Back pain and vomiting: causes and treatments


Back pain can vary in severity and type, from sharp and throbbing to dull and aching. Back pain is common because the back acts as a support and stabilization system for the body, making it vulnerable to injury and tension.

Vomiting occurs when the contents of your stomach are expelled forcefully from your mouth. Food poisoning and viral infections are common causes of vomiting.

What causes back pain and vomiting?

When experiencing back pain with vomiting, it is important to consider when your back pain began. For example, energetic vomiting can cause back pain and tension. Common causes of vomiting include:

  • poisoned food

  • indigestion

  • Infections (usually related to bacterial and viral diseases)

  • motion sickness

Back pain and vomiting are also often associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a kidney infection. These conditions occur when bacteria accumulate in the urinary tract, leading to an infection. A kidney infection is the most serious of the two. Other symptoms of a kidney infection include blood in the urine, pain in the side of the torso, chills and fever.

Morning sickness associated with pregnancy can cause nausea and vomiting. Back pain is also common with pregnancy, as the weight of the growing baby puts strain on the back. Often, these symptoms are not a concern for pregnant women. However, when nausea occurs after the first trimester, it can be a symptom of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition in which blood pressure rises too high. If you are pregnant and experience nausea in the second trimester, consult your doctor.

Less common causes of back pain and vomiting include:

  • bacterial meningitis

  • Crohn's disease

  • endometriosis

  • pancreatitis

  • a spinal tumor

  • Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumors in the uterus

Other causes of back pain and vomiting include:

  • menstruation

  • premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

  • gallstones

  • kidney stones

  • ectopic pregnancy

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • typhus

  • pancreatic cancer

  • hyperparathyroidism

  • porphyrias

  • Infection with West Nile virus

  • yellow fever

  • polio

  • heart attack

  • abdominal aortic aneurysm

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When to seek medical help

Most vomiting will go away in a day. If the back pain is the result of vomiting, it should also subside after a few days of rest.

Seek emergency medical attention if you are pregnant and experience these symptoms unrelated to morning sickness. Call your doctor immediately if you have the following symptoms in addition to back pain and vomiting:

  • blood in your vomit or stool

  • Confusion

  • extreme physical weakness

  • A strong headache and stiff neck.

  • loss of control over the bladder or bowel movements

  • severe abdominal pain

  • worsening of symptoms

Also, call your doctor if your back pain continues after the vomiting goes away or if the vomiting continues for 24 hours.

Treatment of back pain and vomiting.

Treatment for back pain and vomiting will treat the underlying condition. Your doctor may prescribe antiemetics or medications to stop vomiting.

Home care

Hydration is important after you have experienced an outbreak of vomiting, because you lose fluids when you vomit. It can be rehydrated by taking small sips of water, ginger ale or a transparent drink that contains electrolytes that do not contain excess sugar.

Waiting for about six hours after a period of vomiting to eat can reduce the chance of vomiting again. When you eat, focus on soft and soft foods, such as cookies or applesauce. Eating several small meals a day also helps keep nausea at bay.

Resting your back is a vital part of treating back pain. You can apply an ice pack covered with a cloth for 10 minutes in a row the first three days after your back pain appears. After 72 hours, you can apply heat. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can relieve pain after vomiting goes away.

Prevention of back pain and vomiting.

Although you can not always prevent back pain and vomiting, you can take steps to avoid triggers. Common triggers include:

  • drink too much alcohol

  • eating too much food

  • eat foods that are not well cooked

  • excess stress

  • Poor hygiene when preparing food.

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