Is There a Connection Between Back Pain and Nausea?

Millions of people suffer from back pain every day, and nausea is often a symptom. While it’s unpleasant and bothersome, nausea can also be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as liver disease or pancreatitis. Keep reading to learn more about what might be causing your back and nausea pain and when to consult a doctor.

When you need to relieve the pain in your back, reach out to the doctors at New Jersey Spine & Orthopedic. To get to the root of your pain, complete our online Pain Assessment Tool. If you already know your condition, fill out our Treatment Finder.

What Conditions Cause Back Pain and Nausea?

Spine and gastrointestinal pain can have many causes, which makes it difficult to pinpoint why your back discomfort is causing nausea without understanding the other conditions you have. Some of the most common conditions are listed below.

Liver Disease

Most people report pain beginning in their upper stomach near their liver before the discomfort in their upper back began. Severe conditions, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, may cause pain to worsen over time.

Cervicogenic Headaches

These headaches are caused by irritation to a nerve in the upper part of your spine. People often experience migraine symptoms and back pain in the upper part of their spine.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of your pancreas. It might cause sudden nausea and pain in the upper abdomen and back. Other symptoms include swelling or tenderness in the stomach, fever, and light-colored bowel movements.

Kidney Stones

Your kidneys sit on either side of the mid-back. Pain in this area, especially if it is on only one side, can be a sign of kidney stones. For the most part, the stones will pass on their own within a few days. Even so, they can cause severe pain and discomfort in the back and cause vomiting.


Ulcers break the membrane of the gastrointestinal system and appear in the stomach, intestines, and other organs. Nausea and vomiting are common, but back pain is less so. Deeper ulcers may cause some back discomfort.

When Should I See a Doctor about My Back Pain?

Back pain and nausea should go away on their own after a few days to weeks. If the pain does not lessen, you should contact your doctor. Similarly, if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical treatment:

  • Nausea that lasts for several days or worsens over time
  • Pain in your upper right stomach
  • Intense stomach pain during pregnancy not attributable to morning sickness
  • Stomach pain that intensifies after eating

However, if you’re experiencing more severe back pain symptoms and nausea, you should go to the hospital right away. Some signs to monitor for include:

  • Pancreatitis symptoms, such as stomach pain, fever, and pale stool
  • Stomach pain that feels unbearable
  • Symptoms of kidney issues, such as groin pain

If you have a severe medical condition, were recently in an accident, or experience unexplained weight loss, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment at the onset of your pain.

Expert Back Care from Board-Certified Spine Doctors

If you’re suffering back pain and nausea, reach out to the board-certified back doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic. When you first visit us, a team member will work with you one-on-one to determine the root of your pain. We’ll also conduct a medical exam to learn whether a more serious condition is causing your discomfort.

At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we believe that everyone should receive the best care possible, and that’s what we provide to all our patients. Our expert team can combat a wide array of back issues through the latest in minimally invasive surgeries. Before surgery, though, our doctors will always try conservative healing methods, such as physical therapy.

When you’re ready to take control of your life once again, call us at (866) 272-9271 or complete our contact form.

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