How to manage pain from a hiatal hernia

Updated February 21, 2017

The severity of pain that is associated with a hiatus hernia (also called a hiatus hernia) varies tremendously from case to case, which is part of why it's so difficult to properly manage such pain. The symptomatology varies as well, which is yet another hurdle in the pain-treatment process. It is, however, possible to treat pain for a hiatus hernia effectively.

Get the right pain medication. If you are having minor pain, or even moderate-but-bearable pain, consider treating it with over-the-counter pain relievers. If your pain is more severe or cannot be managed effectively with OTC pain medications, see your doctor and ask them for prescription pain medication.

Determine if you have hiatal hernia-related GERD, otherwise known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Ask your doctor about this and figure out whether it is an issue for you. Many sufferers of hiatus hernias also deal with GERD, which is oftentimes the true source of a lot of the pain experienced by the patient.

Eat nothing for at least four hours before going to bed. Although this can be a difficult lifestyle change for some patients, it's also a very effective way of limiting the pain and symptoms that are connected with a hiatus hernia, and is a healthy decision for anyone to make.

Manage your portions. Eating too much at one time can cause painful backups in the stomach area of those with a hiatus hernia. Avoid overeating and you'll avoid further pain.

Chew your food well. The better you chew your food, the less that food will aggravate your hiatus hernia.

Skip the spicy foods. Spicy foods can exacerbate the pain associated with a hiatus hernia. So, skip the spicy, acidic foods, especially at night.


If your doctor isn't willing to prescribe you medication to treat your hiatus hernia pain, find another one who will. If, through normal treatment options, you're unable to successfully manage the pain and other side effects of your hiatus hernia, consider getting the surgical procedure which is available to fix the problem altogether.


Don't take aspirin if you suffer from a hiatus hernia without first checking with your doctor. Doing so may cause unpleasant or even dangerous side effects. Don't get surgery to fix your hiatus hernia without first exhausting every other possible course of treatment.

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About the Author

A legal clerk and law school student at The Thomas M. Cooley School of Law who lives in southeastern Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree in English from Western Michigan University. Geoffrey has over a decade of experience working as a freelance writer and has completed hundreds of articles during that time.