What is Gastro Oesophageal Reflux?
Gastro Oesophageal Reflux occurs when acid from the stomach leaks back up into the oesophagus (food pipe) through an often weak or dysfunctional sphincter (the barrier between the stomach and the food pipe). Almost 80% of the population experience reflux and typical symptoms include heartburn, belching and bad breathe. When reflux occurs frequently it is called Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) and medications such as Proton Pumps Inhibitors (PPIs) are often prescribed. These medications inhibit gastric secretion to prevent the build of stomach acid which could leak into to food pipe. Whilst very effective the biochemical changes from these medications do cause side effects and long term use is best avoided if possible.
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How can Breathing Physiotherapy help?
Breathing Physiotherapy improves the strength of the diaphragm and the oesophageal sphincter to tighten the barrier between the stomach and the food pipe. This acts as a reinforced barrier to regurgitation of stomach acid and significantly reduces reflux and its associated symptoms. This is possible by the clever anatomical location of the diaphragm (breathing muscle) and its cura. The diaphragm Cura runs in a circular position around the Oesophageal sphincter and during diaphragm contraction int squeezes the sphincter to help it shit tight. A matter of fact the diaphragm muscle actually accounts for around 45% of the closing strength of the Oesophageal sphincter in health individuals. Therefore by training this diaphragm muscle and making it stronger we can increase the closing strength of this sphincter and reduce reflux.
How can I get started?
Strengthening the diaphragm with breathing physiotherapy is quite simple and takes about 6-8 weeks. We provide you with a respiratory muscle trainier (weight trainer for your lungs) and one of our specialised physiotherapist will guide you through 1-2 session to get you started. After that the rest is up to you to perform at home with us on stand by to help if required.
To get started today visit our Contact Us page - Telehealth Appointments Available.