If you are one of the millions who suffer from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), you have most likely have tried many of the recommended meds and dietary restrictions to reduce those nasty symptoms. If making those changes hasn’t really helped much, it might be time to look at the connection between posture and GERD.
To Slouch Or Not To Slouch
Mothers are always telling teens to sit or stand up straight. As usual, moms give beneficial advice, but they might not know why sitting up straight is so important other than how we look.
With computers, handheld devices, and smartphones “forward head posture” is on the rise. We slouch as we work, as we eat, and even as we relax. Nothing could be worse for our body and digestion. It can change the normal position of our body and can even play havoc with the functions of our vital organs.
The Power Of Gravity
We experience GERD when the digestive process is disrupted. If you are hunched over while eating or afterward, the stomach acid which breaks down your food becomes blocked since this position compresses your chest and stomach. Consequently, the acid flows backward into your esophagus. In addition, some evidence suggests slouching slows down transit in your intestines.
Just as you know NOT to lie down right after a meal, you always want to keep your esophagus above your stomach. This is another reason why raising the head of your bed at night helps reduce symptoms. If you sit upright during and after meals, the symptoms of GERD will be reduced.
Tips To Improve Your Posture And GERD
It seems that only models have perfect posture, but we can all find ways to improve. If you get heartburn frequently, you have even more of an incentive to work on your posture.
- Try to be conscious of your posture. If you do this regularly, you will correct your position when you notice yourself slouching.
- Strive to keep your shoulders down and back with your head aligned over your shoulders and directly over your spine, not in front.
- Ask Digestive Health Services for a recommendation to a physiotherapist who can develop exercises and stretches just for you.
- Here is a deep breathing exercise you can do several times daily. Lie flat on your back with knees slightly bent. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe very deeply from your diaphragm. You should see the hand on your stomach move as you inhale, but the hand on your chest should be still. Exhale deeply.
See Digestive Health Services for additional posture tips or treatment for the symptoms of GERD.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call (630) 434-9312 today!