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According to Medical News Today several studies, which are listed below, have found links between spinal problems and GI symptoms, such as:

Doctors cannot successfully treat the underlying cause of some spinal problems, and therefore, they aim to take care of the symptoms instead. However, with other spinal issues, such as herniated disks, healthcare professionals can address symptoms with medications and surgery.

This article written in Medical News Today researches the link between spinal problems and digestive issues. It also looks at some common spinal problems, why they may result in digestive issues, and what treatment and management options are available.

Spinal problems can cause digestive issues.

The spinal cord is culpable for sending nerve signals throughout the body, including the digestive system. Therefore, any concerns impacting the function of the spinal cord and the proper communication between nerves can cause digestive problems.

Spinal cord injuries, compressed or herniated disks — depending on the location and severity of the herniation — and strained ligaments may result in issues with digestion.

Spinal cord injuries can cause several bowel problems, includingTrusted Source:

  • difficulty moving waste through the colon or large intestine
  • difficulty controlling bowel movements
  • hard stools that are difficult to pass
  • abdominal pain
  • a feeling of fullness quickly after eating, which can lead to decreased eating

Herniated disks can protrude and cause GI issues, such asTrusted Source:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • excessive peristalsis, or the passage of food through the digestive system
  • tenesmus, or the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement even though there is no more stool to expel

Furthermore, health professionals associate ankylosing spondylosis, which is another spinal condition, with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ankylosing spondylosis is an inflammatory disease and a type of arthritis that can cause the vertebrae to fuse. As a result, a person’s spine curves forward.

People with this condition often experience chronic digestive tract inflammation that resembles IBD.

Nerves connect the digestive organs with the brain and spinal cord. They release chemicals that cause the digestive system muscles to contract or relax.

Spinal problems that may cause digestive issues include spinal cord injuries, herniated disks, tumours, and ankylosing spondylosis.

Aica writes that symptoms in one area of your body may reflect a problem happening in a completely different location. Many common digestive conditions can be traced back to the spine. A range of spinal cord concerns can cause problems in other parts of the body. The spinal cord sends nerve signals to the rest of your body, impacting its function, which can cause digestive problems. Problems that can lead to these problems include disc compression, herniated discs, or strained ligaments.

Finally, Fix 24 Wellness Studio writes that stomach problems can be an implication that there are other ailments bothering the body in another (almost unrelated) area. When people are dealing with nausea, diarrhoea, heartburn, or any other stomach problem, they always think the problem is isolated from their digestive system. However, this is not always the case. In fact, one of the most familiar places that can cause stomach issues is the back.

So, can your spinal problem be causing you a digestive problem, or could your digestive problem be causing your spinal problem? Reading the above articles, I would say it is a resounding yes, your spinal problem could be related to your digestive problems.

Source: Medical News Today, Aica Fix 24 Wellness Studio

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Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day on May 15th – This year’s theme is spinal cord injury at any age. Post it on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to add #LivingWithSCI. Aspire – supporting people with spinal injury.

Aspire is a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone at any time, and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure.

People with Spinal Cord Injury will lose muscle and sensory control and a large majority will become full time wheelchair users for the rest of their lives. Historically, the majority of spinal injuries have been sustained by those aged 21 to 30, with nearly three quarters of new spinal cord injury patients being male. However, Spinal Cord Injury is increasingly affecting older people now too. Approximately 2,500 people sustain a spinal cord injury in the UK each year.

Through its projects and programmes, Aspire offers practical support to the 50,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK, from newly injured spinal cord injury patients in hospital and throughout their lives. This support allows people with spinal injury to lead fulfilled and independent lives in their homes, with their families, in their workplace and in leisure time.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2021 is held on May 14th. This annual awareness event is arranged by the Spinal Injuries Association in conjunction with other charities. The day aims to raise the profile of spinal injuries and increase awareness and understanding of spinal cord injuries and their impact, effect and treatment.

The awareness day helps people to understand why and how spinal cord injuries affect people, and what treatment and care is available and needed. Spinal injuries continue to be researched for treatment and cure, and in some cases it is possible to recover the use of the limbs and regain some activities, it depends on the injury, but usually it is a lifelong injury. The awareness day provides information for sufferers, carers, health professionals and the general public on all of this.

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Your spine is made up of a column of 33 bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked one on top of another like Lego bricks.

There are 7 cervical vertebrae in your neck, which includes one which links to your skull, 12 thoracic vertebrae in your chest, 5 lumber vertebrae in your mid/low back and 5 sacral vertebrae at the bottom of your back and finally 4 bones in your coccyx, which is the tail end of your back.

All these joined together are able to give you the ability to curve and flex your spine.

Attached to your vertebrae are your muscles and ligaments. Ligaments are tough fibres which help to keep everything in place. Nerves appear from gaps between each pair of bones which then supply your muscles and then carry sensations to your brain.

Major muscle groups also support and help to stabilise your spine, providing your spine with the ability to flex, extend, twist and bend sideways.

The lumber nerves have a bundle of nerve fibres known as the sciatic nerve, which supplies the legs and feet.

In between the bones are the discs which stop the spine from jarring acting like a cushion to enable you to move. These disc make up about a quarter of the height of the spine. They come in two parts, a jelly which is the centre piece for your discs and supports the weight, and a series of concentric rings which keep the jelly in place.

Behind your discs nerves pass through and behind this is what is called a facet joint, which allows your bones to move on another. All the bones are joined together by ligaments.

The more you learn about how your back works, the more you will understand when it’s bothering you.

Source: Polyclinic, London Norwich Spine