February 22, 2022 6 min read

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a medical condition that can lead to esophageal damage over time. When acid from your stomach gets into your esophagus it can cause tissue damage that may lead to various symptoms. Some people living with GERD even report GERD back pain as a result of what’s going on in their chest. When it comes to GERD and back pain, you have to be careful to make sure you’re not dealing with something else.

So, can GERD cause back pain? Because GERD causes damage to the tissues in your chest, it can lead to chest pain and back pain in some cases. That being said, it’s important to talk to your doctor to get a GERD diagnosis because you don’t want to ignore back pain that may be caused by another medical condition. Getting a GERD diagnosis is also an important part of finding the right treatment for your reflux.

If you’re living with GERD, it’s important to take steps to get relief from GERD and reduce damage to your esophageal lining as a result of exposure to stomach acid. In some cases, people with GERD may experience back pain as a result of the damage being caused to the esophagus. If you have back pain that you think may be caused by your GERD, here’s what you need to know about GERD back pain.

What is GERD graphic

GERD Definition

GERD is a medical condition that’s characterized by the presence of stomach acid in the esophagus. Typically, your esophagus is responsible for contracting to move the food you swallow away from your mouth and down toward your stomach. When the food enters the stomach, it interacts with stomach acid to begin the digestive process. In patients with GERD, however, there’s a backflow of stomach acid from the stomach up into the esophagus.

In many cases, GERD presents with tissue damage in the esophagus, which is one of the major complications of GERD. However, some people have GERD with no damage to the esophageal lining, which is known as non-erosive GERD. While non-erosive GERD indicates that reflux hasn’t been a major problem for you yet, any GERD can cause health issues later on.

GERD may also be referred to as acid reflux or heartburn. This is a condition that affects approximately 20 percent of people living in the United States, according to researchers.

While there’s no single cause for GERD, there are a handful of risk factors that may increase your risk of developing GERD. People who smoke are more likely to develop GERD, and certain dietary choices may also increase your risk for GERD. Understanding the potential causes and risk factors of GERD can help you prevent GERD, which can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Side effects of GERD

Side Effects Of GERD

There are a lot of potential side effects of GERD, and understanding these side effects can help you recognize if you have GERD. If you do think you have GERD, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor can use GERD lab tests to diagnose GERD if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

The biggest effect that GERD has on your body is the damage it can inflict on your esophageal lining. When acid that’s supposed to be in your stomach refluxes and makes its way up your esophagus, it can cause tissue damage to the esophageal lining. This tissue damage may make it difficult to swallow and lead to chest pain. In cases that are considered non-erosive GERD, there’s no tissue damage present as a result of acid reflux.

GERD chest and back pain may also be present in some people as a secondary symptom. Because GERD causes damage to the tissue in your chest, it’s not uncommon for people living with GERD to experience chest pain as a result.

You may also feel like there’s a lump in the back of your throat if you have GERD. When you eat certain foods, you may notice that they have a tendency to cause reflux. You may also notice that acid reflux is worse during the night, which is common with GERD.

GERD & Back Pain

The GERD symptom that a lot of people don’t talk about is GERD back pain. It’s not uncommon for people living with GERD to experience pain in the back and chest, but it’s also important to understand a few things about GERD and back pain. Before you make any decisions regarding your health or assume your back pain is caused by GERD, you should go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

GERD, chest & back pain graphic

If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD and you’re experiencing back pain, make sure to have a doctor check you out at some point. Back pain can be a sign of a long list of medical conditions, so getting a diagnosis is the only way to rule out anything serious. The same goes for chest pain that may result from GERD.

For most people, a GERD diet can help reduce the symptoms that come with GERD, including back pain. If your esophageal lining has been badly damaged as a result of acid reflux, your doctor may recommend more aggressive treatment to get relief from GERD. In any case, it’s up to your doctor to tell you what’s going on with your body and how to treat your GERD.

 Lower back pain

GERD Back Pain: Frequently Asked Questions

Living with GERD back pain can be difficult, but we’ve got answers to all your questions about GERD and back pain.

What does GERD back pain feel like?

GERD back pain can be hard to diagnose because it’s not necessarily different from other types of back pain. With GERD, you may feel pain in the middle of your back, and that pain may be accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth or a burning sensation in your chest. You may notice that your GERD back pain gets worse at night or when you eat certain foods, which can be a sign that your pain is linked to GERD. Still, it’s important to visit a doctor to have GERD back pain diagnosed and come up with a treatment plan.

Can GERD pain radiate to the back?

People living with GERD may experience several symptoms as a result of GERD, some of which may occur in other parts of the body. For example, the pain from GERD can radiate from your esophagus and chest area to your back, especially in cases where severe tissue damage results from GERD.

If you’re experiencing GERD pain that’s radiating to your back, that’s a sign that you could be doing more to get relief from GERD. It’s important to talk to your doctor about GERD and back pain, and the steps you can take to get relief from the pain and symptoms of GERD.

Where does GERD pain hurt?

In most cases, the pain that results from GERD is felt in the chest more than in any other area. Your esophagus runs from your mouth down through your chest and into the stomach, so that whole area can be impacted as a result of GERD. By following a GERD diet and taking steps to reduce the acid reflux that comes with GERD, you can get relief from GERD pain and better manage the complications that come with GERD.

Can GERD cause body aches?

While GERD can cause pain in various parts of your body, you should visit a doctor if you’re experiencing serious pain in an area that’s not your back or chest. GERD typically affects the back and chest, with the occasional general aches and pains radiating to another part of the body. If you’re experiencing severe pain that doesn’t seem to occur where GERD pain normally does, you could be dealing with an infection or another medical condition that’s causing body aches. The sooner you make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis, the sooner you can start treating your GERD and getting the relief you deserve.

Patient with doctor

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of things to learn about GERD, including what the symptoms of GERD are and the difference between GERD vs. NERD. The best thing you can do to treat GERD is go to the doctor and get a diagnosis. Your doctor can help you come up with a GERD diet and treatment plan that work for you.

If you’re looking for relief from GERD, the MedCline GERD pillow is an excellent choice. This pillow helps reduce reflux and relieve pain that comes with GERD. Talk to your doctor about the MedCline GERD pillow to learn more about how it can help people living with GERD.

Article References:

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults