Hiatal Hernia Syndrome; scary sounding words for sure!
You suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and the “purple pill” is part of your life. You may not have considered going to your chiropractor to get relief from this all too common condition. At our chiropractor in Greenville SC, Eastside Chiropractic, we see many patients who have been dealing with hiatal hernia syndrome and GERD, – some for a very long time.
The interesting reality with these patients is that they rarely come in with their stomach distress as their chief complaint. The more common scenario is a patient coming to see us for neck or back pain, and their history reveals challenges with GERD or generalized stomach complaints.
What is a Hiatal Hernia?
The stomach is a major organ along the digestive pathway, and a big player in a condition known as a hiatal hernia – which basically means that the stomach spasms and pushes up on your diaphragm leading to symptoms such as:
• pain in the upper abdomen
• chest pain
• difficulty breathing
• panic attack symptoms
How the Stomach Can Create So Many Problems?
The condition of ‘heartburn’ is also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) wherein some of the acidic contents of the stomach escapes through the the top of the stomach and projects upwards into the esophagus causing a painful burning sensation in the chest.
The esophagus (that tube running from the mouth to the stomach) penetrates through a large muscle called the diaphragm in its journey from the mouth to the stomach. The opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes is called a hiatus (which simply means ‘hole’).
Normally, when we swallow and food goes into the stomach, the hole at the top of the stomach closes, keeping food and the acidic digestive juices within the confines of the stomach.
Under certain circumstances, especially situations where there is generalized pressure from the lower abdomen, the upper portion of the stomach actually pushes up through the hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm causing a ‘hiatal hernia.’ This can result in pain in the stomach area, chest pain and the more commonly known heartburn sensation. Common reasons for hiatal hernias increased prevalence can include abdominal muscles decompensation, excess weight gain and postures which provoke a body flexed position. Pregnancy can also cause the conditions which provoke hiatal hernia syndrome.
As with most conditions, there is a range of severity for hiatal hernias from mild to moderate to severe. Severe conditions may require more serious medical interventions such as surgery.
An ‘Adjustment’ May Be All You Need!
For mild and moderate conditions, however, a simple procedure which Dr Mruz performs can be very helpful. Dietary changes and postural intervention may also be recommended, however this particular in office procedure can bring immediate relief or produce gradual improvement over the course of a visit or two.
While there may be some mild discomfort associated with the procedure, the net effect is often immediate relief. The patient can take a deeper breath and the pressure and pain subsides. The procedure may need to be repeated over the course of two weeks for lasting results.
Chiropractic adjustments performed in the neck and mid-back can positively affect nerves that go to the diaphragm itself. If you or anyone you know suffers from acid reflux, heartburn, chest pain or panic attacks, please consider getting evaluated for a hiatal hernia. A simple, natural and drug-free therapy may be all that’s needed to eradicate your discomfort.
Do You Suffer From Hiatal Hernia?
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above—contact us. Call 864-292-6777 to schedule.
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