Acid Reflux With Back Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding Acid Reflux with Back Pain: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Back pain can be caused by many reasons, including lifestyle, muscle strain, or underlying conditions, but did you know that acid reflux can also cause back pain? Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining. While acid reflux often shows symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, and nausea, it can also create stress in the back. This blog will explore the prevention measures, symptoms, and treatment for acid reflux with back pain. 

How Acid Reflux and Back Pain Are Related

Acid reflux is known to cause burning pain in your chest and throat which can then pass on to your back. The contents of the stomach, when pushed back into the esophagus, can irritate the tissues in the organ, thus triggering pain and discomfort in the chest and throat and, eventually, the back. Another reason acid reflux and back pain are related is that they are both caused by lifestyle choices, including food habits, exercise, posture, and more. Therefore, the treatment for one can often be interlinked with the other. In some specific cases, back pain can also, in turn, cause acid reflux. When left unaddressed, acid reflux and acidity can cause stinging pain in the back and require a physiotherapist's attention. It is important to understand and tackle the issue holistically to prevent this from happening. 

Symptoms of Acid Reflux with Back Pain


Heartburn is often described as a burning pain in the chest and throat areas. It is caused by acid reflux, where stomach acid rises into your esophagus, although it may seem like your heart is burning. While heartburn is common, it could also indicate chronic illnesses and thus should be treated immediately if it causes prolonged pain in the back or chest. 


Nausea is a stage of discomfort or uneasiness that is experienced before one vomits. While nausea is not a disease, it is a symptom of other conditions, including acid reflux with back pain. Digestive disorders such as back pain due to acidity trigger nausea and can create severe distress when accompanied by back pain. If nausea and back pain continue, visiting a physiotherapist is best. 


Dyspepsia is a term that is used to describe indigestion. It can create feelings of stomach pain and excessive bloating. Dyspepsia is often associated with acid reflux as it is associated with heartburn and excessive burping, both of which create tension in the esophagus around the chest and throat, leading to back pain. Lifestyle changes, as recommended by an expert physiotherapist, can go a long way in treating this issue. 

Back pain

Have you ever felt sore back after eating a heavy meal? Chances are that it is triggered by acid reflux. Back pain due to acidity can often go hand-in-hand, creating extreme discomfort. The burning sensation around the esophagus can radiate across the chest into the back. It is easy to brush back pain off as a separate issue; thus, acid reflux with back pain may remain unattended. 


Esophagitis is a condition that causes inflammation and damages the esophagus - the tube running from the throat to the stomach. A major cause of esophagitis is constant acid reflux, especially when left unaddressed. In several cases, it can be painful, cause difficulty while eating, and even cause chest pain. This can further lead to bloating and back pain. 

Barrett's esophagus

Barrett's esophagus is a condition where the cells along the esophagus change due to damage and inflammation, mainly due to acid reflux. The pink lining along the swallowing tube turns red and thickens due to this condition. When coupled with other symptoms of acid reflux, like back pain, it can be painful and will require attention from a physiotherapist for the right treatment. 


Regurgitation occurs when esophageal acids and other gastric components rise up into the esophagus and eventually into the mouth. Some undigested food may also enter the mouth in certain cases. Regurgitation is not to be confused with vomiting, which results from the upward flow of stomach components compared to esophageal components. This is often a clear indication of acid reflux, which may further cause back pain. 

Treatment of Acid Reflux with Back Pain

Lifestyle Changes

You can deal with acid reflux with back pain by changing some simple approaches to your lifestyle. These include eating healthy, avoiding trigger foods, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, improving posture, staying hydrated, quitting smoking, and more. 


When it comes to a bloated stomach and back pain, we often feel that home remedies are enough to treat them. In some cases, over-the-counter medications like Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can help provide temporary relief and long-term solutions against acid reflux with back pain. 

Home Remedies

Home remedies for acid reflux with back pain include simple steps like eating alkaline foods such as bananas and avoiding snacking close to bedtime. Physiotherapists often recommend sleeping to the left side and elevating your head while lying on the bed. Wearing loose-fit clothes is also found to be beneficial. 

Physical therapy

In some cases, acid reflux can be caused due to certain exercises and poor sleep or posture. Thus, a physical therapy routine that includes breathing, weight loss, and cardio exercises such as walking or cycling can help alleviate back pain symptoms due to acidity. 

Prevention of Acid Reflux with Back Pain

Maintain a healthy weight.

Issues surrounding acid reflux and back pain are often associated with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Thus, ensuring that you get to a moderate weight will go a long way in preventing the condition.  

Avoid trigger foods

Every person has some foods that cause them indigestion, irritation, a bloated stomach, and back pain in some cases. If you know your trigger foods, avoid them to prevent acid reflux with back pain. 

Eat smaller, more frequent meals. 

Smaller meals help the body gain nutrients throughout the day while ensuring the blood sugar levels remain stable and satisfying your appetite at the same time. This is crucial to avoid acidity and back pain.  

Avoid lying down after eating.

Lying down immediately after eating increases the chances of stomach acids rising toward the esophagus. Give some time for digestion to occur and for the contents of your stomach to move into your small intestine rather than the esophagus. 

Elevate the head of your bed.

The trick behind elevating the head of your bed is simple - gravity prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus. Lying down flat, on the other hand, may cause food to flow back up to the esophagus. 

Reduce stress

Stress elevates acid reflux symptoms by potentially increasing the flow of stomach acids to the esophagus and shutting down pain receptors making symptoms more painful. Thus, reducing stress can help against acid reflux with back pain. 

Coping with Acid Reflux with Back Pain 

Acid reflux with back pain can be treated effectively and permanently with the right steps. With the right lifestyle changes and expert physiotherapy advice, you can not just deal with the discomfort caused by heartburn, bloating, and other symptoms but prevent it from further affecting you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of acid reflux with back pain?

The common symptoms of acid reflux with back pain include heartburn, nausea, Dyspepsia, Esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, regurgitation, and increased pain in the back. If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms, it is best to consult a physiotherapist. 

How is acid reflux with back pain diagnosed?

While symptoms generally indicate a potential acid reflux issue, an endoscopy is an effective method to see inside your esophagus and stomach and detect any inflammation or issues within. 

What are the common treatments for acid reflux with back pain?

Home remedies and lifestyle changes can provide effective relief from the symptoms of acid reflux with back pain, but medications such as antacids could also be taken if necessary. Physiotherapy is another method that will help reduce acid reflux with back pain. 

What should I do if I have acid reflux with back pain?

There are several lifestyle changes that you could implement, including eating healthy, avoiding trigger foods, maintaining a healthy weight, improving posture, and more. If the symptoms persist, it is best to visit a physiotherapist.