach With a Backache

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Tightening and Pressure in the Stomach With a Backache
Stomach tightening and back pain can indicate numerous disorders. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Many disorders can cause stomach tightening and pressure with backache, from constipation to labor. If you experience these symptoms and you're male, you can at least rule out labor. For any sexually active woman of childbearing age, labor is always a possibility, especially if you're somewhat overweight and have irregular periods, even if you don't think you're pregnant. Bowel, bladder and gallbladder problems as well as menstrual cramps can also cause similar symptoms as well as less upheaval in your life. Treatment depends on the cause.

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Bowel Issues

Abdominal cramping, bloating and discomfort can occur in conjunction with a backache if you have constipation or diarrhea. Often, cramping and backache occur just before you have an episode of diarrhea, so be prepared. Food poisoning, stomach viruses, irritable bowel syndrome and eating too much can all cause a tight feeling in your stomach along with pressure and backache. Serious issues such as perforation of the bowel, bowel obstruction and infection such as appendicitis can also cause abdominal guarding, a tightening in your abdomen to prevent movement of the painful areas and backache. See your doctor if you have severe or persistent abdominal pain that a good bowel movement doesn't cure.

Bladder or Kidney Problems

Bladder infections can cause cramping and backache along with abdominal discomfort. Pain when urinating, blood in the urine and a constant feeling of pressure or cramping often accompany a bladder infection. Kidney stones can also cause crampy abdominal pain and backache; the pain of kidney stones is often severe.

Reproductive Disorders

For women, abdominal pressure and pressure along with a backache can signal the advent of their monthly menstrual period. If you're in early pregnancy, these symptoms might also signal a threatened miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy -- a pregnancy that implants in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside the uterus. And, although it often makes the news as an oddity, women do carry pregnancies to term without realizing they're pregnant. As many as one in 2,500 pregnant women don't realize they're pregnant, according to the July 2009 online issue of "MacIeans." If you experience tightening and backache that comes and goes at regular intervals, especially if accompanied by a gush of fluid or bloody show, go to the emergency room -- and don't be surprised if they send you up to labor and delivery.

Gallbladder Problems

Gallbladder problems occur twice as often in women than in men, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Gallstones occur most commonly in women over age 60 who are overweight, but can occur at any age and in either sex. A gallbladder attack causes abdominal pain that can radiate to your back. Gallbladder attacks may come and go; you may need your gallbladder removed to stop the attacks. If you run a fever or notice that the whites of your eyes are yellow, seek immediate medical attention.

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