No bowel movements for four days -- what should I do?

Patient : I had lower back pain start 5 nights ago, but after waking up the next day, the pain was gone. After working a full 8-hour day of constant standing, the pain returned even worse the next night. Although the back pain is mostly gone now after rest and several Aleve every day, I have not had a bowel movement in more than 4 days! No dripping, no leaking -- NOTHING! When I saw a doctor two days ago, he said that it's not uncommon for back pain to trigger constipation and recommended Metamucil and Colace. I began taking Colace more than 12 hours ago, but it doesn't seem to have helped. In fact, now I have pressure in my bloated abdomen that pushes against my bladder and I am frequently urinating. I have been drinking Gatorade and water without really eating much food, but lately it seems like all liquids pass right through me. Even worse, my urine is clear and watery, as if my body is not retaining any fluid and it is not entering my intestines to loosen my stool -- isn't Colace supposed to do that? At any rate, what can I do next so I can finally have a bowel movement and when should I go back to the doctor?
Doctor :   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

Related Q&A

Q: I have pain in my shins after being on my feet for a while. The orthopedist thought it was sciatica, but my primary d...

Q: Is upper back pain normal with strept throat ?

Q: I have had a two level Spinal Fusion but the surgery has not worked or helped with my pain levels which have increase...

Q: Chronic lower back pain a right shoulder stuffiness

Q: I had an MRI for some back problems but it came back with this: "Small 1.3 cm lesion in the prepontine cistern, ...


Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon