Friday, June 29, 2007

Back to Back

Backward spinal curvature (lordosis) – accentuation of the normal concave shape of the lumbar area may be used to counterbalance a large abdomen or for other spinal deformities, hip or leg deformities. This stresses the low back and leads to low back pain.


Chronic constipation may lead to a condition called fecal impaction. This is a situation where the stool becomes hard and causes stoppage in the bowel. Five major factors can cause impaction: opioid pain medications, inactivity over a long period, changes in diet, mental illness, and long-term use of laxatives. Regular use of laxatives for constipation contributes most to the development of constipation and impaction. Repeated use of laxatives in higher and higher doses make the colon less able to signal the need to have a bowel movement.

Patients with impaction may have symptoms similar to patients with constipation, or they may have back pain (the impaction presses on sacral nerves) or bladder problems (the impaction presses on the ureters, bladder, or urethra). The patient's abdomen may become enlarged causing difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Other symptoms can include explosive diarrhea (as stool moves around the impaction), leaking stool when coughing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration. Patients who have an impaction may become very confused and disoriented with rapid heartbeat, sweating, fever, and high or low blood pressure.

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