Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gas pains in strange places
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Gas pains in strange places

Have had this problem for as long as can remember. Get pains (mostly arms/legs) which are relieved when I burp ("burpspots"). Massaging area will bring on burp(s) and eventual relief of pain.  Sometimes feels like I'm having a heart attack. Experienced bad pain in upper left arm, neck and shoulder over last 48 hours with much burping. Pain moves around and is somewhat relieved after each burp. Paid can be quite excruciating for a short period of time, until burps relieve it.  Took Gax-X, no noticeable relief. At times have thought pain was due to muscle injury, except I don't think muscle injury pain would go away after a burp, and have had no event which would cause muscle injury. I know must rule out heart problem, etc. Am 46 years, overweight and out-of-shape. Have always had some reflux and heartburn. Asked nurse once about phenomenon and was told there are a lot of nerve endings in stomach and gas can cause pains elsewhere in body.  Found your site when searching web and a woman called "soccermom1312" reported almost exact same symptoms back in 2004. I am amazed that someone else had same problem. Browsed your site and found many people reporting some of the same symptoms I have. I need some direction as to what type of doctor to see, tests to request, etc.. Can gas cause pains in other non-traditional areas of the body such as I am experiencing?
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A referral to a gastroenterologist can be recommended.

A variety of upper GI disorders can lead to the symptoms.  This can include GERD, irritable bowel, an ulcer, or inflammation of the upper digestive tract.  

Tests to consider would include an upper endoscopy or upper GI series to start.  You can also consider an abdominal ultrasound to look at the liver and gallbladder.

More specialized tests like a 24-hr pH study or gastric emptying scan can be considered if the tests return negative.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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I get gas pockets trapped in my upper back between my shoulder blades and my spine.  When it gets really bad, it expands to my chest and I feel like my lung is going to collapse or something  My Dr. prescribed Aciphex (which she gave me for heartburn, but I don't get that anymore) but when i don't take it the pain comes back.  Sometimes I have my mom take her elbow and put as much pressure on the area as she can.  It relieves the pain for about ten minutes.  I'll burp once or twice but it doesn't go away (like burping a baby).  I even got a deep tissue massage which helped for about 12 hours.  When I get this pain, I am unable to complete my daily activities such as work.  The Aciphex helps, but I believe it is just masking the real problem.  I also do not have health insurance otherwise I would have seen a specialist.  I've been told that this could be a digestive problem or something wrong with my intestines.  Wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
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I know exactly what you are talking about.  I have been suffering from severe GERD and IBS for the past four and a half years.  One of the more uncomfortable symptoms I experience is the severe pain between the shoulder blades that you describe.  Burping sometimes helps, but not always.  Sipping water has also given some relief.  I just had the Nissen Fundoplication surgery three weeks ago, but I still experience the pain between the shoulder blades.  I am going back to my surgeon in a few days for a follow up and will discuss the symptom more with him at that time.  Hopefully I will get some more answers.
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I had been wanting to share this information for sometime.

My wife had suffered from burping for almost 18 months, before she found relief.  As far as my knowledge goes, I noticed the symptoms after our return from Chennai,India. One day after our return, She burped all through the evening,at around 2:00 AM that night she started puking this continued till she threw out all the food.  The following day, we went to see a doctor and she was prescribed Omeprazole.  This did help her for a while but the moment she discontinued the medication her problem(Burping usually followed by puking) got worse.  

A few days later we moved to the US. Although she was still burping all the time.  It wasn't bad.  But, it soon got worse.  We saw a doctor in the US and the doctor prescribed her Prilosec.  It helped her for a while but, it did not provide permanent relief.  Soon i found that she was burping again.  At the sametime, I was taking a unani medication popular in India, used for keeping  skin clear.  The Literature that came with the medication said that it helped indigestion.  I suggested my wife that she try the medication, and she did.  That night I observed that her burping was not the usual.  She continued the medication for a month and soon there was no burping nor puking.  She has stopped burping for almost 2 months now, Although she still does burp once in a while, it seems more natural.

Medication goes by the name SAFI, available in most of Indian stores. My wife took a teaspoon of this medication after dinner for a month and she is completely relieved of burping and nausea.

For  your information: SAFI is a Unani medication widely sold in India for a very long time. I know it has been used for several decades by millions of Indians. It might not be something approved by the FDA.  

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A related discussion, Gas Pains in upper right thigh? was started.
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The pain you are experiencing between your shoulder blades could be gas. I also get these pains and sometimes it is so bad I cannot move! Try chewing Coriander seeds. Licorice or fennel tea also help but coriander is best.  Chew the seeds and drink pure water. Hope this helps!
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