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Can Heartburn Cause Shoulder Pain

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Can Acid Reflux Cause Asthma

GERD Symptoms

Patients with asthma are known to experience GERD and are likelier to develop acid reflux than people without asthma. This is because acid reflux can cause damage to the esophagus, leading to chronic coughing.

Overproduction of acid and constant exposure to stomach contents could also compromise the lungs, making it more susceptible to irritants like dust.

Developing Asthma Due to GERD

Its not just asthmatic patients who can be affected by GERD. Turns out that patients who are non-asthmatic can have respiratory problems due to reflux symptoms.

Wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty are tell-tale signs of asthma. Commonly diagnosed in childhood, adults can also develop asthma late in their lives due to a variety of reasons. Some patients can develop asthmatic symptoms while others go on to experience chronic asthma symptoms and eventually develop adult asthma.

Asthma can be caused by a variety of stimuli including exposure to allergens and persistent flu. Doctors tend to identify acid reflux, or GERD in particular, as the cause for asthma when:

  • Asthma symptoms worsen after a meal
  • Asthma begins during adulthood, after the patient experiences reflux symptoms
  • Asthma doesnt get better with traditional asthma treatments

Is It Always Serious?

The Real Cause Of Gerd/acid Reflux

The common diagnosis on the cause of GERD and heartburn is too much stomach acid.

But growing evidence reveals this isnt the case.

Incidences of GERD/acid reflux increase with age while stomach declines.

Think about it

If acid reflux was really caused by too much stomach acids then teenagers would be popping TUMs like it was going out of fashion. But in reality, we see the opposite happening.

In his excellent book Why Stomach Acid is Good for You Dr Jonathan Wright reveals that in over 25 years of testing he found

When we carefully test people over age forty whore having heartburn, indigestion and gas, over 90 percent of the time we find inadequate acid production by the stomach.

Dr Jonathan Wright mD

Low stomach acid increases the risk of bacterial overgrowth.

Whats more, low stomach acid can lead to carbohydrate malabsorption, mean that carbs are digested properly. The undigested end up in the lower intestine where they ferment causing gas and bloating.

The bloating and gas increases intra-abdominal pressure that becomes the driving force behind GERD and heartburn.

So, GERD is caused by low levels of stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

Why You Shouldnt Ignore Pain Between Shoulder Blades

We experience lots of aches as we get older, but pain between shoulder blades isnt something to ignore. It can be attributed to quite a few different conditions but is most often caused by something that most of us do wrong every day .

Pain between the shoulder blades can range from a sharp pain to burning or tingling in your spine. Sometimes the pain can trigger additional problems like a headache. Regardless of the type of pain youre having, you want to make sure you know whats generating it and how to alleviate it because it could be a sign of a serious health problem.

Lets take a look at some of the things that cause pain between shoulder blades and what you can do about it

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Heartburn Or Heart Attack

The symptoms of heartburn may mimic those of angina or a heart attack . If you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to get to an emergency room for an evaluation as soon as possible.


  • Tightness, pressure, squeezing, stabbing, or dull pain, most often in the center of the chest

  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms

  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

  • Cold sweat or clammy skin

  • Lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness

  • Nausea, indigestion, and sometimes vomiting

  • The appearance of symptoms with physical exertion or extreme stress


  • Burning chest pain that begins at the breastbone

  • Pain that moves up toward your throat but doesn’t typically radiate to your shoulders, neck, or arms

  • Sensation that food is coming back into your mouth

  • Bitter or acidic taste at the back of your throat

  • Pain that worsens when you lie down or bend over

  • The appearance of symptoms after a large or spicy meal

How To Avoid Reflux

How Does Acid Reflux Cause Upper Back Pain? » Scary Symptoms

There are some things you can do to keep the heartburn away.

  • Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, aspirin/anti-inflammatories and citrus , Bauman advised.
  • And if you experience heartburn at night, try giving gravity a hand. Raise the head of your bed on blocks so gravity can help keep your stomach contents down in the stomach, Bauman said.
  • Another possible remedy can be not to eat close to bedtime or late at night. When your stomach is full of food or busy digesting food, try letting it finish that work before heading to bed.
  • Some over-the-counter medications can also help.
  • See your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
  • Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

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    Could It Be Something Else Entirely

    Heartburn and heart attacks arent the only conditions that can cause chest pain. Here are some other issues to look out for:

    • Angina. This can happen if your heart doesnt get enough oxygen-rich blood. It can feel like a heart attack.
    • Pleurisy. Inflamed lung or chest cavity tissue can result in chest pain and shortness of breath.
    • Gallbladder pain. Your gallbladder releases digestive fluids your body uses to process fats. Gallbladder issues can result in abdominal, chest, arm, neck, or shoulder pain. You may also experience diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
    • Esophageal muscle spasm. Sudden muscle movement in your esophagus can lead to a tight or painful feeling in your chest.

    Learn How It Differs From A Heart Attack

    Have you been experiencing significant discomfort or pain in your chest? Has this pain affected your daily routines and overall quality of life? You may be experiencing severe or persistent heartburn, which often occurs two times a week or more.

