Bowel Spasm

Definition Usually used to describe spasmodic abdominal pain. Doctors have several names for it although the most common, if it is persistent and recurrent is the ‘irritable bowel syndrome’

Cause The bowel has an encircling muscle layer, which can go into occasional inappropriate contractions that cause pain or colic - like cramps in your leg muscles. Normally the bowel muscle contracts to push the stool around the bowel and you are completely unaware of it. The pain can range from mild discomfort to being severe.

If the pain doesn't get better or keeps coming back try clicking on 'Abdominal Pain and Discomfort' in the ‘Symptom Checker’ to see if you should see your GP for further advice.

For advice on simple treatments of abdominal pain click on 'Treatment for Bowel Symptoms' below.

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