How to Manage Back Pain Induced By Acid Reflux
Most people are familiar with the medical condition known as acid reflux, characterized by heartburn, dyspepsia, and regurgitation. While these are the more common side effects of this condition, there is one that most people ignore, not suspecting that it has anything to do with the condition at hand - back pain.
That's right. Those back pains you have been suffering from all this while could, in all possibility, be linked to acid reflux. Wondering what the connection is? In order to know how acid reflux could be causing the back pain that is responsible for putting your life into slow motion, it's important to understand how acid reflux is caused in the first place.
There are three main players here, the first one being the esophagus, which is more commonly known as the food pipe responsible for transporting liquids and solids to the stomach. Then, there is the stomach where all the food is digested. And finally, there is the lower esophageal sphincter - a muscle positioned where the food pipe and stomach meet. Its primary function is to act like a one-way valve that keeps the food inside the stomach.
In a healthy individual, all three work in tandem, making the sure the entire digestive process is carried out without any glitches. However, when this valve weakens or becomes too relaxed, it does not close completely, allowing the stomach acid to flow back up the esophagus. The corrosive nature of the acid leads to symptoms like heartburn and discomfort in the stomach and chest, which can radiate to other parts of the body, such as the upper back.
Most patients, failing to recognize the connection between acid reflux and back pain, use pain killers or physiotherapy to alleviate the pain. The results are often less than satisfactory. Even antacids are of little use, since they come into play after the symptoms have occurred. Strong medicines, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) can bring short term relief. However, being over dependent on them can, in the long run, cause more serious digestive disorders.
The only way to treat this annoying back pain is to treat the underlying condition, which is acid reflux. Start by consulting your physician to determine if the discomfort you are experiencing in your back is connected to acid reflux. If it is, he will prescribe the necessary medication and put you on a customized diet as well, drawing up a list of food items that you can and cannot eat. In addition, he will recommend a few lifestyle changes that will prove to be extremely beneficial. For instance, he might caution against eating around bedtime, show you the correct posture in which you should rest and sleep, and recommend moderate exercise for overall health and fitness.
As the reflux gets better, the associated back pain begins to reduce in intensity as well. Soon enough, you can expect to be free of both. However, this cannot happen unless you do your bit by having a balanced diet, adopting a healthier lifestyle, and practicing some daily acid reflux management tips. Remember, as long as you take the effort to look after your body, you can be sure it will reciprocate by looking after you too!
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