Can gas cause middle back pain?

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Written By Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

Trapped gas in the digestive system can lead to discomfort, bloating, and pain in various parts of the body, including the middle back. 

Gas-related back pain can occur due to various factors, such as swallowing too much air, eating or drinking too fast, consuming carbonated beverages, chewing gum, or having certain medical conditions that impair the functioning of the digestive system.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or severe gas-related back pain to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment

Most people pass gas between 13 and 21 times per day. When gas becomes trapped and cannot escape, it can cause constipation and back pain. Fortunately, many home remedies can help release trapped gas or prevent it from accumulating.

How to relieve gas?

To relieve gas and reduce the chances of experiencing middle back pain, you can try the following methods:

1. Eat a fiber-rich diet: Consuming foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, can help promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation, which can contribute to gas buildup.

2. Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can help keep your digestive system functioning properly and prevent constipation.

3. Exercise regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, can help stimulate digestion and prevent gas buildup.

4. Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods can contribute to gas production, such as carbonated drinks, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), dairy products, and artificial sweeteners. Keeping a food diary can help identify trigger foods and reduce their consumption.

5. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly: Eating too quickly or not chewing food properly can cause you to swallow air, leading to gas-related pain. Take your time while eating and chew each bite thoroughly.

6. Avoid chewing gum and using straws: Chewing gum and using straws can cause you to swallow air, increasing the likelihood of trapped gas. Opt for sipping from a glass instead.

7. Quit smoking: Smoking has been linked to digestive problems, including bloating and gas. Quitting or avoiding smoking may help manage digestive issues and reduce the chances of gas-related pain.

8. Try herbal remedies: Certain herbal teas, such as anise, chamomile, ginger, and peppermint, may aid digestion and help relieve gas. Fennel seeds and clove oil have also been traditionally used to alleviate digestive symptoms.

9. Use heat therapy: Applying a hot water bottle or heating pad to your abdomen can help relax the muscles in your gut, promoting the movement of gas and reducing pain and discomfort.

10. Consider over-the-counter remedies: Products like simethicone, activated charcoal, and probiotics are available over-the-counter and may provide relief from gas pain. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication or supplement.

11. Choose non-carbonated beverages. Carbonated beverages like sparkling water and sodas send a lot of gas to the stomach. This can cause bloating and pain.

12. Drink tea. Certain herbal teas can aid digestion and quickly reduce gas pains. The most effective teas are made from anise, chamomile, ginger, and peppermint.

13. Clove oil. Traditionally, clove oil has been used to treat digestive problems, including bloating, gas, and indigestion. It may also possess properties to combat ulcers. Consuming clove oil after meals can increase digestive enzymes and reduce the amount of gas in the intestines.

14. Add apple cider vinegar to water. Apple cider vinegar helps with stomach acid production and digestive enzymes. It can also help quickly relieve pains caused by gas. Add one tablespoon of vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before meals to prevent gas-related pains and bloating.

What other symptoms can Gas in the Digestive System cause?

Gas in the digestive system can cause a variety of symptoms. These include:

  • Burping: This is a release of gas from your stomach through your mouth. People typically belch up to 30 times a day.
  • Passing gas: This is a normal part of the digestive process. Most people pass gas up to 20 times a day.
  • Pain, cramps, or a knotted feeling in your abdomen: Gas in the intestine can cause pain for some people.
  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (bloating): Feeling of fullness or swelling in your abdomen.
  • An observable increase in the size of your abdomen (distention): This can occur when gas builds up in the digestive tract.
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort: When gas collects on the left side of the colon, the pain can be confused with heart disease. When it collects on the right side of the colon, the pain may feel like the pain associated with gallstones or appendicitis.
  • Other symptoms such as stomach pain, rectal pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fever, or weight loss can also occur in some cases.

Exercises to Relieve Gas

  1. Apanasana (Wind Relieving Pose): Lie flat on your back, bend your right knee, and bring it up toward your chest. Hug your knee with both hands while pressing your back, shoulders, and neck into the mat. Hold for a few breaths, then repeat with the opposite leg.
  2. Knees hugged to the chest: Lie down, relax, and inhale while placing your hands on your knees. Exhale and hug your knees to your chest. Rock your knees from side to side to maximize the stretch. Stay for five to ten breaths and release your knees. Repeat this move a few more times.

Stretches to Reduce Back Pain

  1. Spinal twist: Lie down, hug your knees, and inhale. As you exhale, drop your knees to the left, using your left hand to push them down gently. Then, turn your head and stretch your arm out to the right. Stay for five to ten breaths, inhale, and return your hands and knees to the center. Repeat on the other side.
  2. Seated forward bend pose: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly hinge forward at the hips and lower your torso, keeping your back straight. Stay there for five to ten deep breaths.
  3. Downward-facing dog: Start on your hands and knees, then lift your hips up and back, forming an inverted V shape with your body. Press your hands into the ground and relax your head and neck. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths.

Learn more:
1. [How to Get Rid of Gas Pain | Johns Hopkins Medicine](
2. [How to get rid of gas pain fast: 20 natural home remedies](
3. [Trapped Gas: 9 remedies for relief](

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MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

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