We all have faced the problem of stomach pain at least once in life. This can be due to many reasons. Also, we all have heard the myth that stomach pain goes away when lying down. So does it actually work?
How much truth does the sentence hold, ‘stomach pain goes away when lying down’?
Yes, lying down will help to relieve your stomach pain. But not all positions of lying down are helpful for relieving. Some positions make it worse, like lying down on your tummy. Lying down on the back relieves your stomach, by reducing the pressure on the stomach. In addition, it also depends on the type of stomach pain, some pain becomes worse while lying down.
Keep reading to learn everything about it.
Table of Content
Stomach Pain Goes Away When Lying Down: Intensity and Causes
Our main focus is on stomach pain relief on lying down. As discussed earlier, not all kinds of stomach pain will become lighter while lying down. Some stomach pains become worse when lying down. So firstly, we have to understand the different causes of stomach pain.
We discussed all possible causes of stomach pains, as well as how they respond to lying down.
Bloating or gas in the abdomen is the condition that causes the stomach to feel stuffy and tight.
It is caused by overeating, eating much food in less time, chewing gum continuously, consumption of carbonated drinks, improper chewing of food, indigestion of food, constipation, taking food that is too oily and contains many fibers, such as beans and barley. Some ingredients may be there in food that is allergic and causes stomach pain.
Its symptoms include:
- Tightness of stomach
- Stomach looks sticking out
On lying down, this pain can become worse. It’s not recommended to lay down in this condition. You should do some physical activity. Staying active physically will help to reduce the intensity of pain in the stomach.
Bloating can be treated by:
- Physical activities: Bloating can be due to constipation. In constipation, a person feels difficulty in bowel movements and pain in the abdomen. Physical movement sometimes helps with bowel movements by making the stools pass through the anus easily.
If bloating in your stomach is due to overeating or consumption of food too early, it can also be cured by physical movements. Because all we need is to make the food digestible, which is causing the gas in our stomach.
- Massaging the stomach: Bloating due to any reason can be cured by massage. Massage is actually the movements made in the muscles externally. It is useful when you are having a difficult bowel movement, which is causing gas and pain in your abdomen. Sometimes, the massage makes smooth muscles slide slightly, causing the bowel movements to pass through the anus. Massage can be done easily by using any kind of oil.
- Pour the oil on your hands.
- Keep the thumb and finger of your hand at the right angle to each other
- Hold your hands on your tummy
- Pinch your fingers in and out on the abdomen, covering all the areas of the abdomen.
- Apply some force with your fingers, moving up and down, from left to right.
- It will help the gas to release from the body along with the stool, relieving your pain.
- Heating up your abdomen: Bloating due to hormonal changes can be reduced by providing some warm sensation to the abdomen. This will give you relief from stress, making the gas easy to pass out of the body.
Yoga is actually the specific type of exercise in which a body is styled in a specific way, holding some specific positions and soothing your mind and body.
Some specific poses of yoga can be helpful for relieving stomach pain due to gas accumulation. Bridge pose, twisted lizard pose, seated spinal twist, reclined or seated pose, cat pose, cow pose, camel pose, extended locust, and apanasana wind relieving pose are the best ways to get cured of this pain.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Gerd or gastroesophageal reflux is a condition in which acidic stomach juices flow back from the stomach into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and pain in the abdomen. It usually occurs when the opening of the stomach becomes loose and always remains slightly open.
This causes the acidic juice from the stomach to pass from the stomach into the esophagus. There is a muscular sphincter on the top of the stomach that prevents the backflow of food and acidic juice into the esophagus.
Chances of GERD typically increase with obesity, pregnancy, smoking, drinking alcohol and beverages, eating fried and spicy food regularly, and taking meals too late at night.
This type of stomach pain is also worse lying down. As we lay down, it becomes easy for the juice to flow from the stomach into the esophagus, making acid reflux much easier and intensifying.
Symptoms of GERD include:
- Burning sensation in stomach, esophagus, and chest.
- Vomiting or nausea
- Abdominal pain.
- Sensation as something is tackled in the esophagus.
GERD can be treated by:
- By avoiding consumption of spicy and fried food.
- Staying away from alcoholic drinks and beverages.
- Quit smoking.
- Controlling body weight as obesity can be a reason for it.
- Medications can be recommended by your doctor, including Pepcid AC, a H₂ blocker; Prilosec, a proton pump inhibitor; and antacids.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
IBS is a disorder that mainly affects your large intestine including a group of symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal cramps, etc.
The stomach pain due to this reason is not usually influenced by body position. Laying down typically does not help to reduce the pain.
It is typically caused by heavy bacterial infection, constant stress conditions, and impairment of brain and gut communication.
It can be treated by:
- Taking a proper diet. Avoid food that can cause bloating or gas, wheat, rye, barley, etc.
- Drinking plenty of water
- Taking fibers containing food
- Taking exercise
- Avoiding stress
- Enjoying adequate sleep
- Some medications can be recommended by a doctor including laxatives, fiber supplements, painkillers, antidepressants, etc.
Gallstones are actually the hard accumulation of cholesterol or bilirubin in the form of small pellets in the gallbladder.
While moving on, it can obstruct the bile duct, sensing pain in the stomach.
It can be caused by foods that are rich in saturated fats like butter, meat, ghee, oils, etc. It can also be caused by obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activities, use of some drugs like birth control pills, etc. Some liver diseases can also cause gallstones.
Its symptoms include sudden and sharp pain in the upper abdomen just below your chest cavity; pain in the abdomen, back, and shoulders; vomiting and nausea.
The stomach pain due to this reason can be lightened by lying down. Lying down or straightening your body straight prevents the obstruction of gallstones in the bile duct and sharp pain in the abdomen.
It can be treated easily by
- Avoiding much consumption of saturated fat
- Eating high fibers containing foods such as grains, fruits, etc.
- Surgery, named cholecystectomy, in which the gallbladder is removed by surgical instruments. Up to 90 percent of gallstones are treated by surgery.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), is a procedure in which a tube or an endoscope is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus, in the stomach, and then into the bile duct removing the stones from it.
Stomach Pain Due to Other Reasons
Stomach pain due to many other disorders is not affected by the position of the body. Like stomach ulcers, food allergies, Crohn’s disease, abdominal infection, etc., are usually not impacted by lying down.
These diseases keep their intensity despite their body positions.
Question: Is stomach pain a symptom of some serious disease?
Answer: It can or cannot be a symptom of some serious disease. This pain may be just due to bloating or gas that can be cured easily. This pain may be due to acid reflux or gallstones that can cause serious complications.
Question: Do all stomach pains go away when lying down?
Answer: No, not all stomach pains go away when lying down. Even, some become worse like pain due to acid reflux in the stomach. However, some stomach pain can be lightened by lying down, like stomach pain due to gallstones can be temporarily cured.
Question: Is it ok to lay down on your tummy, even in normal conditions?
Answer: No, it is not recommended to lay down on your tummy while sleeping. Because this position will put pressure on your organs including the heart, stomach, and kidneys, causing a disturbance in their functions.
Some stomach pain goes when lying down, but not all can be cured by lying down. In the case of acid reflux in the stomach, playing down makes pain sharper due to the free movement of acid in the esophagus. Pain due to bloating can or cannot be cured lying down.