This is

So you just desperately googled ‘I can’t burp’ and now you’re here. Welcome—but also, like, our sincerest condolences empathy.



You are unable to burp, no matter how much pressure (peer or otherwise) is applied

Eating anything makes you so bloated you’re basically a walking balloon

The constant croaking from your esophagus sounds like a frog has taken up residency there


You may just have R-CPD.


What is R-CPD, exactly?

Going down, but not coming up

The quick answer: R-CPD is the inability to burp.

Formally, it’s known as retrograde cricopharyngeus dysfunction. Casually, it’s known as “Which ancient god have I angered, to be afflicted so?”

And for many of those who suffer, it’s known simply as “No-Burp.”

Here's an example of how this looks like.

This fancy little guy.
This fancy little guy.

R-CPD occurs when the cricopharyngeus muscle cannot relax enough to let the gas in your stomach get out of your mouth.

You’ll note that the cricopharyngeus muscle can also be referred to as the upper esophageal sphincter. Brace yourself, because we’re about to use the word ‘sphincter’ at least three more times.

Each time a person swallows something (whether it’s saliva, a burger, or their pride), the aforementioned sphincter relaxes juuuuust long enough to allow it to happen. The rest of the time it’s contracted (read: closed for business).

When a person burps, that same sphincter needs to relax again to let the dang air out.

In short, the sphincter needs to release for either process to be successful. With R-CPD, it only happens in one direction (when swallowing) and not the other (when burping).

So what does this feel like to experience? Absolute garbage. More on that below.


No-Burp Symptoms You Probably Experience

So how do you know if you actually have R-CPD? Well, the first clue is that you’re still here. Some important symptoms include:



Audible gurgling noises from the chest and lower neck
It sounds like the last bit of water is draining from the bathtub, but for hours, and inside of you.
Social anxiety and inhibition (due to the above)
Your body contributes to a conversation in ways you never asked it to. Naturally, you’d prefer it keep its opinions to itself.
Inability to belch
No. Burp. For. You.
Abdominal bloating and discomfort
Your belly gets swelly.
Difficulty vomiting (occurs in many cases, but not all)
What comes up, won’t come out.
Excessive and/or uncontrollable flatulence
Too many farts, they’re all coming from you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
Acid reflux
Yeah, that’s heartburn, friends.
Frequent, painful hiccups
Like a baby, we just need to be burped— oh wait.
Nausea, or chest pain (especially after eating)
It can feel like a breakup (your heart hurts) or a new romance (your stomach is woozy)—but not in a good way.

Realtalk: No-Burp is miserable.

We would consider wishing it on our enemies, but that’s about it.

Unlike the wearing of bucket hats, burping is a human necessity.

People who suffer from R-CPD, really do suffer. They need to burp, but simply can’t.

When air is released from the stomach, they can actually feel it sitting in their neck, like an obnoxious bubble with nowhere to go. When the constricted sphincter (hey, remember that?) refuses to release the “bubble,” the esophagus is left to unsuccessfully attempt to push it out.

This is typically accompanied by burbles, babbles, and gurgles—sounds that should be contained to a waterbody but instead are coming from the sufferer’s. 


For many, this leads to bloating so intense it feels like their abdomen is about to burst, as the air begrudgingly moves through the intestines and exits in the form of flatulence (gas).

Not only can this whole process be time-consuming and embarrassing, it can also be physically painful.

No-Burp Treatment

First, the good news: it exists.

There are a number of remedies and strategies that can help mitigate the effects of R-CPD, but by far the most effective is Botox.

And no, it isn’t used cosmetically in this case. This treatment can potentially be performed in an office environment, though some clinics recommend the patient is put under a brief general anesthetic. