What Causes Pinching Pain In The Stomach When Bending Over?

Stomach pains can have a hugely detrimental impact on your life, not least when you feel a pinching pain when bending over. Given that 1 in 10 individuals who experience abdominal pains suffer from acute diseases, it’s vital that you get to the root of your problems. 

Common causes of stomach pain when bending over

Studies show that 2.8% of the population will seek consultation regarding stomach pains. While many general abdominal pain issues do not gain an accurate diagnosis, pains that can be characterized as a pinching pain in the stomach when bending over are regularly attributed to a small selection of underlying issues. If you experience this type of problem, it could be caused by any of the following conditions.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is when the acid from your stomach works its way back up towards your throat. Whether it reaches your throat or not, it is very common to cause pains in the chest and stomach. Bending over is a common trigger for acid reflux, especially if your esophagus sphincter is weak. It may also contribute to stomach pain when sneezing as the quick movement can cause stomach acid to travel north.

It is a common issue that millions of people live with while most people experience the symptoms of stomach aches and heartburn due to GERD at least once. If your pinching stomach pains are combined with chest pains and other acid reflux symptoms, the following treatments may be used;

  • Dietary changes, such as eating fewer acidic foods.
  • Not laying down after eating.
  • Taking antacid medication.
  • Using medications like baclofen to strengthen the esophagus.
  • Lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting cigarettes.

Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed. Due to its positioning behind the stomach, it will subsequently palace stress on the stomach, especially when making sharp movements like bending over, Studies have also shown that acute pancreatitis can be caused as a result of antacid consumption, which may cause complications for anyone who has suffered stomach pains as a result of acid reflux.

The main symptom will be severe stomach pain, particularly a hard pinching pain in the center of your tummy when bending over. Sickness and fever may also develop. Pancreatitis can also be linked to gallstones while chronic pancreatitis is when it lasts for more than two weeks. Treatments include;

  • Pain relief, 
  • Inpatient hospitalization with IV feeding,
  • Using steroid medications for a few days.
  • Enzyme supplements to aid digestive health.
  • Lifestyle changes, notably quitting alcohol. 

Abdominal hernia

Abdominal hernias affect 1.7% of the population and 4% of people aged 45 and over. It occurs when an organ is pushed out of its natural location, which puts strain on the stomach walls and muscles. A mild ache may be felt when at rest coupled with pressure sensations. Bending over is one movement that can cause this pressure and lead to a pinching sensation. Abdominal wall hernias are also most commonly felt on the right side of the body, which is worth noting.

An abdominal hernia is likely to cause pain when you lift heavy items or exercise too. Pinching pains may be felt in the upper or lower abs. While hernias are sometimes left untreated from a medical standpoint, disruption to your daily life should not be ignored and the following treatments can be selected;

  • Open surgery,
  • Keyhole surgery,
  • Regular consultations to check it doesn’t worsen,
  • Pain relief,
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce pressure on the stomach.

Irritable bowels

IBS affects around 10% of the population. While around half only report moderate symptoms, severe discomfort when bending over is a potential symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. The root cause is still not scientifically proven, but IBS can affect bowel movements, cause pain, lead to bloating, and result in passing a lot of gas. In some cases, the pinching pains come when you’ve eaten the wrong foods but will thankfully pass within a short amount of time.

An accurate diagnosis won’t lead to a permanent treatment, but it can enable you to control the situation to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. Identifying which of the three IBS types you have will provide further guidance. The primary options that may be used include, but are not limited to;

  • Drug therapy,
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, 
  • Gut-directed hypnosis,
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes,
  • Biofeedback consultation.

When to see a doctor?

Most people experience stomach pain from time to time and could be linked to something as simple as eating too much. Meanwhile, Michael J Shaw et al. completed a student entitled Initial validation of a diagnostic questionnaire for gastroesophageal reflux disease that self-administered questionnaires could facilitate the diagnosis of acid reflux. So, it may be possible to verify GERD as the root cause without outside help.

However, pinching pains when bending over should be monitored. If you notice the following symptoms, speaking to a doctor is advised;

  • Significant pain that lasts for 48 hours.
  • Dull pain that lasts for at least one week.
  • Pain that is accompanied by diarrhea for at least five days.
  • Stomach pain coupled with pain when urinating.
  • Stomach pains that are getting worse.

How can DrHouse help you?

Assuming that you do not have emergency symptoms like vomiting blood, bleeding from the bowels, or breathing difficulties, the support of an online doctor may be deemed more suitable. DrHouse can help you find one for a comprehensive video consultation in as little as 15 mins.

Download the DrHouse app to connect with an experienced doctor specializing in abdominal pains. An accurate diagnosis for your pinching pains when bending over will ensure that the right treatment or response can follow.

Key Takeaways

Stomach pains described as a pinching pain that worsens when bending over could relate to the upper abdomen or lower abdomen. While often not serious, it’s important to treat underlying issues like muscle injuries or GERD. Otherwise, you will continue to experience discomfort and could be at risk of escalating problems. 

Learn to overcome the symptoms when bending over, and it should help alleviate general stomach pain too.

Sources: 

  • Viniol A, Keunecke C, Biroga T, Stadje R, Dornieden K, Bösner S, Donner-Banzhoff N, Haasenritter J, Becker A. Studies of the symptom abdominal pain–a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fam Pract. 2014 Oct;31(5):517-29. Available from: 10.1093/fampra/cmu036
  • Annika Viniol, Christian Keunecke, Tobias Biroga, Rebekka Stadje, Katharina Dornieden, Stefan Bösner, Norbert Donner-Banzhoff, Jörg Haasenritter, Annette Becker, Studies of the symptom abdominal pain—a systematic review and meta-analysis, Family Practice, Volume 31, Issue 5, October 2014, Pages 517–529, Available from: https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmu036
  • Nykamp, Diane; Kraus, Emily (2013). Antacid-Induced Acute Pancreatitis. The Consultant Pharmacist, Number 4 / April 2013, pp. 247-251(5). Available from: https://doi.org/10.4140/TCP.n.2013.247 
  • Beadles CA, Meagher AD, Charles AG. Trends in Emergent Hernia Repair in the United States. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(3):194–200. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2014.1242 
  • Michael J Shaw, Nicholas J Talley, Timothy J Beebe, Todd Rockwood, Rolf Carlsson, Susan Adlis, A.Mark Fendrick, Roger Jones, John Dent, Peter Bytzer, Initial validation of a diagnostic questionnaire for gastroesophageal reflux disease, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 96, Issue 1, 2001, Pages 52-57, ISSN 0002-9270. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9270(00)02244-9 
  • IBS Facts and Statistics. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Available from: https://aboutibs.org/what-is-ibs/facts-about-ibs/

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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