Acid reflux and back pain isn’t common, but it can certainly be the case for some patients. To understand how this seemingly unusual occurrence can take place, lets first briefly understand acid reflux.
Also known as a heartburn, reflux happens when stomach acid escapes and creeps up the esophagus. Separating the esophagus and stomach is a ring muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES.
At times, the LES can fail to close due to certain physical pressure such as being pregnant or obese. In some other scenarios, the heavy build up of acid in the stomach can cause the LES to lose its pressure.
Bottom line, there are several ways that a reflux can occur and it is usually due to a bad habit or diet choices. In an acid reflux situation, you may feel a burning sensation mostly in the chest or throat.
Can acid reflux cause back pain?
While acid reflux back pain isn’t a common scenario, it can certainly happen with some people. This does not mean that you have it worse than others. Basically, the burning sensation in the chest area can radiate to its neighbor opposite, being the upper back.
That being said, when you do feel a back pain while going through reflux, you should note that it is not a muscular strain. It is actually caused by the acidic effects of your stomach fluid.
Therefore, the right way to address an acid reflux and back pain is not via addressing the “muscle ache”, but to sort out the problem within. Likewise when you feel your chest in pain, you should focus on soothing the heartburn and preventing any future attacks from happening.
Medications as a Treatment
Typical medications are used to relief digestive complications. Some common ones are antacids from brands like Gaviscon and Eno. They help neutralize acidity as it occurs.
Antacids contain ingredients such as calcium, magnesium and aluminum. These all act as an alkali to quickly increase pH and provide instant relief. With antacids, side effects are rare and work out pretty fine for most people.
However, people with severe cases of acid reflux might resort to over-the-counter meds such as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). They work by blocking out receptors to reduce the amount of acid production produced by the stomach.
While PPIs can provide relief, people who become dependent on them have encountered side effects. In the long run, having the stomach to produce too little acid might surface even more serious digestive problems.
Treating Acid Reflux Back Pain Naturally
With typical heartburn scenarios, it is best to treat them naturally. Reflux is a lifestyle problem. It might arise from a bad physical positioning or a toxic diet. It only makes sense to revert the problem just as how you might have caused it.
As a general rule of thumb, you should adopt a diet that is less acidic and improves the gut health. You cannot tell the acidity levels of food unless you look up on its pH level online. Look for foods with pH of 5 and above.
Some great low acid food sources are white fish, lean meats, banana and green vegetables. On improving your gut, you should include probiotics and healthy fibers into your diet. Yogurt and whole-grain breads would do the job respectively.
Physical attributes and activities play a role too. If you often find yourself lying down right after a meal, you need to get up and discard the habit. Being obese also contributes to the problem.
Added pressure on the stomach will cause the LES ring muscle to be left ajar hence, allowing stomach acid to flow out freely. Do yourself a favor and get in regular exercises if you find yourself at the center of many health complications from being overweight.
All in all, an occasional acid reflux isn’t life threatening. If you do face them many times a week, then you might need to go check for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. Otherwise at a simple tweak of lifestyle choices, you can prevent and digestive problems from occurring again.