Can Diverticulitis Cause Hip and Leg Pain? Top 5 Complexities of Diverticulitis!

Have you ever come across the term diverticulitis? 

Diverticulitis is a digestive disorder representing an infection of the diverticula that appears as bulging pockets in the weakened areas of the colon’s lining (the large intestine). 

People suffering from diverticulitis might experience a feeling of nausea with mild to moderate fever, which can be high at times. The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain and discomfort, which can be sharp and radiating.

The abdominal pain caused by diverticulitis is usually left-sided and seems to travel to the lower back, groin, legs, or sides of the thighs. But can diverticulitis cause hip and leg pain?

Don’t worry, as this blog mainly focuses on diverticulitis with its primary concerns!

What Is Diverticulitis?

Generally, diverticulitis is the inflammation of the diverticula in the colon’s wall. Diverticula are pouch-like herniations formed due to increased pressure inside the large intestine, primarily due to constipation. The formation of these pockets is termed diverticulosis.

diverticulitis

So, diverticulitis is the outpouching of the colon lining with infection or inflammation. It is a highly infectious and painful gastrointestinal tract infection that’s on the rise in Western countries.

Signs and Symptoms of Diverticulitis:

Following are some most prominent symptoms of diverticulitis:

  • A sharp cramp-like pain accompanies it on the left lower side of the abdomen, which is considered the main sign of it. Sometimes, the pain might occur in the right lower abdomen, but it is a sporadic case.
  • The pain may be constant and might persist for several days.
  • The pain is radiating. It could travel to the back, groin (the hip region), thighs, and legs.
  • The perforated diverticular disease causes severe thigh pain.
  • A feeling of nausea develops.
  • Frequent vomiting is also a symptom.
  • Persisting mild to moderate fever.
  • You may also have constipation.
  • Diarrhea is a less common symptom.
  • Chills and cramping make the condition worse.
  • In severe conditions, internal bleeding occurs, which is only visible through imaging tests.

Major Complexities of Diverticulitis: Can Diverticulitis Cause Hip and Leg Pain?

Before knowing that “can diverticulitis cause hip, back, and leg pain?” knowing its complications is essential.

can-diverticulitis-cause-hip-and-leg-pain

It is suggested that almost 10-25% of people suffering from diverticulosis develop diverticulitis; out of those, around 10% are presented with certain complications that are as follows;

  • Abscess: Collection of pus in the diverticula known as an abscess.
  • Perforations: Tiny tears in the bowel walls lead to bowel leakage into the abdominal cavity.
  • Intestinal Blockages: Severe constipation occurs that can only be treated by surgery.
  • Fistula: An abnormal connection between the colon and the small intestine, bladder, or vagina.
  • Peritonitis: Infection and inflammation of the abdominal cavity through perforations.

However, these complications can worsen the pain suffered by the patients. Read on to learn how diverticulitis is related to back, hip, and leg pain!

Can Diverticulitis Cause Hip Pain?

Diverticulitis is a condition that leads to bowel-related problems. It is because of the infection in the large intestine.

However, diverticulitis causing severe hip pain is a rare case. But why does diverticulitis cause hip pain?

Whenever you have any issues with any of your intestines, it creates a direct impact on your bowel movements. It leads to tightening of the iliopsoas muscle at the lower back and hip region, which strongly assists in hip flexion and external rotation of the femur.

It causes lower back and groin pain, leading to left hip pain related to bowels. You can feel a sharp pain radiating from your left abdominal region to your left hip, which can sometimes be unbearable!

Can Diverticulitis Cause Back Pain?

Sometimes, your diverticulitis might cause a sharp aggravating pain in your lower back, which can be solid and frustrating. It can be intense and exhausting, but why does diverticulitis cause back pain?

One complication of diverticulitis is intestinal blockages, which can cause severe constipation. It can ultimately lead to back pain, which can also be due to other complications like kidney stones or orthopedic problems related to back pains.

Can Diverticulitis Cause Leg Pain?

Diverticulitis and leg numbness are closely related due to radiation of abdominal pain in the lower body. Usually, the pain starts radiating from the abdomen to the back, groin, and finally to the legs.

Generally, people with diverticular fistulas (one of the complications of diverticulitis) are presented with a condition called cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina is a collection of nerve rootlets at the end of the spine, and if they get compressed, it is known as cauda equina syndrome.

But how can diverticulitis cause sciatic pain?

Remember that cauda equina syndrome’s first sign appears as leg numbness due to the compression of the cauda equina, causing conditions like sciatic leg pain or hip sepsis.

This is where your query, “can diverticulitis cause hip and leg pain together?” gets answered!

