Can Acid Reflux Cause Back Pain?

Acid reflux, a common digestive disorder, is often associated with symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest discomfort. However, a lesser known but significant complication is the connection between acid reflux and back pain.

In this article, Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj, renowned for his expertise in Back and Neck pain management, explores the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments for acid reflux with back pain.

Acid Reflux with Back Pain


Causes of Acid Reflux with Back Pain

Esophageal Irritation:

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation. This irritation can extend to the upper back, leading to discomfort and pain.

Nerve Stimulation:

The acid can stimulate nerves in the esophagus, leading to referred pain in the back. Understanding this connection is crucial in addressing both acid reflux and back pain simultaneously.

Hiatal Hernia:

A hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach pushes into the diaphragm, can contribute to both acid reflux and back pain.

Acid Reflux Back Pain Symptoms:

Burning Sensation:

Individuals experiencing acid reflux with back pain may describe a burning sensation in the chest that extends to the upper back.


Back pain might be accompanied by the sensation of stomach contents flowing back into the throat, known as regurgitation.

Difficulty Swallowing:

In severe cases, acid reflux may lead to difficulty swallowing, causing pain in the back as a secondary symptom.

How to treat Back Pain caused by Acid Reflux?


Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj often recommends acid-suppressing medications to control stomach acid and alleviate symptoms. These may include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers.

Lifestyle Modifications:

Adopting lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding trigger foods, and elevating the head during sleep can significantly reduce acid reflux and associated back pain.

Physical Therapy:

For those with persistent back pain, physical therapy tailored to address both acid reflux-related issues and back pain can provide relief.

Surgical Intervention:

In severe cases or when conservative measures fail, surgical options like fundoplication may be considered to address acid reflux and its associated symptoms, including back pain.

How to Prevent Back Pain Caused by Acid Reflux:

Preventing back pain associated with acid reflux involves adopting a holistic approach that addresses both the digestive and musculoskeletal aspects.

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj recommends the following strategies for minimizing the occurrence of back pain linked to acid reflux:

Dietary Modifications:

  • Identify and avoid trigger foods that can exacerbate acid reflux.
  • Opt for smaller, more frequent meals to reduce pressure on the stomach.
  • Include alkaline-rich foods in your diet to help neutralize stomach acid.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

  • Excess weight can contribute to both acid reflux and back pain. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Posture Awareness:

  • Practice good posture, especially after meals, to prevent undue pressure on the stomach and lower back.

Elevate Your Head During Sleep:

  • Use a wedge pillow or elevate the head of your bed to keep stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus during sleep.

Regular Exercise:

  • Engage in low-impact exercises like walking or swimming to promote overall health and reduce the likelihood of back pain.


  • Stay adequately hydrated to help with digestion and prevent the buildup of stomach acid.

Avoid Late-night Eating:

  • Refrain from consuming large meals close to bedtime to reduce the risk of acid reflux during the night.
  • By incorporating these preventive measures into your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of back pain associated with acid reflux.
dr-vignesh spine specialist

When to Contact a doctor?:

While some cases of acid reflux with back pain can be managed with lifestyle changes, there are instances where professional medical guidance is crucial.

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj recommends reaching out to a healthcare provider under the following circumstances:

Persistent or Worsening Symptoms:

  • If your acid reflux and back pain persist or worsen despite adopting preventive measures, it’s essential to seek medical attention.

Difficulty Swallowing:

  • Difficulty swallowing or persistent pain while swallowing may indicate a more severe underlying issue that requires prompt evaluation.

Unexplained Weight Loss:

  • Unintended weight loss associated with acid reflux and back pain could signal a more complex problem and should be investigated by a healthcare professional.

Chronic Back Pain:

  • Chronic back pain that interferes with daily activities warrants a thorough evaluation to determine its cause and appropriate treatment.

Respiratory Symptoms:

  • If acid reflux is accompanied by respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, consult a doctor promptly.

Sleep Disturbances:

  • Persistent sleep disturbances due to acid reflux-related back pain should be addressed to improve overall well-being.

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj emphasizes the importance of early intervention and personalized medical advice for individuals experiencing persistent or concerning symptoms related to acid reflux and back pain.

Seeking timely medical attention ensures proper diagnosis and an effective treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

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Best Back Pain Treatment in Chennai:

Individuals seeking the best back pain treatment in Chennai can benefit from Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj multidisciplinary approach.

As a leading back pain management specialist, he combines his expertise to provide comprehensive care for patients experiencing acid reflux with back pain.

Best Back Pain Doctor in Chennai:

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj stands out as the best back pain doctor in Chennai, renowned for his commitment to patient care and innovative treatment approaches.

His personalized care plans address the root cause of acid reflux-related back pain, ensuring effective and lasting relief.


Understanding the intricate relationship between acid reflux and back pain is essential for accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment.

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj expertise in neck & back pain management positions him as a trusted professional in addressing these interconnected health issues, offering patients in Chennai the best possible care for acid reflux-related back pain.

dr-vignesh spine specialist

Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj received his primary medical qualification M.B.B.S from the Rajah Muthiah Medical College. He further completed his post gradation in the field of Orthopaedics from the same institution.

Post this, he had completed the AOSpine(Asia- pacific) long-time fellowship at Park Clinic Kolkata, fellowships (Paediatric spine deformity) offered by International Society for Spine Centres (ISOC) at Sint Maartenskliniek, Netherlands and Adult complex spine surgery by Indo American Spine Alliance(IASA) at the University of Michigan, USA.

Along with this he had got training in chronic pain management also.

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