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Overview

Stomach and lower back pain, separately, can be caused by numerous issues but when the two symptoms occur at the same time the possible pathology can be narrowed down to a few possible causes.

As one will notice, most of the problems that cause pain in both areas of the body are those that involve organs and tissues in the lower abdomen and pelvis.

Causes 

Menstruation

When the uterus sheds its built up lining every month it does so by contracting. The cramps caused by the uterus can be felt in the lower abdomen and the pain also refers to the lower back.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

This is a condition that occurs before menstruation and it is a result of fluctuating hormone levels that occur in the body. The physical and emotional well-being of the individual is affected and it may cause abdominal and back pain to occur at the same time.

Pregnancy

As the fetus develops in the uterus the musculoskeletal system of the expectant mother is affected. Ligaments, muscles, joints, and soft tissues stretch causing the combined symptoms.

Ectopic pregnancy

If a fertilized egg (zygote) implants in an area of the female reproductive tract that isn't the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes, then this is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. As the zygote develops, it stretches the fallopian tube causing generalized pain and this scenario needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent rupture of the tube.

Endometriosis

This is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus starts to grow on other areas of the female reproductive tract. The pain caused by this problem usually occurs at the time of menstruation since not only the uterus contracts but so does the tissue that has developed in the other areas. 

Ovarian cysts

Cysts may develop on the ovaries that enlarge during the time of ovulation and can cause severe abdominal and lower back pain.

Kidney stones and gallstones

Stones can develop or pass into the tubes of the kidneys (ureters) and the gallbladder (bile ducts). Pain occurs when the smooth muscle in these tubes contract to try and get rid of these stones and may be experienced in the chest, abdomen and lower back.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a condition where the smooth muscles in the colon don't contract rhythmically and become sporadic. This causes cramping in the colon and results in pain.

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

A UTI causes cramping of the bladder due to irritation of the wall of the organ that results in lower abdominal pain. Back pain may also occur if the infection becomes complicated and starts to affect the ureters.

When to see a doctor

Not all causes of abdominal and lower back pain are emergency situations and can be managed conservatively with oral pain medication and the application of warm compresses to the affected areas.

Immediate medical attention should be sought though if there is pain that causes one to double over, blood in the stool, confusion, difficulty breathing, uncontrolled vomiting, or if conservative measures have not helped after a few days use.

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