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Causes of Pain in Your Lower Stomach and Back

All of us have experienced occasional stomach aches or acute back pain from time to time. However, what happens if both your stomach and back are hurting at the same time? While it can simply be a coincidence, but it may also be something worth taking note of. The causes of lower stomach pain and back pain vary widely. Here are some of the common causes of pain in your lower stomach and back.

Causes of Lower Stomach Pain and Back Pain

There are many conditions that can cause lower stomach and back pain. Surprisingly, the causes of this type of pain in both parts can stem from problems within the musculoskeletal, urinary, reproductive, or the digestive system. For example, menstrual cramps are one of the most common causes of both lower stomach pain as well as back pain.(1, 2, 3, 4)

Another condition known as endometriosis can also cause both lower stomach and back pain in women. Endometriosis is a condition that develops when uterine-like tissue starts growing outside of the uterus.(5) There are several known chronic overlapping pain conditions with endometriosis, back pain, and stomach pain. Endometriosis is also known to cause cyclic and non-cyclic pain in the abdomen area, lower back, and even the jaw.(6, 7, 8, 9)

Here are some other conditions that are known to cause both lower stomach and back pain at the same time.

  1. Pancreatitis

    A common cause of this type of pain can be pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a flat, long gland that is located behind the stomach in the upper part of the abdomen. The pancreas manufacture enzymes that aid in the digestion process, along with hormones that help maintain the manner in which your body processes sugar or glucose.(10, 11)

    The signs and symptoms of pancreatitis tend to vary, depending on which type of pancreatitis you have. However, the most common symptom is abdominal pain that radiates all the way to your back. Other symptoms may include:

    If your lower stomach and back pain is being caused by pancreatitis, the pain might begin slowly or suddenly in the abdomen and then spread to the back. The pain may also last for several days, varying between moderate to severe pain. You may also notice swelling or tenderness in the abdomen region.(12)

    Treatment for all types of pancreatitis usually involves hospitalization, and it needs time and rest to heal. For this reason, when hospitalized, you may be administered specifically tailored fluids and nutrition through a tube that goes from the nose directly to the stomach or intravenously (IV). This tube is known as a nasogastric feeding tube. Medication will be given to help manage the pain.(13, 14)

  2. Appendicitis

    While sharp, shooting pain in the lower right side of the stomach is the main symptom of appendicitis, many people also experience back pain with this condition. It is absolutely critical that appendicitis is diagnosed in time to prevent the appendix from bursting.

    Appendicitis is a dire medical condition that causes inflammation of the appendix, which is a finger-shaped pouch-like organ that is located on the lower right hand side of the abdomen, projecting from the colon. Appendicitis typically causes pain in the lower right stomach. However, in many people, the pain can start around the belly button area and then move lower and even radiate towards the back. As the inflammation of the appendix gets worse, the pain associated with appendicitis increases greatly and eventually becomes severe. The pain may even cause a person to pass out.(15, 16, 17, 18)

    Some of the common signs and symptoms of appendicitis include:(19)

    • Sudden, sharp pain that starts on the right side of the lower stomach.
    • Sudden pain that starts around the belly button and shifts to the lower right abdomen and the back.
    • Pain that worsens when you walk, make any sudden or jarring movements or cough.
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Flatulence
    • Loss of appetite
    • Low-grade fever that worsens as the inflammation progresses.

    While anyone can develop appendicitis, it most commonly happens in people between the ages of 10 to 30 years. The typical treatment of appendicitis is the surgical removal of the appendix, which is a vestigial organ in any case.(20)

  3. Kidney Stones

    Kidney stones are hard deposits made up of salts and minerals that develop inside the kidneys. Kidney stones are caused by poor diet, excess body weight, certain supplements and medications, and some underlying medical conditions.(21, 22, 23)

    The pain caused by kidney stones generally starts in the back and radiates to the front of the abdomen. In most people, pain from kidney stones affects only one side of the body, as usually, one kidney develops the stones.

