Your diaphragm is a big, flat muscle that separates your abdominal cavity from your thorax, where your heart and lungs are. It is the major muscle used for breathing, changing pressure above and below, with each contraction and relaxation, allowing air to fill your lungs, or to be driven out. By necessity, there is a hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to pass from the mouth down to the stomach. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges up through that hiatus, often causing symptoms like pain, discomfort, difficulty breathing, GERD, heartburn and acid reflux.
Hiatal hernia does not cause GERD, and GERD does not cause a hiatal hernia, but they often coexist together, although some people with a hiatal hernia never experience any uncomfortable symptoms. A hiatal hernia is most commonly caused by an increase in abdominal pressure, due to coughing, straining while going to the bathroom, heavy lifting or other physical strain, and is more likely to occur in overweight people, pregnant women, smokers and people over 50 years of age.
GERD, heartburn and reflux occur because the lower esophageal (cardiac) sphincter, where the esophagus meets the stomach, stays open, allowing stomach acid to wash back up the esophagus. The cardiac sphincter normally lies within the hiatus of the diaphragm; the position acting as a support system to keep the lower esophageal sphincter closed, unless you are swallowing food. Because the stomach bulges through the hiatus, the cardiac sphincter is no longer supported, has difficulty staying closed, and results in some of the symptoms of a hiatal hernia: pain, discomfort, difficulty breathing, GERD, heartburn and acid reflux.
We at Woodinville Chiropractic are familiar with the symptoms of a hiatal hernia, and understand how difficult they can be to live with. Dr Myron Gudmundson has developed a protocol that uses instrument assisted adjusting, manual mobilization, and lifestyle changes to treat the pain, discomfort, difficulty breathing and reflux of a hiatal hernia.
Being diagnosed with a hiatal hernia can be an upsetting experience, with the stress, itself, sometimes aggravating the symptoms. Being told that surgery may be your only option for dealing with your hiatal hernia, may also be very distressing. Woodinville Chiropractic offers a non-invasive, non-surgical, drug free alternative for treatment of your hiatal hernia and its associated symptoms.
Allow Woodinville Chiropractic to be your source for care and treatment of your hiatal hernia. Allow Dr Myron Gudmundson and Dr Sara Hamill to provide you with gentle, safe, and effective chiropractic care.