Can Bladder Problems Be Caused by Diverticulitis?

Wondering that diverticulitis can affect the bladder is usual because when diverticulitis strikes, you might experience pain while urinating (dysuria) and the need to urinate more often than usual. You might also experience blood in your urine, which is concerning!

bladder-problem

It is due to the contact between the inflamed part of the bowel and the bladder. Also, that early diverticulitis might present similar to the urinary tract infection. Therefore, bladder problems are strongly associated with diverticulitis.

Treatment Options for Diverticulitis:

You can opt for the following to treat diverticulitis;

Diet Modifications:

Try modifying your diet as it plays a crucial role in it. A liquid diet is considered the best. However, a high fiber diet is also recommended to aid diverticulitis.

Antibiotics:

Mild to moderate diverticulitis can be treated by certain antibiotics like metronidazole, ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin, clavulanic acid, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Please consult your healthcare provider before taking any of them.

Exercise:

Exercise plays a significant role in treating diverticulitis. Drinking lots of water with a good exercise schedule can help treat your diverticulitis.

Mild Surgery:

Sometimes mild surgery is required to treat the symptoms as the complications worsen. Colon resection (or sigmoid resection) is the most common treatment for diverticulitis. The sigmoid colon is a part of the large intestine that comes just before your rectum and is the final destination for all the digestive waste.

Why Am I So Tired with Diverticulitis?

Having diverticulitis is never an easy experience, but feeling tired is even worse. Somehow, that extreme tiredness and the feeling of fatigue could be due to several reasons, as mentioned below;

  • You might not be getting proper sleep due to the inflammation and the pain.
  • Your body might be dehydrated as a consequence of diarrhea is one of its symptoms.
  • Chronic diverticulitis might affect your mental health, leading to depression.
  • Obesity due to constipation might make you lazy.
  • Having diverticulitis while pregnant can add to extreme tiredness.
  • Since diverticulitis is more common among aged people, then age might be another factor for your feeling of tiredness.
  • Diet restrictions to prevent diverticulitis might lead to anemia.
  • Antibiotics to treat diverticulitis might have side effects of tiredness and fatigue in its patient.

How to Prevent Diverticulitis?

You can prevent diverticulitis by;

  • Good sleeping schedule
  • Avoiding alcohol intake and smoking
  • Having a balanced diet
  • Drinking water frequently
  • Having a fiber-rich diet
  • Exercising regularly

Final Verdict

So, diverticulitis is an inflammatory condition affecting your gut. It is usually caused when the weakened areas of your colon develop significant pressure, leading to bulging pouches, i.e., diverticula formation, inside your large intestine.

Remember that high-fat and low-fiber diets could be the leading cause of diverticulitis.

Alongside left abdominal pain being the most common symptom of this exhausting infection, it is accompanied by fever, nausea, constipation, or sometimes even diarrhea. The abdominal pain is usually radiating and can travel through your lower extremity.

However, the answer to your query, “can diverticulitis cause hip and leg pain?” is a yes, which is highly annoying!

Therefore, try practicing diet modifications, bowel rest, and a regular exercise plan to get relief from its discomfort. However, consult your doctor if your pain or the symptoms worsens!

FAQs

Can diverticulitis cause painful walking?

Yes! Diverticulitis can cause painful walking due to cauda equina syndrome. When the cauda equina compresses, it leads to numbness throughout the legs, which can lead to painful jarring movements.

However, the pain due to diverticulitis can transmit from the belly to the groin region and throughout the legs!

Can bowel problems cause hip and leg pain?

Bowel problems can cause hip and leg pain. This is because the iliopsoas muscle gets affected when there is any issue with either of the intestines. It tightens around the intestinal region, which causes severe pain and irritability in the bowel.

However, digestive issues like bowel syndrome can cause hip and leg pain!

Can diverticulitis cause thigh pain?

Thigh pain due to diverticulitis is strongly associated with perforations as one of its major complications. 

However, studies also revealed that diverticulitis patients with leukocytosis and pyrexia could develop pain in their thighs as a predominant symptom.

Minahil Laraib Asif

Minahil Laraib Asif

Hi, This is Minahil Laraib Asif, an MBBS student from Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) in Pakistan. Studying medicine is my passion, and the desire to live my life in service to humanity has led me to pursue my career in medicine. As a medical student, it's essential to know how to balance projects and work while maintaining a healthy social life. Investigating and exploring newer disclosures has always been a source of gratification for me. For this reason, I have developed my career in writing articles as well, since it brings me great delight while researching various projects, and presenting such information to people, that they may otherwise never come across.

Wholesomealive.com -a blog about Healthy Living
Logo