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Gastroesophageal Reflux Care: Inclining Your Bed

Gastroesophageal Reflux Care: Inclining Your Bed

Inclining the Bed Can Help Reflux Symptoms

The backward flow of stomach juices up through the esophagus (ie, the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach) is called reflux – or gastroesophageal reflux. This condition can irritate the throat. It can also contribute to a variety of complaints in the throat area such as:

  • "post nasal drainage"
  • "lump in the throat"
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • throat clearing
  • cough
  • choking
  • "throat spasms"
  • other throat troubles

Recommended treatments of reflux include both medications AND lifestyle adjustments. Although medications reduce the acid component of the stomach juices, they do not prevent or even reduce the stomach juices from refluxing or spilling into the throat.

Tilting the head of your bed upward raises your head and helps reduce the chance that juices from the stomach will escape and spill into the throat through the night.

How do I raise the head of my bed?

The best method to raise the head of your bed is through the use of "bed risers." Bed risers are small, column-like platforms that are placed under each leg of the bed. The bed risers are generally used to lift the bed up to allow room for storage underneath. By placing the "risers" only under the legs at the top of the bed (the headboard end), the head of the bed frame will be tilted up. Raising your head up higher than your feet is the best position to reduce the backward flow of stomach juices (ie, reflux) to the throat. Try it.

Where do I purchase bed risers?

Bed risers can be purchased at most "home accessory" type stores.