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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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swallowing with fleeting back pain
Posted by: Cheryl
Date: March 11, 2000 1:09 PM

About a week ago I started to notice a fleeting , pinching kind of pain in my back under my left shoulder blade when I swallow solids or liquids. The pain starts when the food reaches where the diaphragm starts, only for a second or two. I do have heartburn 2 or 3 times a week. I have noticed for a few years that if I eat a heavy food such as a hamburger, it tends to stick in the diaphragm and hurt, I am a 37 year old female in good health. I do Tae-bo everyday and have no other symptoms. Do you think this new pain could be related?

swallowing with fleeting back pain
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: March 11, 2000 2:49 PM

Any new symptom which has no documented cause should be investigated with the help of your doctor and not assumed to be this or that. The stomach lining is designed to withstand very acidic conditions, however the esophagus is not. Any escape of stomach acid up into the esophagus will generally cause pain and this pain can be referred to the back. However, even if this is so it does not tell you the reason acid is now escaping into the esophagus (if it is) and was not in the recent past. There is no substitute for the medical studies needed to nail down what is going on. See your doctor.

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