    It is important to remember that a kidney stone will usually not cause any symptoms until it begins to move around inside the kidney or it passes into one of the ureters, which are the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.

    If the kidney stone gets stuck in the ureters, it might block your urine flow, causing the kidney to swell up and the ureter to spasm. This can be a very painful condition and may also cause the following symptoms:

    • Severe and sharp pain in the back and side or below the ribs.
    • Pain that travels to the lower abdomen and groin area.
    • Pain or burning sensation while passing urine.
    • Pain that comes in waves and may fluctuate in intensity.

    Treatment for kidney stones usually depends on the type of stone you have and the exact cause. Most small kidney stones do not need any type of invasive treatment, and you may pass the small stone by drinking water. Pain relievers can help manage the pain. Large kidney stones that are too large to pass on their own may require extensive treatment, such as using sound waves to break up the stones or surgery to remove the very large stones.(24, 25, 26)

  4. Other Causes of Pain in the Lower Stomach and Back

    Some of the other reasons for lower stomach pain and back pain include gallstones and peptic ulcers. Gallstones are similar to kidney stones, except that they are found inside the gallbladder. Their formation can cause both stomach and back pain. There is no clear cause of why gallstones form, though it is believed to be due to the presence of excess cholesterol and bilirubin in the bile. Stomach pain caused by gallstones tends to begin in the upper right side, along with back pain.(27, 28)

    Peptic ulcers occur when erosions form in the lining of the small intestine or the stomach. If these erosions cause a perforation or hole, they cause severe pain in the upper left or central abdomen. This pain can travel to the back and shoulders. If there is no perforation, back pain is usually not associated with peptic ulcers.(29, 30)

    Kidney conditions like pyelonephritis or acute inflammation of the gallbladder can also lead to pain in the lower stomach and back.(31)

When To Consult A Doctor?

Most of the conditions that cause lower stomach and back pain together need to be appropriately diagnosed by a doctor. They need accurate treatment that manages the underlying condition in order to relieve the pain. Your doctor might need to perform some diagnostic tests, such as MRIs or ultrasounds, to rule out or diagnose the underlying cause of your pain.

Visit a doctor if you notice the following signs and symptoms:

  • You have nausea that lasts for several days or worsens with time.
  • There is a pain in the upper right side of the stomach.
  • There is severe stomach pain or itching in the stomach area during pregnancy.
  • Stomach pain that worsens when you eat or follow a specific pattern.

If you experience the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical assistance or call your local emergency number like 911:

  • You have severe back pain that moves to the groin.
  • You have severe stomach pain that is unbearable.
  • You are having pale stool or stomach pain along with a fever.


A proper diagnosis is needed to relieve lower stomach and back pain. A doctor will listen to your symptoms and medical history, conduct a physical exam, and prescribe certain tests to determine the potential causes of your pain and also rule out any serious issues. Pay attention to the pain and consult a doctor if you notice any change or any of the above-mentioned symptoms.


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  2. Wright, K.O., 2018. “You have endometriosis”: Making menstruation-related pain legitimate in a biomedical world. Health Communication.
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  12. Wilcox, C.M., Yadav, D., Ye, T., Gardner, T.B., Gelrud, A., Sandhu, B.S., Lewis, M.D., Al-Kaade, S., Cote, G.A., Forsmark, C.E. and Guda, N.M., 2015. Chronic pancreatitis pain pattern and severity are independent of abdominal imaging findings. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 13(3), pp.552-560.
  13. Wada, K., Takada, T., Hirata, K., Mayumi, T., Yoshida, M., Yokoe, M., Kiriyama, S., Hirota, M., Kimura, Y., Takeda, K. and Arata, S., 2010. Treatment strategy for acute pancreatitis. Journal of hepato-biliary-pancreatic sciences, 17(1), pp.79-86.
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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 25, 2022

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