5 Tips for Relieving Intestinal Gas Through Movement

Having intestinal gas is a completely normal part of the digestive process, but at times, it can be a significant inconvenience. Causes of gas can include:

When gas is created or introduced into the digestive tract, it needs to get out somehow—and that can happen either via the mouth (belching) or the anus (flatulence).

As intestinal gas rumbles around in your abdomen, it can lead to bloating and pain. It can also be embarrassing when your stomach makes gurgling noises at an inopportune time, such as during a meeting at work. For those who struggle with gas, it's normal to look for home remedies.

Several over-the-counter remedies (and even a few prescription medications) may help relieve gas, but these treatments can take time and may have side effects. If you're already taking one or more medications, adding more may not be a good choice. Fortunately, several body movements can be effective ways to alleviate gas without medication.

Go for a Walk

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The easiest gas remedy to get started with is walking. Walking or participating in any other kind of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis can help keep the digestive tract functioning properly.

Lie on Your Side

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Lying on one side on a bed, a couch, or the floor, and drawing your knees up to the chest may also help with gas. This position may help release any of the gas that's in the lower intestine.

It may take more than a few minutes, and moving the legs slowly up to the chest and then back down may also help.

Holding onto your knees as you draw them up to the chest may help, but don't force the position if it causes more pain.

Squat

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Squatting down, by bending your knees until your bottom is almost to the floor, may also help relieve gas. You can rest your arms on top of the legs, or put your hands on the floor or the back of a chair to stabilize yourself.

Rest in this position until you feel the gas start to move; in fact, this position may even result in a bowel movement. For those that are able to do them, one added benefit is that squats are a good form of exercise to do on a regular basis.

Lie on Your Back

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Lying on your back and drawing both knees up to your chest may also relieve gas. This position may help with passing flatulence, and it's also a good stretch for some people with lower back pain.

Try also pulling one leg up to the chest, using hands to hold it there, lowering it back down to the floor and then pulling the other leg up. If you're able to, take it one step further by doing sit-ups or crunches. These are good exercises as well as being a way to pass stubborn intestinal gas.

Seek Help

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If you find that the gas is very painful and nothing seems to help, be sure to bring it up with your doctor. Gas is usually not a sign of a more serious problem, but a doctor can help in tracking down the source and offering more solutions. In some cases, changing to a diet free of the foods that cause gas, or getting more exercise may help.

If making some simple changes does not result in less gas, a doctor may look for other causes or offer a more comprehensive treatment plan. The ultimate goal is to get back to a healthy diet and pass gas without pain and bloating.

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Article Sources

  • Colberg SR, Zarrabi L, Bennington L, et al. "Postprandial walking is better for lowering the glycemic effect of dinner than pre-dinner exercise in type 2 diabetic individuals." J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009;10:394-397. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2009.03.015.

  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Gas in the Digestive Tract.