Back pain is a very common problem that increases as we age. Back pain can occur due to various causes and are of different types. One particular type of back pain is one that is relieved by burping.
So if you’re suffering from back pain relieved by burping, then you’re not alone. It’s quite a common problem. This happens due to gas buildup in the stomach. This gas can cause pain that radiates to the back.
This back pain relieved by burping is what we’ll be talking about today.
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Back Pain Relieved by Burping
There are several conditions that can cause gas buildup in the stomach. This gas buildup in your stomach can sometimes cause back pain. And this back pain will be relieved by releasing the gas through burping. Let’s see how this works.
When excessive gas accumulates in the gastrointestinal tract, you’ll feel bloated. This stretches the layers of the stomach and intestines. This excessive stretch can stimulate the visceral pain receptors. This abdominal pain can get severe and radiate to the back. That’s how you might have back pain which will be relieved by burping.
The conditions which cause bloating can cause abdominal pain through other mechanisms too. There are many conditions responsible for excessive bloating. However, the most common one associated with this kind of back pain is GERD.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is perhaps the most common stomach problem in the developed world. It occurs when the acid in your stomach enters your esophagus. The esophagus is the long narrow tube that goes down from your throat to your stomach.
How GERD May Cause Back Pain
The cells of your esophagus aren’t made to tolerate the acid. So, when the acid comes in contact with this cell lining, there is irritation. The acid can even come up to the back of your throat.
You’ll notice that you have heartburn with GERD. This is a burning chest pain that sometimes radiates to the back. The pain occurs because the acid damages the cells of your esophagus.
Along with pain, the irritation can lead to increased swallowing of air. And this air is what makes you feel bloated. This bloating can put more pressure on the already damaged cells of the esophagus. This can increase the pain. And when you burp, you’ll release that pressure. And the pain will reduce.
Another more severe disease caused by excessive stomach acid is peptic ulcer. In this case, the stomach acid can damage the cells of the stomach. This forms an ulcer inside the stomach.
There’s inflammation due to the damage. And this inflammation lowers the pain threshold. Too much gas can distend the stomach and cause pain. This pain can radiate to the back and it might be relieved upon burping.
Back Pain and Burping Together: Other Causes
There are some conditions where you’ll have bloating and back pain at the same time. But, the back pain might not necessarily be relieved by burping in these cases. These include:
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- Gastrointestinal tract infections
- Aortic aneurysms
- Ovarian cyst
- Trauma to the back
- Urinary tract infection
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Cholelithiasis (gallstones)
It is important to keep in mind that bloating will not always cause back pain. In fact, many diseases cause bloating without any pain. And even if there is pain, it’s more likely to be abdominal pain than back pain. However, in some cases, the pain does radiate to the back as you’ve read just now.
Other Causes of Back Pain
Until now, the focus was on how bloating can cause back pain. But, there are other causes of back pain that are far more common. These may not be related to your gastrointestinal tract. But still, burping may reduce this pain in some cases.
When there’s too much gas in the stomach, it can extend the stomach. This can put pressure on the surrounding organs and structures. If the back pain is due to any of those structures, it will be worsened with stomach bloating.
And when you burp, you release all that pressure. This can reduce back pain.
Some of the common causes of back pain are:
- Strain on the muscles and ligaments of the back
- Herniated intervertebral disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Compression fractures of the vertebra
- Osteomyelitis of the back
- Pain due to pancreatitis, nephrolithiasis, urinary tract infections, etc.
These are the more common causes of pain. But these might not go away completely on burping. However, they might be relieved by burping.
What You Should Do?
So, what are the steps that you should take? It depends on your symptoms. Going to the doctor is always the best option.
When to See a Doctor
If you have the scope, it’s best to get yourself checked out by a professional. It’s better to be safe than sorry. But if you have the following, you should ensure that you see a doctor:
- Sudden back pain, especially after heavy lifting
- Back pain due to trauma
- Sudden severe back pain relieved by burping
- Severe abdominal pain after back pain
- Fever and chills
- Foot drop or shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the legs
- Back pain with sudden weight loss
Home Remedies to Try
Along with professional help, there are some things you can try at home for back pain relieved by burping. Some of them are:
Ice or Hot Compress
No matter why you’re having back pain, putting some ice on it almost always helps. Ice can help numb the pain. Alternatively, you can even try using heat. This stimulates blood flow and accelerates healing.
Back stretching can help you reduce back pain. You have to be careful to avoid stretches that aggravate the pain. You can also try light exercises to keep your back active.
Over the Counter Medications
There are severe NSAIDs that are available otc for back pain. Also if you have heartburn, you can try antacids, proton pump inhibitors, etc. drugs. But it’s best to check with your doctor before starting a drug.
A few dietary changes can help you in the long term. These include:
- Having a well-planned out routine for eating and sticking to it
- Drinking plenty of water
- Not lying down immediately after eating
- Incorporating more fibers into your diet
- Cutting out soda, fatty food, too much salt, and other trigger foods
- Taking essential oils, peppermint oil, ginger, etc.
- Trying out probiotics, supplements, etc. with a doctor’s discretion
Some lifestyle changes can reduce bloating, acid reflux, and back pain. These include:
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink every day
- Reducing stress, anxiety, etc. as much as possible
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes
- Correcting your posture if it’s bad
- Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and being active
Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked the most about back pain relieved by burping.
Can trapped gas cause back pain?
Yes, trapped gas can cause back pain. In this case, the abdominal pain due to bloating radiates to the back. But it’s more likely that your back pain is due to other causes which is aggravated by trapped gas.
Why do I keep burping and have back pain?
One possible cause of burping and back pain is gastroesophageal reflux disease. Other than that, hormonal imbalance, ovarian cyst, UTI, gallstones, stress, aneurysms, and pancreatitis can be the cause.
How do you relieve gas pain in your back?
It’s best to see a doctor if you have too much gas pain. You can try home remedies along with that too. These include stretching, letting the gas out through burping, defecating, taking herbs, peppermint oil, probiotics, otc drugs, etc.
Can digestive issues cause lower back pain?
It is possible that digestive issues can cause lower back pain. This is called referred pain. It happens because of the similarity of the nerve supply. However, it’s rare. Back pain due to musculoskeletal causes is far more common.
Back pain relieved by burping can be due to several causes. However, it shouldn’t be a cause of worry. In most cases, it’s not that serious. But, it’s better to see a doctor if you can.
Only a doctor can properly diagnose your condition. With proper medication and lifestyle changes, you can reduce this back pain.