Post-surgery pains are common and not a source of concern, according to many doctors and surgeons who see patients with recurring complaints of such pains. However, sometimes pain does get to the excruciating point, which therefore makes a trip to the hospital necessary.

Because painkillers can get a person addicted, therefore it is usually recommended that pain be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. One of the types of pains that people experience post-surgery is of the back, which can get really pesky as it can interfere with your daily work routine. So, the question is why do you get back pain after abdominal surgery?

As explained beforehand, post-surgery pain is normal and common. It is attributed to the fact that the body experiences pain after going a stressful routine, which an invasive procedure such as an operation can induce. While some pains may just be the result of the post-surgery settling of the body.

In many cases, pains present themselves as a sign that something has gone wrong, or whatever anomaly was righted during the surgery has not been the case. Either way, post-surgery pains are nothing to be afraid of, as is lower back pain after abdominal surgery. It is most likely your body settling in with the new changes that have been done during the surgery. 

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We’ll first take a look at why pains present themselves after surgery, and take the case of back pain after abdominal surgeries, followed by the causes and the remedies, what you can do to deal with the pain. Because post-surgery pain can also be a sign of the body not adjusting fully to the change, such a situation need not be taken lightly and a trip to the hospital is usually a good idea to ascertain the situation and make sure that everything is alright.

Why do You Get Back Pain After Abdominal Surgery?

If, for any reason, you’ve had an abdominal surgery, for hernia or for kidney stones, there is a good chance that you will experience pains in the lower back and the abdomen. While this isn’t usually a sign for something going wrong, it might just be a scar tissue that could be pulling your back, and causing it to radiate pain.

While this issue can be resolved with therapy and exercise, a trip to the doctor would be better as they would be able to properly diagnose the issue and prescribe adequate medication for it. One of the main causes of back pain after abdominal surgery is due to the scar tissue. Now, you might ask, what is scar tissue? Scar tissue is the layer of tissue that covers a site of injury or incision to heal the wound properly.

This is a biological and natural process; our body develops scar tissue itself to heal wounds, much like how blood clots are formed by the body itself to seal off the entry site of the wound to prevent bacteria and foreign elements from getting into the bloodstream. So, take it on good faith that a scar tissue is totally natural and is intended to help the body heal up after an incision or a wound.

One of the ways scar tissue is usually responsible for back pain after surgery is because scar tissue covers the damaged parts of the body. Since a surgery is essentially one big incision and the healing of the supposed wound is left to the body, if you have had abdominal surgery, the site of incision will then be layered by a sheath of scar tissue.

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And since a lot of organs in the abdomen are bound (albeit loosely) to the spinal column with fascia (collagen muscle/ connective tissue that binds and separates organs), there is a possibility that the scar tissue (since it is new in the region) might start pulling onto the fascia, which in turn pulls on the spinal cord, causing back pain, especially in the lower back. 

This whole process is only related to abdominal surgery, and while scar tissue does develop in wound sites or incisions elsewhere, the abdomen is particularly susceptible to cause back pain since it is located at the fore of the lower spinal column, which, according to a study, almost 80 per cent of people will experience a pain in. So, with a body part that is already taxed with too much strain and supports the abdomen and the lower chest area by itself, it can be very prone to pain and the symptoms of any such occurrence might be readily apparent.

Pain after Abdominal Surgery

In many cases, the case isn’t so as stated beforehand; i.e., the pain does not originate from the lower back. Instead, it originates from within the abdomen and is radiated to the whole area, which includes the lower back and can trick an individual into thinking the pain is located in the lower back. This is more common than the scar tissue latching onto fascia issue, and can be a front for a real problem that could be present in the abdomen, especially after surgery.

In the case of abdominal surgery, pain is usually reserved to just the abdominal cavity and the part of the back that is in contact with it, which is the lower back. And since pain in the body radiates to the areas around the source, it is easy to mistake the pain from the abdomen as pain from the lower back. 

If you experience pain in the abdomen after abdominal surgery, it could be related to the post-surgery stress, which causes pain in the site most affected by the surgery, in this case the abdomen. If the surgery was recently done, it could be a blood clot, which could be pressing against a nerve cell, causing the brain to decipher it as a painful stimulus. While post-surgery pains are common and nothing to be concerned about, it is usually recommended that a doctor be seen and a consultation might be in order to determine the source of the pain, why is it happening and any remedy for it.

How to Deal With Back Pain After Abdominal Surgery

While painkillers are the first and, in some cases, the obvious choice, many physicians are now starting to not recommend them, owing to their widespread misuse and their tendency to be abused. Plus, painkillers can get a patient dependent on them, which can impair proper reasoning and functioning if unavailable, which is why the trend towards painkillers is slowly changing. 

However, post-surgery pain is severe and can lead the individual to be mistaken that ‘something went wrong during the surgery and medical attention should be sought if the pain gets too much or radiates to the nearing body parts. Therapy can also be used, but it has little physical or medical applications.

One way to get rid of lower back pains is by using heat and ice packs alternatively to relax the back muscles which are under constant stress and by changing your posture after regular intervals, thereby relaxing the strain on muscles distributed throughout the back. This will ensure that each muscle alternates between relax and contract, thereby cancelling the effect of pain in the back.


Common remedies for back pain after abdominal surgery include painkillers, one which numb the pain down and can help a person relax if the pain gets too much. Secondly, to treat the post-surgery pain, especially the one that is felt in the lower back, heat and ice packs are used alternatively. Both have specific purposes; ice packs make the muscles contract and heat packs make the muscles relax.

This alternating action can help deal the pain away as pain only occurs when a single set of muscle is overworked while the other stays relaxed. With this heat-ice alternative therapy, all muscles contract and relax holistically, which rules out the pain being caused due to muscular usage. 

Another course of action with back pain after abdominal surgery is to consult a doctor, preferably a general surgeon (who had initially performed the surgery), as they will be better aware of the situation and will be able to better guide you and diagnose the pain and identify the sources. Then, whatever they prescribe, do as suggested.

In a Nutshell,

Back pain after abdominal surgery is common but is not a ground for concern. This is because post-surgery pains are very common and are regular, considering that the body has been through a traumatic experience and has experienced an invasive procedure. Therefore, doctors usually suggest that post-surgery pains be allowed to run their course, as they fade out after an hour or two.

However, in the case of back pain after abdominal surgery, they may persist, which could be due to a number of reasons, primary of which is an internal entanglement of the scar tissue with the fascia, which can then pull on the spinal cord and cause discomfort at first, progressing into fully-blown out pain that can affect the back very much.

It can also be pain in the abdomen that is then radiated to the lower back, causing the individual to mistake it for back pain and not a pain in the gut. If that is the case and you’ve recently have had surgery on the abdomen, a trip to the hospital will be imperative as issues in the body after a surgery are very common and need immediate medical attention to prevent the situation from deteriorating and causing further damage to the site where the initial surgery took place. Meet with your physician and they can better diagnose and detect any issue that’s causing the post-surgery pain.