Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD-Mayo Clinic
Could GERD Cause Arm Pain?
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Would you get arm pain with an attack of GERD?
Arm pain is not a common symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), although it can occur in rare cases. In general, GERD involves the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. While many patients have no symptoms, heartburn is the most common complaint. However, other patients have more atypical symptoms such as chest pain, which can mimic heart attack; and sore throat, hoarseness, or a bad taste should stomach contents reach the mouth.
GERD causes inflammation within the esophagus and does not directly irritate the diaphragm or the phrenic nerve that innervates (stimulates) it. Paraesophageal hernias, where part of the stomach is squeezed up into the chest beside the esophagus, may potentially lead to pain.) In terms of arm pain, here's the likely scenario: Sometimes the contents of your stomach make their way into the trachea (or windpipe, which runs next to the esophagus), and then reach the lungs, causing exacerbations of asthma and occasionally pneumonitis or infectious pneumonia. Should that occur, the diaphragm (the big muscle under your lungs that helps you breathe) may become inflamed. Since the diaphragm is innervated by the phrenic nerve, which starts near the cervical spine, regions that are also served by spinal nerves can be affected, e.g., the arms and shoulders.
Keep in mind that left arm pain is often associated with heart disease, so if you haven't yet been evaluated for your pain, you should see a physician soon.
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