Gastroesophageal Reflux

Osteopathy relieves gastric acid reflux, low back pain, and muscle stiffness

DISCLAIMER: Names of patients have been changed and cer­tain details about their cases have been edited to pro­tect their pri­vacy. The authors only use real names if patients give prior approval in writing.

Heart­burn, Gas­troe­sophageal Reflux (GER), and Gas­troe­sophageal Reflux Dis­ease (GERD)

What is GERD?

Gas­troe­sophageal reflux dis­ease (GERD) is a more seri­ous form of gas­troe­sophageal reflux (GER), which is com­mon. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphinc­ter (LES) opens spon­ta­neously, for vary­ing peri­ods of time, or does not close prop­erly and stom­ach con­tents rise up into the esoph­a­gus. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regur­gi­ta­tion, because diges­tive juices—called acids—rise up with the food. The esoph­a­gus is the tube that car­ries food from the mouth to the stom­ach. The LES is a ring of mus­cle at the bot­tom of the esoph­a­gus that acts like a valve between the esoph­a­gus and stomach.

Pic­ture of acid reflux anatomy

When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stom­ach acid touches the lin­ing of the esoph­a­gus it may cause a burn­ing sen­sa­tion in the chest or throat called heart­burn or acid indi­ges­tion. Occa­sional GER is com­mon and does not nec­es­sar­ily mean one has GERD. Per­sis­tent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is con­sid­ered GERD, and it can even­tu­ally lead to more seri­ous health prob­lems. Peo­ple of all ages can have GERD. source:

How Osteopa­thy helped Mdm Wong

Madam Wong was diag­nosed with gas­tric acid reflux, a chronic dis­ease in the diges­tive sys­tem which gave her fre­quent sore throats not relieved with med­ica­tion. Her doc­tors advised that she sleep in a bed with a 45-degree incline or have surgery to relieve her symp­toms. Madam Wong decided not to undergo surgery and in the last seven years, she has learned to cope by avoid­ing cer­tain foods. Trav­el­ling is the worst time for her since it pre­vents her from sleep­ing in her usual inclined bed, which aggra­vates her gas­tric acid reflux.

Besides this, Madam Wong also suf­fered from spinal stiff­ness. She avoided cer­tain activ­i­ties and did not bend for­ward as much when she did her errands to pre­vent the discomfort.

When she first came to OPRC, Madam Wong needed treat­ment for the low back pain that she was expe­ri­enc­ing. Ther­a­pists gave her osteo­pathic treat­ment and clin­i­cal mas­sage which relieved her pain and dis­com­fort. After sev­eral vis­its, she was able to bend for­ward eas­ily. She showed the great­est improve­ment from gen­tle osteo­pathic manip­u­la­tion which released the ten­sion around her diaphragm and stom­ach area.

Osteo­pathic treat­ment– abdom­i­nal mus­cle pal­pa­tion and treat­ment to release ten­sion of the diaphragm mus­cle help­ing to relieve gas­tric reflux

Madam Wong report that she now walks faster than her hus­band. She is able to sleep flat in her home and dur­ing her trav­els and finally she can bend for­ward with­out pain.

How does this exam­ple help you?

You don’t have to live with gas­tric reflux. It can affect other parts of your body.

Like most peo­ple, Madam Wong did not think that her gas­tric reflux can affect her spine. Although she suf­fered from low back stiff­ness before her dis­ease, the addi­tional mus­cle ten­sion on her ribs and spinal area made her feel even stiffer. It was like wear­ing per­ma­nent “corset” of tight mus­cles and feel­ing it con­strict on her spine. Also, because she had to sleep in an inclined posi­tion, it meant that the pres­sure on her low back joints and mus­cles increased.

Osteo­pathic manip­u­la­tion –releases ten­sion around the stom­ach mus­cle which also helps relieve back stiffness

Osteo­pathic treat­ment can also help you even after years of problems.

It did not take long to relieve Mdm Wong’s recent back pain but releas­ing seven years of addi­tional stiff­ness took time as her body and spine tight­ened up so much. The key aspect that unlocked her prob­lem was the under­stand­ing that the added ten­sion from the gas­tric reflux needed to be released with osteo­pathic manip­u­la­tion which then allowed her old back stiff­ness to get better.

Osteo­pathic manip­u­la­tion — gen­tle approach to effec­tively release fas­cial ten­sion around the lower chest and abdom­i­nal areas.

Osteo­pathic ass­es­ment can tai­lor the treat­ment appro­pri­ate to your needs.

Osteopa­thy can reduce the pain and stiff­ness through treat­ments tai­lor made for your needs. For instance, every patient that has gas­tric reflux will have the same symp­toms but the causes may vary. Our res­i­dent osteopaths will give you a thor­ough osteo­pathic exam­i­na­tion and talk to you about your lifestyle to iden­tify what causes your pain. This will include dis­cussing how your pos­ture, sports, and habits affect you. Our osteopaths will develop a cus­tom made treat­ment and well­ness plan for you based on this assess­ment to give you long-term relief.

What to do next if you have sim­i­lar symptoms?

Call 6327 8545  for an appoint­ment and we’ll do a thor­ough exam­i­na­tion to find out how we can relieve your symp­toms as soon as possible.

72 Amoy Street , Singapore 069891 / /

Patients are advised to see their doc­tor if the symp­toms are severe and require med­ical investigation.


Posted on July 31, 2011, in clinical massage therapy, massage therapy, Osteopath, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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