People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often report symptoms that appear to be unrelated to IBS. One frequently experienced symptom that seems unrelated is lower back pain, especially at night-time. Back pain is an extremely common symptom with some studies showing that between 75-84% of IBS patients experience this symptom and find it particularly distressing1.
It is thought that the back pain does not come from the spine but is caused by some form of displaced pain from the gut. This displaced or referred pain is felt someplace other than where it originates. For IBS, the pain comes from the gut and maybe due to constipation, gas, or bloating.