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You can have hiatal hernia if the upper part of your stomach pushes upward through hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus goes down through to the stomach. It may bulge up into your chest, which could be large enough to cause a number of symptoms. Does it also cause pain in the middle of the back?
Hiatal hernia usually has no symptom. Even some people don’t realize they have the condition until it’s incidentally discovered during X-ray or certain tests for another condition. Most often if the pain occurs, it’s caused by GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
GERD is a condition when the stomach contents (including stomach acid) back up into the esophagus. It is common in people with hiatal hernia. This is quite reasonable because hiatal hernia will weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the flexible muscle ring that’s responsible to allow foods to flow into your stomach and prevent acidic stomach from moving upward into the esophagus.
Sometimes GERD could be quite painful. It is often described as a feeling of burning chest pain, typically felt behind the breastbone. Also, it may make you have a feeling of having foods coming back into your throat leaving a bitter-acid taste.
And it is usually mild and often relieves with a few lifestyle measures (won’t need treatment). However in a few cases, it becomes chronic and medications are required.
Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that your pain is not caused by something else. For instance, if exercise makes the pain worse, it may be caused by heart problems. Hiatal hernia pain associated with GERD is less likely aggravated with physical activity.
Hiatal hernia may also become large enough to cause other symptoms, such as: shortness of breath, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), abdominal /chest pain, or gastrointestinal bleeding (passing of black-tarry stools /vomiting of blood). See also warning signs and symptoms of hiatal hernia getting worse!
Pain in the middle of the back (above the bottom of rib cage and below the neck) is less common than lower back pain. It could be dull or sharp. Depending on the underlying cause and how severe it is, it may come up with some of the following symptoms;
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