Are Acid Reflux and Back Pain Connected?
Acid reflux happens when the acids from the stomach move up through the esophagus and sometimes all the way into the mouth. The acid is produced in the stomach to aid in digestion, but should be held in the stomach by a small muscular value at the top end of the stomach.
When this valve is not working properly, the acid leaks up and causes pain and discomfort. This can also lead to damage to the soft tissues, which may or may not be repairable. Some people only have this problem once in a while, and over-the-counter medications help. Others have it daily, and must rely on a prescription to make symptoms bearable.
You may wonder how acid reflux might lead to back problems. In a way, it can, but in a very round-about way. Though the acid is not harming your back, the side effects can be. Some acid reflux sufferers find that the only way to gain relief while sleeping is to have their head elevated. Because the valve at the top of the stomach isn't closing properly, gravity can work against you when you lie down flat to sleep. This means the acid leaks into your esophagus while you sleep. You may wake up many times a night with intense pain in the chest.
To combat this, sufferers try sleeping with their head and upper body elevated. The problems occur if you don't do this the right way, and the end result is you can hurt your back. It might not happen right away, but back pain start to appear after you do this night after night.
Other suggestions for having a painful back are as a result of eating the foods that cause acid reflux. There is very little information to be found to back this up, but it could be a possibility. When the pain is severe enough, it might radiate into your back. This pain will be associated with other pains though, and will not be something that you feel all the time. If you have chronic back pain, it might be because of your sleeping position and not really the direct result of acid reflux.
If you are experiencing acid reflux and back pain, you should talk to your doctor about what is going on. It might be related, however, if it's not, you do want to know what is causing your issues. There may be something going on that is totally unrelated to your reflux. If that is the case, you want to get it taken care of incase something else even more serious than acid reflux is going on.
By Kathryn Whittaker. Sign up for a free newsletter that has proven methods for tackling Acid Reflux, Heartburn and GERD head-on and discover more about acid reflux. In the newsletter you'll also find more about the different kinds of acid reflux help and what to do if you have severe heartburn.
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