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Question
Posted by: Frances | 2011/02/11

Hiatus hernia - can it be caused by exercise?

My 26 year old son is complaining of pain in the chest for a couple of days which seems to occur after eating. It sounds like heartburn/acid reflux. He has been on an eastern type fitness program (sorry I don''t know the name) and they do a lot of " stomach work" . Is it possible that this could cause a hernia therefore the sudden " heartburn" . Should he continue training or should he wait until the symtoms disappear completely. Surely if it is heartburn, exercise cannot be harmful provided it is done long after eating a meal. (should the symtoms continue for longer than a few days, I will advise him to see a doctor)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Frances

I'm not sure. I've never heard of it before, though it doesn't sound implausible. It may be that he's strained muscles, and this could produce the same symptoms. It's the timing that is interesting, just after eating. Might be that stomach distension and just the presence of food aggravates a stomach strain, or intercostal strain.

I'd back off the training, for a week, and then assess. As you say, if it continues, then look at a proper diagnosis, but if stopping training for a short time resolves it, then no problem. And just ease more gradually into the training next time and it should be OK.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/02/18

Hi Frances

I'm not sure. I've never heard of it before, though it doesn't sound implausible. It may be that he's strained muscles, and this could produce the same symptoms. It's the timing that is interesting, just after eating. Might be that stomach distension and just the presence of food aggravates a stomach strain, or intercostal strain.

I'd back off the training, for a week, and then assess. As you say, if it continues, then look at a proper diagnosis, but if stopping training for a short time resolves it, then no problem. And just ease more gradually into the training next time and it should be OK.

Good luck

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