    Its important to manage severe heartburn, as the impact on your health can be serious. When your esophagus or throat is regularly exposed to stomach acid, it can cause pain, throat ulcers, and tissue abnormalities.1 This could affect your ability to swallow, breathe, and even speak. Unmanaged, this damage could increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers.

    Since these severe heartburn symptoms are experienced in the same region as symptoms experienced during a heart attack, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two.2 Heartburn pain tends to be felt in the center of your chest, while heart attack pain may be slightly to the left of your heart. It can radiate through your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and/or down your arms . Heartburn sufferers often describe their symptoms as a series of sharp chest pains, while victims of a heart attack tend to describe the feeling as a dull heaviness.

    If you’re uncertain whether you’re experiencing heartburn or a heart attack, speak to a medical professional right away.2 Additionally, if you find that your heartburn is more frequent , you may want to consult your doctor about trying a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium 24HR.


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    Sternum Pain : Causes Symptoms And Treatments

    Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

    Sternum pain or any kind of chest pain can be a cause for worry in most people. This is because often, pain in the chest area is associated with heart problems or other diseases which require prompt medical attention. However, sternum pain is usually caused by inflammation or an injury to the breastbone. Breastbone pain is classed as noncardiac chest pain, meaning that the pain isnt the result of heart disease.

    The sternum is also called the breastbone and its the bone in the center of your chest below your collarbone. The sternum is connected to muscles that move the arms, head, and neck and it protects many vital organs.

    Of course, you should never ignore any kind of chest pain because it could be a sign of a serious cardiac problem. In this article, Im going look at the various reasons for non-cardiac chest pain that is related to sternum pain. You will find helpful remedies and discover what you can do to get a relief from sternal pain and other related chest pains.

    Rare Symptoms Of Acid Reflux: When You Should Be Worried

    Can Reflux Disease Cause Chest Pain?

    Acid reflux may be a common gastrointestinal problem, but it turns out its symptoms are not always that common. From headaches to nerve pain, there are uncommon acid reflux symptoms that can cause alarm and panic to patients.

    So, what are rare acid reflux symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, asthma symptoms, and nerve pain are among those considered to be uncommon but safe acid reflux symptoms. On the other hand, fever and intense pain accompanied by left arm pain are just two examples of potential medical emergencies for reflux patients.

    Read on to learn more about the lesser known acid reflux symptoms, and whether or not they pose a health risk.

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    What Treatments Are Available For Non

    The most common and effective treatment for other health problems that cause non-cardiac chest pain is a medicine that blocks the pain signals. Tricyclic antidepressants , used in a low dose, are the most commonly used medicines. A low dose of other types of anti-depression medicine can be used if the patient has side effects from the TCAs.

    When non-cardiac chest pain is caused by a muscle problem, simple treatments, such as a heating pad, stretching exercises, or over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, can relieve the pain.

    Non-cardiac chest pain can be due to stress, anxiety, or depression. A psychologist can help patients with these problems work through them so they do not cause chest pain. Talk therapy that teaches the patient how to change or eliminate thought patterns that cause stress can reduce the frequency of chest pain episodes.

    Arm Pain: Heartburn Or Something Else

    Heart attack survivors often recount their first symptom as a heartburn-like sensation. Many patients explicitly use the word heartburn when recounting their cardiac experience. Patients often realize that their heartburn is in fact not reflux-related but heart-related when:

    • There is a pain radiating up the arm, specifically the left arm
    • They have no history of acid reflux
    • There is a burning sensation in the chest
    • They have not eaten anything prior to the pain
    • The pain doesnt go away with antacid

    If your heartburn symptoms dont go away after taking an antacid, and are accompanied by arm pain and back pain, we suggest going to an emergency facility immediately to get medical help.

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    Neck And Shoulder Pain Even When Together Can Have Quite A Few Causes Some Life Threatening

    This is why its natural for GERD sufferers to hope that both neck and shoulder pain is being caused by their GI problems and not something more serious like a heart issue.

    GERD can cause non-cardiac chest pain, begins Dr. Brian Lacy, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Med Center, who specializes in functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and is author of the book Healing Heartburn.

    It is usually under the breast bone but can occasionally radiate up into the neck and into the left arm, continues Dr. Lacy.

    However, GERD by itself is unlikely to cause shoulder pain. The key to distinguish neck and shoulder pain is to have the patient see their PCP and do a careful exam.

    Isolated neck and shoulder pain without classic symptoms of reflux is rarely due to GERD. Pyrosis refers to heartburn.

    A careful exam will usually identify the cause of the neck or shoulder pain .

    Another life-threatening cause of both neck and shoulder pain, other than a cardiac problem, is lung cancer.

    This is when the tumor is located in the top of the lungs. Here, it encroaches upon the nerve that passes from the upper part of the chest to your neck.

    However, when this happens, there will likely be other symptoms along with this such as weakening of the hand muscles, a drooping eyelid and/or blurred vision.

    If you have both neck and shoulder pain, dont panic and think you might have lung cancer.

