Sit Up Straight!
Why your mom’s posture advice may be valuable for tackling GERD in Macon
You’ve tried just about everything to fix your GERD. You’ve paid a visit (or several) to your primary care doctor, tried eliminating many foods from your diet and even started to adjust the way you sleep each night, but nothing seems to keep your symptoms completely at bay.
For many longtime GERD sufferers who have been unable to find relief with conservative measures, reflux surgery is a safe and reliable option. However, others may be able to find peace from GERD symptoms not by adjusting the way they eat or sleep, but how they sit and stand.
As you read these words, how are you positioned? If you find yourself slumped over your computer desk, with your torso angled like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, this has a very real effect on the function of your stomach and esophagus.
When you slouch, your esophagus is positioned at an incorrect angle, while greater pressure is placed on your stomach. Poor posture impedes the straight path between your esophagus and stomach, which can cause your esophageal muscles to spasm and block in acid and gas, resulting in the chest pain, coughing and discomfort that you may have long suspected were caused by other factors.
Straighten Out, Beat GERD
The best position for your stomach and esophagus is a straight one. Keeping your back straight as you sit and stand will ensure that your esophagus stays at the correct angle and your stomach stays free of excess pressure. Both food coming in and gas coming out will be able to pass unimpeded if you keep your posture straight, while gravity will also assist in returning refluxed acid from the esophagus to the stomach.
Of course, it isn’t always easy to keep your back straight. Even if you set out to maintain the perfect posture all day long, you’ll likely find yourself slouching again as time drags on. Though it may certainly be valuable to continuously remind yourself to sit up straight throughout the day, you can drastically improve your posture with some good old-fashioned exercise.
By improving the strength of your postural muscles, you can align your body in a more natural way, helping you to stay straight without constantly fretting over your posture. Good posture starts with strong core muscles that support your back and keep you upright: the obliques, abdominals, hips and lower back muscles.
In addition to improving your posture and reflux symptoms, strengthening your core will give you better balance, allow you to move and control your body more efficiently, alleviate lower back pain and keep your body resistant to injury. There are countless exercises you can do to improve your core muscle strength, including:
- Basic crunches
- Planks/side planks
How else can we improve our posture and beat GERD in Macon? Share your tips, experiences and questions with us in the comments below!