Found this in my search to find an answer to my current bowel problems. Maybe it's old news but I found it interesting and thought it might apply to some of you FMers: Low back pain linked to bowel motility disorders OB/GYN News, Nov 15, 2005 by Mitchel L. Zoler PHILADELPHIA -- Patients with low back pain had a significantly greater prevalence of bowel motility disorders, compared with patients with chronic shoulder pain in a study with 98 patients. "Our findings suggest that nervous pathways involved in relaying pain in the lumbar spine affect the transmission of sensations from the bowels, causing bowel motility disorders" such as diarrhea, constipation, or bloody stools, Sergio A. Mendoza-Lattes, M.D., reported in a poster presentation during the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society. The findings suggest that patients with low back pain should be assessed for bowel motility disorders, concluded Dr. Mendoza-Lattes and his associates at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. A link between low back pain and bowel motility disorders was suspected because many symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders result from altered sensory perception in the bowels. Somatic afferent neurons firing in the spinal cord can inhibit viscerosomatic neurons in the dorsal horn from responding to stimuli. A prolonged somatic irritant, such as low back pain, that acts on afferent fibers from the gastrointestinal tract might inhibit sensations of visceral pain and lead to bowel motility disorders.