    However, dont assume it might be GERD, either. See your doctor.


    Asthma Uk Community Forum

    Why do I keep getting this immense pain in my left ...

    My asthma has been quite bad recently, and Ive been getting a lot of tightness in my chest. For a week or so now as well I have been getting a dull ache in the top of my left arm. Recently it has been going down through the whole arm and it really aches, and I dont know what it could be. The other day I also got pains in my back, though they seem to have gone for the moment. Today Ive also started to get pains in my right shoulder and Im just a bit worried about it and curious to see if anyone else with asthma has experience this sort of pain? I told my doctor about it and he said it wasnt anything to worry about, but the pain is becoming a lot worse.

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    What Signs And Symptoms Are More Likely To Occur With A Heart Attack Than With Heartburn

    The textbook version of a heart attack consists of a sudden crushing pain in the chest with breathing difficulties as a result of exertion.

    The fact is, many heart attacks do not happen this way because the symptoms can vary between people.

    But the typical heart attack warning signals are A feeling of pressure or tightness in the chest and that can spread to the left arm, the neck, jaw or back.

    • Shortness of breath
    • Nausea

    If you experience any of these symptoms get to ER immediately!

    If there is any kind of recurring or chronic back and chest pain get checked by a doctor to rule out heart disease.

    Treatment Of Chest Pain

    Reassurance, analgesia, rest, or any combination of these three measures is the best treatment for patients experiencing noncardiac chest pain. NSAIDs administered for 1 week often decrease inflammation and pain. Patients who have pericarditis and pericardial effusion should be treated with ibuprofen. Administration of steroids may be considered in refractory cases of pericarditis and pericardial effusions. The appropriate specialist should treat specific cardiac, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and psychogenic causes of chest pain. Most, but not all, patients who experience chest pain and are awaiting a cardiology consultation should have their physical activity restricted pending their final cardiology evaluation.

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    Can Gerd Cause Back Pain

    While people can experience GERD and back pain at the same time, GERD is more likely caused by something related to existing back pain or its treatment. Read:All About Upper Back Pain

    While people can experience GERD and back pain at the same time, it is more likely that the GERD is caused by something related to the existing back pain or its treatment, rather than GERD causing back pain. Here are some possible causes of GERD and acid reflux related to back painand how to handle them.

    Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Shoulder

    Acid Reflux & Heartburn : Symptoms of GERD & Chest Pain

    Repetitive strain injury of the shoulder is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Rarity: Uncommon

    Top Symptoms: shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder weakness, shoulder numbness

    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : shoulder pain from overuse

    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : severe shoulder pain, shoulder injury

    Urgency: Self-treatment

    Pain In Both Shoulders Symptom Checker

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    Certain Types Of Cancer

    Lymphomas, esophageal cancer, and lung cancer can all trigger acute and chronic chest pain, especially if the tumor has grown large enough to apply significant pressure on a muscle or nerve group. Cancers that spread to bones can also trigger significant amounts of pain between the shoulder blades, though this will often mean that these conditions have progressed to the mid-to-late stages of development.

    What Symptoms Accompanying Your Shoulder Pain Is Vital

    Besides shoulder pain, heart attack may also have the following symptoms:

    • Chest Pain or Discomfort: You may feel the pain or discomfort that feels like squeezing, fullness, pressure or tight ache in your chest and it will last for a while. The discomfort will come and go.
    • Pain in Upper Body: The discomfort or pain might spread past your chest and to your jaw, teeth, neck, back, arms or shoulders. You might experience pain in the upper body pain without any discomfort in the chest.
    • Stomach Pain: The pain can spread down to the abdomen and you might feel something like heartburns. You might feel nauseated or even vomit.
    • Shortness of Breath: You might try to take deep breaths or pant. This is mostly before you experience chest discomfort. In some cases, you might not feel the discomfort.
    • Anxiety: You might feel like you are experiencing a panic attack out of the blue, or feel a sudden sense of doom come over you.
    • Light-Headedness: On top of the chest pressure you might feel dizzy or you are about to faint.
    • Sweating: You might suddenly start sweating yet your skin is calm and cold.

    When you feel any of the heart attack symptoms, do not ignore them and hope they will fade away. Call 911 immediately.

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    How Acid Reflux/gerd May Cause Upper Back Pain

    Acid reflux back pain is rare.

    But to understand acid reflux related back pain we need to understand what causes the pain.

    Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is caused when stomach acid regularly enters the lower esophagus.

    The lower esophagus sphincter is a round shaped muscle located at the bottom the esophagus, just before the entrance to your stomach.

    The sphincter acts like a one stop valve. Meaning, it opens one way.

    As you swallow the sphincter opens to allow food into the stomach then, closes to stop stomach acid escaping back into the esophagus.

    Sometimes, the valve-like muscle is too relaxed or weakens and doesnt close fully. This allows stomach acid to flow back up the esophagus and its corrosive effect causes a burning sensation in the chest and sore throat.

    Chronic heartburn can cause severe pain that can radiate to the upper back causing pain and discomfort between the shoulder blades.

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