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Sore Spot on Back Causes Hiccups - Why?


For the last 10 years I have had a condition happen where a varying spot on my body will feel sore. I will touch it and then start to burp/belch. I usually use a tennis ball as the spots come in my back a lot to rub it for 15-20 minutes which causes me to excessively burp/belch until the spot is no longer sore. It has happened all over my body even my head and face. The Drs./Neurologists are stumped, they just give me odd looks :frowning: Every once in awhile I have what I call a severe episode that can last for hours & is extremely uncomfortable & some times quite painful. Sometimes is can be confusing. Recently I got tendinitis but when I rubbed the area I burped so I thought it was just a burping issue. When it didn’t do away but the burping & pain continued I went to the Dr. who diagnosed it. Such an odd thing but it could be worse so I am very grateful that is not something worse. It would be great to have some answers though.


People can have all types of stress responses to anything, pain being a common one to illicit stress in the body. The stress response then can be just about anything, but one common one is either mildly hyperventilating through holdings ones breath, or what is known as aerophagia or “swallowing your breath repeatedly” (when you notice pain for example). This may be obvious or so subtle they are hard to pick up on, but this will lead to belching. Other possibilities are disruptions to the vagus nerve (which controls much of the abdominal functions) and/or esophageal spasms - again usually from changes in breathing patterns.

Commonly with self massage as people struggle to apply pressure to themselves they will hold their breath.

There are hundreds of other possibilities, but as this shows up in a good number of psychological conditions (anxiety, panic disorder, depression) once we get the underlying issues under control and in the case of anxiety disorders retrain their breathing to abdominal breathing patterns, the belching is eliminated.


The brain is an immensely complicated switchboard of sorts. Given the incredible complexity of the brain with the uniqueness of each individual the possibility for a near infinite number of odd occurrences or seemingly strange behaviors, experiences, emotions, etc can manifest. So for you it is possible that your brain has created a functional relationship with your sensation of pain and your normally autonomically controlled function of burping. In effect, what is normally separate -pain and belching, has become linked.

Acupuncture should be able to help with that. As I’ve written here recent research has shown acupuncture can affect the way different brain areas communicate, which is effectively exactly what would be needed in order to correct your pain-belching connection.


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