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Gas Pains in Upper Back After Eating

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Gas Pains in Upper Back After Eating
Upper back pain from gas is referred pain. Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Gas is a common occurrence on a daily basis. You may not notice how much you pass gas in a single day because it is so normal. The average person passes gas about 10 times in one day. Gas forms during digestion because of fumes that are created by enzymes breaking down the various sugars, proteins and carbohydrates in foods. Gas pains felt in your upper back are most likely related to referred pain, pain that projected from one area of your body to another.

Gas Pains

Gas pains are sharp and jabbing pain or cramping that is felt in your abdomen after eating. The pains can change location quickly and can project to your back. Most gas pain is the result of increased pressure built up in your intestines and is commonly accompanied with bloating. You may also feel a knot in your stomach, swelling in your abdomen and most gas pain is typically intense but short. Eliminating the trapped gas will cause the pain to disappear. Pain that remains in your back should be evaluated because gas pain is commonly mistaken for heart disease, gallstones and appendicitis.

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Referred Pain

Referred pain is pain that is felt in an area of the body that is caused in other part of the body. If you develop gas pain you may feel referred pain in your upper back that originates in your upper or lower abdomen. Because upper back pain may be a sign of other medical conditions, a doctor needs to assess your pain and confirm the diagnosis of gas pain.


Everyone has a different sensitivity to fiber. You may be able to eat large amounts of fiber on a daily basis and not feel any effects from it while someone else may eat vegetables and develop gas immediately. You can prevent the amount of gas you develop by removing certain foods from your diet. The National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse recommends removing dairy products, whole grains foods, apples, pears, peaches, broccoli, onions, garlic and cabbage. Primarily drink water and remove all carbonated beverages.


If you develop other symptoms aside from gas and gas pains, such as chronic diarrhea or constipation you should see your doctor. You may have a more serious condition, such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome. Do not use any over-the-counter medications without first talking with your doctor.

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