Gastroesophageal Reflux or GERD is widely known to you and I as acid reflux. This is a common problem suffered by people of all ages and stages – infants, pregnant women, those who have put on a bit of weight or have been under stress- to name but a few examples. It can impact greatly on your lifestyle and your enjoyment of life. You may be able to bear the discomfort and pain through gritted teeth but if you leave it untreated, it could bring on other health problems.
GERD happens when too much acid returns from the stomach into the oesophagus, the tube from the throat to the stomach, causing heartburn. One of the key causes is a dysfunction of the last part of the oesophagus, where a muscular ring tightens so that the stomach’s content can’t flow back up. The diaphragm, our main breathing muscle, helps to facilitate this action.
You don’t have to suffer in silence as easy non-invasive and medication-free treatment is available. Apart from making changes to your diet and lifestyle, Osteopathy can also effectively treat this problem
Osteopathy treats a wide range of conditions which can improve your quality of life for the long-term. The World Health Organisation defines Osteopathy as a “whole-body approach to health that aims to enhance our ability to self-heal and self-regulate through the improvement of the body’s structure (muscles, joints and bones), and the function of blood vessels and nerves.”
In order to treat GERD, it is important to identify the root cause and adjust the diaphragm. Osteopathic work on the diaphragm is a much less invasive than surgery and studies have shown how Osteopathy can significantly reduce acid reflux through an improvement in the function of the diaphragm, the mid-back and the oesophagus.
Diaphragm dysfunctions are just one of the many causes of GERD; rest assured that Osteopaths are fully trained to recognise signs and symptoms of different pathologies and will always refer you to your GP or a relevant health practitioner, if needed.
Marta Porinni D.O.B.Sc. (Hons.) Ost. & Isla Brown B.Sc. (Ost.)