Acid reflux, commonly known as heartburn, is one thing everyone is familiar with; people experience it very often. It is a common discomfort felt by individuals and easily fixed by the use of an antacid. However, if antacids do not seem to work, it might have progressed into a gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If you are known to have this issue alongside back pain, this condition can be labeled as GERD back Pain.

Your mind must be rummaging through to find answers about GERD and how it relates to back pain. No need to panic; we are here with answers. Read along to find out what GERD is, its association with back pain, and effective management methods.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD

The sphincter muscle is responsible for closing the stomach containing acids. It is a disease characterized by chronic acid reflux. In such condition, the sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus does not contract, causing the acid to reflux or pour out of the stomach in the esophageal tube.

Can GERD Cause Back Pain?

It is often asked whether GERD can cause back pain or not. Alongside burning sensation in the abdominal region and chest, the pain can radiate from the front to your back. It could be between the shoulder blades in the upper back area or range from mid to lower back.

Factors that trigger GERD Back Pain

Food Intake
As established, this disease is associated with the stomach, and our diet most likely affects it. Consumption of food that triggers acid reflux in GERD can aggravate its symptoms, i.e., back pain. The people who suffer from pain in the back with this disease have low mobility and increased craving to eat.
Some foods that set off acid reflux are greased fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, etc. Back pain because of acid reflux in GERD patients is not persistent. It will come and go, most likely to appear at the time of meals (due to triggering food items)

NSAIDs – Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
A category of painkillers which many patients take with GERD for back pain. Most of them do not realize that taking these pills e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., successfully relieves them from their pain but consequently irritates the stomach lining, sensitizing it to gastric acid.
As long as the symptoms are not enhanced in patients after taking NSAIDs, it is okay to use them. But, if they do, then it is recommended to get a consultation. Your doctor will prescribe you alternatives that would treat your back pain and not worsen the disease.

Stress
When the stress hormones in the body increase, it alters stomach acid levels and lowers the production of prostaglandins.It’s a lipid-like compound that mimics hormones and protects the stomach from acids.

Treatment Plan for GERD Back Pain

Firstly, it would be best to get alternative medicines for the back pain that would not interfere with the stomach lining, for symptomatic relief.
Next, you can eat various foods to reduce heartburn for alleviating pain due to GERD.

  • banana
  • oatmeal
  • yogurt
  • green veggies
  • melons
  • root vegetables
  • food items high in water

Medicinal Treatment of GERD

  1. Antacids, salts that neutralize the acidity of gastric acid in the stomach
  2. Histamine blockers, drugs that decrease the production of acids in the stomach
  3. Prokinetic agents affect the muscles of your GI tract, helping them to contract and relax when needed.

If the pain gets unbearable, visit San Ramon Urgent Care and Clinic for prompt treatment. Our experts will leave no stone unturned to get you relief from back pain. Call at 925 361 5959 (San Ramon) or 209 825 5155 (Manteca) 209 983 9000 (Lothrop) for more information or booking an appointment.

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