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Constipation Pain: Understanding its Causes and Effects

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated May 12, 2022

    Constipation Pain: Understanding its Causes and Effects

    Pain is one way the body tries to communicate. When a human feels pain anywhere in their body, it’s indicative that something is amiss. Pain will tell you that you’re suffering from a headache or feeling under the weather and need to be given medication. A stomach ache, for example, is something a lot of folks experience from time to time. Often, a tummy ache can be a sign of impaired function of the digestive system, like constipation. Where is constipation felt exactly? And what causes this?

    What is Constipation?

    Constipation is a common and reversible condition that affects all ages. Learn more about where is constipation pain felt and whether or not that tummy ache is something you should worry about.

    Constipation affects the digestive system and causes an individual to have difficulty passing stools. Some people suffer from brief periods of constipation, while others can experience chronic bouts of constipation due to other underlying diseases like neurological conditions, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.

    There are various possibilities about where constipation pain is felt, but overall discomfort usually results from this condition. 

    Data collected from various studies around the world reveal that about 16% of adults worldwide suffer from chronic constipation.

    The number of older adults aged between 60 to 110 years old suffering from chronic constipation is notably higher, with an estimated 33.5% of elderly folk reporting having this affliction. Studies have also pointed out that constipation is much more common among pregnant women.

    What Causes Constipation? 

    When a person becomes constipated, their colon, or the large intestine, spends too much time absorbing water from the waste material that results from the foods we digest. This dries the waste material too much and results in dry and hard stool that is difficult and often painful to push out of the body.

    There is no definite cause of constipation. Factors such as diet and a sedentary lifestyle are usually the main culprits for most people. However, other elements such as age, certain medications, and even stress can cause a person to become suddenly constipated despite having healthy bowel movements.

    Symptoms of Constipation: Where Is Constipation Pain Felt?

    “Where is constipation pain felt?” is one of the more commonly asked questions when people suspect they are constipated. The primary sign of digestive trouble is usually stomach pain.

    Pain caused by constipation is characterized by a sharp or cramping ache radiating from the abdomen. The feeling is similar to menstrual cramps experienced by women during their monthly cycles. 

    However, pain is not the only symptom to look out for if you suspect that you’re constipated. The location of the discomfort is not a definite answer to where is constipation pain felt.

    Other symptoms of constipation include:

    Less frequent bowel movements

    The frequency of a person’s bowel movement depends entirely on a person’s lifestyle. Some people use the bathroom more than others. If you notice that you haven’t been pooping as much as you’re accustomed to, then it might be signalling constipation.

    Hard stool

    The consistency of your stool can also say a lot about your overall health. If your waste looks like small pebbles, it signifies that it spent a lot of time in the colon and has become too dry and hard to pass. A healthy bowel movement should be smooth and easy to pass.

    Straining on the toilet

    According to the Bristol Stool Scale, pushing and feeling pain while you’re passing a bowel movement is one sign of constipation. Struggling to eliminate waste, to the point of pain, is a sign that your stool is not the right consistency. 

    Difficulty emptying the bowels

    If you’re wondering where is constipation pain felt, the answer might be somewhere in your bowels. 

    Aside from the stomach, a person may also feel discomfort in the bowels when they’re constipated. When a person is constipated, they often feel like they have not fully emptied the contents of their bowels, even if they’ve just finished using the toilet.


    Passing foul-smelling gas frequently when constipated is more common among children who are experiencing tummy troubles. Feeling bloated in the stomach area or having a hard time passing gas may also be one tell-tale sign of constipation. 

    Key Takeaways

    Signs and symptoms of constipation usually involve general discomfort, straining to pass stool, and sudden changes in the frequency of bowel movements.

    If you’re unsure about where is constipation pain felt, it may be best to consult with a medical professional and discuss other symptoms that you are experiencing to determine the root cause.

    Learn more about managing and treating constipation here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated May 12, 2022

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