Can Diverticulitis Cause Back Pain – Review the Latest Research

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Back pain isn't an uncommon symptom of diverticulitis that is not complicated. If you suffer from diverticulitis and are experiencing back pain, an additional reason could be the cause, or a complication could be present.

As you get older, the condition of diverticular disease becomes more frequent. “Diverticulosis” is the word used to describe the presence of diverticula (small pouches) inside the colon's lining.

The condition doesn't typically accompany any symptoms. But if the diverticula develops an infection or becomes inflamed, abdominal pain and other symptoms may result, and this is referred to as diverticulitis. The majority of cases require treatment; however, it can be treated at home and not in a hospital.

This article will explain how back pain can indicate diverticulitis. It will also discuss when to seek medical attention and how to treat the discomfort at home.

Complex in comparison to. Diverticulitis that is not complicated

Diverticular disease is recognized when diverticula are present within the colon. The term “uncomplicated” refers to the situation when the diverticula gets damaged or infected and there aren't any complications. Complicated diverticulitis occurs when a secondary issue (such as abscess, peritonitis, impingement, or a tighture or fistula) is involved.

What Does Diverticulitis Back Pain Feel Like?

The colon's location could mean that pain caused by a health issue or condition there, like diverticular diseases, may cause back pain. But back pain isn't the most common sign of diverticulitis. Abdominal pain is often the primary sign. The pain can be painful or cramping.

If you are experiencing back pain, it's likely that it is caused by a complication from diverticulitis or by a different condition. Two conditions that have similar symptoms to diverticulitis and that can trigger back pain are pancreatitis and an Ovarian cyst.

Constipation is one of the complications that is often associated with diverticulitis. About 50% of those who suffer from diverticulitis also experience constipation. It can also lead to back pain.

How to Tell If Diverticulitis Causes Your Back Pain

Back pain will likely be the sole symptom of diverticulitis. There's a tendency to have other signs that can be due to a flare-up of diverticulitis.

When to Seek Immediate Care

Diverticulitis is generally not an emergency. However, more serious cases could require hospital treatment. Extreme pain, vomiting, diarrhea that doesn't stop or stop, constipation that lasts over a period of time, and severe bleeding are all reasons to seek medical attention immediately.

Additional Diverticulitis Flare-Up Symptoms

Other symptoms that may be associated with diverticulitis are:

  • Abdominal discomfort (anything from minor and intermittent to intense and continuous)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Tender abdomen
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Vomiting

How Long Do Flares Last?

If you have simple diverticulitis, most patients feel better within two weeks. Certain people might continue to experience persistent abdominal pain or other signs. It is essential to keep regular appointments with a health professional to have these symptoms treated.

Diagnosing Diverticulitis

Suppose someone is aware that they have diverticula in the colon or experienced a flare-up in their diverticulitis prior. In that case, it's unlikely that an extensive number of tests will be needed to identify diverticulitis. In these situations, a doctor can diagnose diverticulitis in the context of symptoms and examine the abdominal area.

Diverticulitis has symptoms similar to those of many other diseases. This is why testing could be necessary to determine the diagnosis or confirm that it's not diverticulitis.

A few tests that could be conducted may include:

  • The blood tests In the case of diverticulitis, a blood-borne protein called C-reactive Protein (CRP) could be more significant than average.4 A blood test determines CRP. Your healthcare provider may decide to order different types of blood tests.
  • Urine tests Urine may be checked to confirm a possible infection as the root of the symptoms.
  • Digital rectal examination A doctor could examine the anal region and insert a gloved, lubricated finger inside the anus. This can help identify problems within the rectum or anus and may reveal whether there is mucus or blood within the stool.
  • Stool test The test could be performed to identify an infection within the colon as the reason for the symptoms.
  • Computable tomography (CT) scan The CT scan is a procedure that creates an image of abdomen organs to detect any problems. The test can be used to identify diverticulitis.4
  • Colonoscopy A colonoscopy will not be performed when diverticulitis is causing problems. However, it is usually scheduled a few weeks later after symptoms appear to ensure there aren't any additional issues with the colon.
  • Ultrasonography An abdominal ultrasound is a method for determining the presence of diverticulitis. However, it is not accessible in certain areas.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI can detect diverticulitis; however, due to its duration and cost, it cannot be used as frequently as a CT scanner or an ultrasound.

Is Diverticulitis Back Pain Serious?

Back pain that occurs during an episode of diverticulitis is something to talk about with a medical doctor. This is because it isn't the most common sign of a simple diverticulitis. It could be an indication of another issue, either as a result of the diverticulitis or as an addition to it.


Diverticulitis may cause some complications. These can cause back and neck pain or other referred pain, which could include:

  • Abscess: A small pocket of pus located in the body.
  • Bowel obstruction: Blockage in the intestine that prevents stool from passing through
  • Bowel stricture: An obstruction of the lining of the intestinal tract
  • Fistula: An abnormal tunnel between two organs

When to Get Care

When symptoms of diverticulitis begin to manifest, it's crucial to seek out a healthcare expert. Even if it's not the first time that it's been observed, finding out the cause will ensure that the proper care is in place.

Other issues can occur in conjunction with diverticulitis. In the event of complications, such as fistula or abscess, different treatments may be required.

It is essential to keep appointments following a recovery from diverticulitis. A doctor can determine the next steps in diet and lifestyle, ensure there aren't any issues within the digestive tract, and assist you in understanding how to prevent flare-ups in the future.

If you notice symptoms such as intense abdominal bleeding, nausea that isn't stopping, constipation, or diarrhea that's been going on for some days, see a doctor right promptly. If you experience severe symptoms, it is time to visit an emergency department, as some of the complications of diverticulitis may be severe.

Diverticulitis Back Pain Relief

There are many ways that back pain could be treated at home.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be found in the form of an over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller, which can be taken. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen) typically are not advised in the event of a flare-up of diverticulitis. Consult a doctor regarding pain relief options.

Heating pads are a popular and easy method of alleviating discomfort. However, they haven't been examined in the context of the treatment of diverticulitis. It is important to follow instructions to avoid irritation of the skin.

In certain instances, medical professionals may suggest a liquid eating plan while recovering from an illness flare-up. There is evidence that suggests a low-fiber diet could be followed without causing harm. But some find it easier to feel better on liquid diets. When they are recovered, eating a diet rich in fiber and a low intake of sweets and red meat or a vegetarian diet could aid in preventing a recurrence.

Prescription pain medication is not commonly used when treating diverticulitis taken care of at home. Alternatives for pain relief should be discussed with a medical physician.


Back pain isn't common in the case of diverticulitis. Patients suffering from back pain are advised to speak with their physician to make sure that the issue isn't caused by complications. Relief from pain can be found with acetaminophen, the use of a heating pad, or changes in diet. Any pain that lasts for more than one or two days or is very severe should be discussed with a medical physician.

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