Experiencing low back pain and diarrhea can be a symptom of a viscerosomatic reflex, somatovisceral reflex, or a combination. A reflex is an involuntary response to nervous system stimulation. A doctor tapping below the knee causes the foot to kick forward is a basic example of a reflex. This is a somatovisceral or body organ reflex. Back pain could be from awkward posture, repetitive motions like bending or twisting, or injury that affects the spinal column. The effects could cause nerve compression and damage that can cause firing misinterpreted signals impacting/damaging internal organ function, causing pain and other symptoms.

However, the damage caused to the compressed/injured organ nerves can also cause back pain symptoms. This is a viscerosomatic or organ body reflex. One study found that a group of chiropractic patients dealing with low back pain also had increased bowel problems, even though there was no specific cause, link, or association between the two. Lower back pain and diarrhea may be completely unrelated, but if symptoms are recurring, there is an increased chance of an underlying medical issue.

Diarrhea and Back Pain: Chiropractic Medical Care

Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic medicine is founded on the nervous system’s control of the body’s organ systems, whose impulse signals travel through the spinal cord. Body systems include the muscles, bones, and all organs. Any problems with the spine and/or nerve changes from normal wear and tear, injury, or infection can affect signal transmissions that can alter system functions. Altered nerve conduction can impact overall health and is referred to as reflex pathways in the nervous system. A somatovisceral reflex is where the musculoskeletal system causes altered nerve conduction creating organ system dysfunction and/or illness. Diarrhea brought on by back pain is an example.

Causes Of Back Pain and Diarrhea


The appendix extends from the colon in the lower right abdomen. Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The pain usually appears near the belly button and spreads to the right side of the stomach. Some individuals’ appendix extends behind the colon, which can also cause low back pain. Symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to relieve gas
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain – Moderate to severe
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Appendicitis can be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment; if left untreated, the condition can worsen within hours, causing a rupture that can leak through the abdominal cavity.

Fecal impaction

Fecal impaction is stools that have become hard, dry, and stuck in the rectum and can cause abdominal and low back pressure and pain. It is commonly caused by chronic constipation, which can be associated with dehydration, lack of fiber, physical inactivity, medication side effects, or long-term use of laxatives. Taking laxatives for a long time can cause the intestines to shut off automatic evacuation of the bowels. Although the condition is common in older individuals, it can happen to individuals of any age who experience chronic constipation. Symptoms can include:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Bladder pressure
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Leakage or sudden diarrhea after long-term constipation.
  • Rectal bleeding

Enteropathic arthritis

Enteropathic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Types include:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease

Different arthritic diseases like ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis can cause symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain or be associated with developing inflammatory bowel disease. Varying symptoms depend on the bowel disease and arthritis type and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody diarrhea

Pancreatic Cancer

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer vary depending on the type, location, and cancer stage. Pancreatic cancers in the early stages usually don’t cause signs or symptoms. Possible symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice

Chiropractic is ideal for addressing reflex issues. A doctor of chiropractic adjusts the spine to improve alignment, joint motion, and nerve energy transmission, improving nerve circulation/signal flow, which can help with unrelated health conditions. A chiropractor will locate any areas of spinal misalignment; once identified, a personalized treatment plan will return the correct alignment to the spine, enabling the nervous system to return to optimal function.

Decompression Spinal Non-Surgical





Sengupta, Jyoti N. “Visceral pain: the neurophysiological mechanism.” Handbook of experimental pharmacology,194 (2009): 31-74. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-79090-7_2

Walden, Anna L et al. “Bladder and bowel symptoms among adults presenting with low back pain to an academic chiropractic clinic: results of a preliminary study.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 13,3 (2014): 178-87. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2014.07.006

Wood, Jackie D. “Neuropathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 13,9 (2007): 1313-32. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i9.1313

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Diarrhea and Low Back Pain: Chiropractic Medical Care" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.