Why does swallowing cause pain in my back?

  • Why does swallowing cause pain in my back?

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    Experiencing pain in the back while swallowing is usually a symptom of an esophageal disorder. The esophagus is a tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. Its main purpose is to help move the food you swallow from the back of the throat to the stomach where it is digested.

    There are a variety of esophagus disorders that make feel as if a person has back pain, especially in the upper back. One of the most common is gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Reflux of acid can cause heartburn, which leads to a burning sensation in the chest, pain in the middle of the back and a sour taste in the mouth.

    Other potential issues that can make swallowing feel like it is causing back pain include an infection of the esophagus, cold, flu, sinus infection, ulcer or fissure in the esophagus and spasms of the esophagus. Esophageal spasms are painful muscle contractions of the esophagus. Since the esophagus runs through from the throat to the stomach, the contractions may be felt as severe chest pain, which radiates to the back.

    It is always important to talk to a physician about symptoms to rule out serious issues with the esophagus.

    While I would concur heartily with what much of The Eminent Doctor Ghauri says as to where and to an extent why these pains occur, as it is almost always a dictat of the medical proffesion that acid reflux is treated by pump inhibtors and general ant acids, which is 100% wrong, and is best treated by INCREASING the acid in your stomach, either by an acid preparation from the chemists… regrettably I forget the name, or using Apple Cider Vinegar, which doesn’t miraculously suddenly become alkaline once it’s swallowed, but continues to be acidic, and helps the sensor at the top of the stomach to recognise the acid level, which causes the sphincter to close. End of reflux, and no cancers caused by using the medication.

    So in that light, I would go on to say that many pains are referred pains as Dr Ghauri mentions, it is also possible that pains come from a problem with the nerve which is being troublesome. So the problem may be in the gullet, but the nerve that feeds it comes from the neck, so get the neck checked for vertibrae displacemet with a Chiropractor before you go down the long path of scans, toxic radiation liquids which will damage your liver etc.

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    Most such pain are harmless coincidental events.

    But just in case, do know that 80% of stomach or duodenal ulcer are in the anterior part which give us epigastric pain. But 20% can either occur at the back, or in both front and back (the kissing ulcers). So you do get ulcer pains at the back.

    But back pain associated with eating could be pancreatic or gall bladder diseases or both. If you have hypertension too, you would want to exclude aortic aneurysm (dilation of the aorta, which could be fatal).

    The general rule is: if it ain’t going away, talk to the expert, ie your doctor.


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    If you have back pain after eating, you may assume that the discomfort is related to a digestive problem. This could be the case, but it’s important to look at all your symptoms and any possible triggers for pain.

    Ulcer and heartburn

    Signs of digestive distress often include pains in your abdomen or reactions that include vomiting or diarrhea. Depending on the condition, however, you could feel pain in your back as well.

    A peptic ulcer can cause referred pain in your back. This type of ulcer is a sore in your stomach or the small intestines. Typical symptoms include:

    • heartburn
    • abdominal pain
    • bloating
    • gas

    Ulcers can be mild or quite painful. For the more serious cases, pain can be felt in the back as well.

    Heartburn is another digestive disorder that may cause pain in your back. Symptoms of heartburn caused by gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), include a burning sensation in the chest, a sour taste in the mouth, and pain the middle of your back.

    Hope that may help!

    You failed to tell us how long you have had this problem. This question should be asked of your medical doctor. When you have a serious issue anywhere on or in your body, your family doctor can order testing to pin point the problem. Right now I can’t tell if you have a back problem or a swallowing issue. Please don’t ask medical questions of people on social media. You will get opinions, horror stories and guesses. Without testing it’s just anyone’s guess. I don’t deal in guesses, that’s not fair to you. Please see your physician..


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    See a doctor right away. It could be an ulcer somewhere in the alimentary canal. Sometimes the pain is referred to the lower back. My best friend had these symptoms and he collapsed in pain after drinking a milkshake. He had a perforated duodenal ulcer that was operated on just in time. It is fixable, but do get on it.


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    Epiglottitis is a throat infection that causes inflammation of the epiglottis, which is the flap in the back of the throat that prevents food from going down the windpipe. In addition topain when swallowing, typical symptoms of epiglottitis include: difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia

    Actually, I strongly suggest having that checked out. It could be something simple as not chewing your food enough, but I imagine you will check that. There could be an injury, or hernia etc. err on the side of caution, please have it looked at.

    Best wishes



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