Many disorders can cause tightness in the stomach and back pain together, 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.
These symptoms can also indicate a problem with pregnancy, such as miscarriage. Bowel, bladder and gallbladder problems, as well as menstrual cramps, can also cause similar symptoms. See a doctor if you have these symptoms — specific treatment for your condition will depend on the underlying cause.
Consider Bowel Issues
Abdominal cramping, bloating and discomfort can occur in conjunction with a backache if you have constipation or diarrhea. Often you can have stomach and back pain at the same time 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 tightness in the upper stomach. 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.
Stomach Tightening During Early Pregnancy
For women, abdominal pressure and pressure along with a backache can signal the advent of their monthly menstrual period. During 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.
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 and Stones
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.