wondering about chest and back pain

Are you wondering (hoping) that your constant chest and back pain is being caused by GERD rather than a heart problem?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease and is notorious for causing chest pain.

“Acid reflux is when the normal stomach acid regurgitates up into the esophagus,” explains Jay Desai, MD, who specializes in colon cancer screening, upper endoscopy and consultative gastroenterology with the Endoscopy Center of New York.

“The muscles at the bottom of the esophagus are meant to act as a valve to hold down acid, but in many people this valve does not function properly. These symptoms can manifest differently in patients.

“In some patients, especially those with severe reflux, they can have constant chest pain.”

Sometimes, this sensation is more like an ache, including a duller type of ache.

Dr. Desai adds about the constant chest pain, “In general this is due to ulcerations in the esophagus from acid exposure.”

What about back pain?

“Back pain is less commonly associated with reflux. The treatment for this is antacid medication, which helps heal the damage of the esophagus from the acid.”

Keep a record of when your back pain or aching occurs.

    • Is it only when the chest pain occurs?
    • Have you seen a cardiologist to rule out a problem with your heart?
    • Have you been diagnosed with GERD?

If you haven’t seen both a gastroenterologist and cardiologist, it’s time to. Chest plus back pain should never be ignored.

dr. desai

Board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Desai provides a wide range of GI services including for bacterial overgrowth, constipation, acid reflux and GERD, IBS, incontinence and small bowel disease. Twitter handle: @NYGADocs
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.