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Understanding the Connection: The Link Between Back Pain and Nausea


medically reviewed by Dr Godmi Tresa

Dr. Bhavya

Updated on October 23, 2023

Leading your day-to-day chores with everlasting back pain is a challenging experience. Isn’t it?

“With constant back pain, it’s like carrying a backpack full of rocks that never gets lighter.”, says a Nirva client who has been going through chronic back pain for two years.

Research shows that 50-80% of the population sometimes suffers back pain. An estimated 200 billion dollars are spent on the management of back pain. 

But have you experienced nausea along with back pain?

Back pain linked with nausea is extremely common and can affect your ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoy life. When they occur together, it is a sign of other medical conditions.

In this blog post, we will explore some possible causes of back pain and nausea, explore their relationship, and provide practical tips for managing these symptoms effectively.

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Why is Your Back Pain Making You Nauseous?

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Back pain can be more than just a discomforting experience - it can make you nauseous too.

This is because the nerves in your spine are close to your digestive system, and if they are affected, it can lead to digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhoea.

Additionally, using pain medications to manage back pain can cause nausea as a side effect—medications such as opioids, for example, cause nausea and vomiting in many people. Furthermore, back pain can be caused by various health conditions affecting the digestive system. 

Some of them are:

  • Kidney Stones: Kidney stones can cause severe pain in the lower back and sides and nausea and vomiting.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): A UTI can cause pain in the lower back, abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
  • Pancreatitis: This is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause severe pain in the upper abdomen, low back, as well as nausea, vomiting, and fever.
  • Gallbladder Disease: This disease can cause pain in the upper right abdomen and back, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
  • Spinal Problems: Various spinal conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and sciatica can cause back pain and sometimes nausea if the nerves in the spine are affected.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): This chronic condition causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can cause back pain, abdominal pain, and nausea.
  • Gynaecological Issues: Conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause lower back pain and nausea, especially during menstruation.
  • Liver Problems: Liver diseases can cause nausea due to the buildup of toxins in the body and back pain due to liver enlargement or fluid buildup in the abdomen. 
  • Appendicitis: Appendicitis is a condition where the appendix is inflamed and infected, causing severe abdominal pain that can sometimes radiate to the lower back. Nausea, vomiting, and fever often accompany this pain. If left untreated, appendicitis can be life-threatening, and surgery is often necessary to remove the appendix.

Some of the other conditions that cause back pain and nausea are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Poor posture 
  • Heart attacks
  • Some cancerous conditions

Here are some food and dietary habits that can contribute to both nausea and back pain:

  • High-Fat Foods: Consuming foods high in fat can cause inflammation, leading to nausea and back pain.
  • Processed Foods: Processed foods are often high in sodium and sugar, which can cause inflammation and lead to back pain. They can also be challenging to digest, leading to nausea.
  • Caffeine: Consuming too much caffeine can cause dehydration, worsening back pain. Caffeine can also cause digestive issues, leading to nausea.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can cause dehydration and inflammation, worsening back pain. It can also irritate the stomach lining, leading to nausea.
  • Sugar: Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar can cause inflammation and lead to both nausea and back pain.
  • Skipping Meals: Not eating for long periods can cause low blood sugar levels, worsening nausea and back pain.

If you are experiencing back pain and nausea, it is essential to determine the cause of your symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.

How to Manage And Prevent Back Pain and Nausea 

Taking care of your overall health is essential to prevent and manage nausea and back pain related to the abovementioned conditions.

The first and foremost step towards managing your nausea and back pain is precisely identifying what is giving you those symptoms.

As mentioned above, it can be anything from a slightly pinched nerve to stress.

Once you identify this with the help of your healthcare professional, take a step towards proper management.

Try these easy tips to prevent back pain linked with nausea.

  • Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly
  • practise good posture
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation
  • Get enough restful sleep

Consult with a healthcare professional for persistent or severe symptoms.

It’s important to note that these tips are not meant to replace medical advice and treatment from a qualified healthcare professional.

Here are some standard treatment options:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate back pain. Anti-nausea medications can help manage nausea.
  • Physical therapy: Exercises, stretches, and manual therapy techniques can help alleviate back pain and improve function.
  • Surgery: Surgery may sometimes be necessary to treat the underlying cause of back pain and nausea.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Making lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and practising stress management techniques, can help prevent and manage symptoms.
  • Alternative therapies: Techniques such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy may relieve back pain and nausea.

The Ayurvedic way!


Ayurvedic treatments for nausea and back pain include dietary modifications, herbal remedies, massage, yoga, meditation, and other lifestyle changes to help balance the body and promote healing.

Several Ayurvedic herbs and formulations may be used to alleviate both nausea and back pain.

Here are a few herbs that you might want to know.


Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It also has a calming effect on the stomach, which can help alleviate nausea. Drinking ginger tea or chewing on fresh ginger root may help reduce nausea and ease back pain.


Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body cope with stress. It may help reduce inflammation and pain, including back pain. It is available in the form of capsules, powders, and teas.


Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It may help alleviate pain and inflammation associated with back pain. Turmeric can be added to food, taken as a health supplement, or applied topically.


Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formulation consisting of three fruits: amla (Indian gooseberry), haritaki ( chebulic myrobalana), and bibhitaki ( Belleric myrobalan). It may help improve digestion and alleviate nausea. You can take Triphala as a powder, capsule, or tablet.

Want to know some home remedies using these herbs? Keep reading!

Ginger Tea

Steep a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water and drink the tea to help reduce nausea and ease back pain.

Ashwagandha Milk: 

Mix a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder in a cup of warm milk and drink it before bedtime to help reduce stress and back pain.

Turmeric & Honey Paste:

Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of honey to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and manage back pain.

Triphala Churna: 

Take a teaspoon of Triphala powder with warm water before bedtime to help improve digestion and alleviate nausea.

These herbs have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and may help improve digestion and relieve nausea.

It’s important to note that these remedies may not be suitable for everyone and should be used cautiously.

Consult our Ayurvedic practitioner at Nirva Health ( link)

When to Seek Medical Help?

Back pain and nausea can sometimes be symptoms of severe medical conditions that require prompt medical attention.

Look out for these situations where you should seek medical help for back pain and nausea:

  • If your back pain and nausea are severe and sudden or are accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or abdominal pain.
  • If you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, or other serious medical conditions that can affect the spine.
  • If your back pain and nausea persist for more than a few days despite home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
  • If you have recently experienced a traumatic injury to the back or head.
  • If you have a known heart condition or a family history of heart disease.

It’s essential to listen to your body and seek medical help. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and improve overall health and well-being.

Take Control of Your Health

Back pain and nausea are common symptoms caused by various health conditions, ranging from minor muscle strain to severe medical conditions.

Pay attention to your symptoms and seek medical attention if they persist or worsen.

By following a healthy lifestyle, incorporating regular exercise and proper dietary habits, and seeking timely medical intervention, you can manage your symptoms and prevent them from interfering with your daily life.

Listen to your body, prioritise your health, and work with your healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive management plan for back pain and nausea.

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Frequently Asked Questions

It’s important to note that these tips are not meant to replace medical advice and treatment from a qualified healthcare professional.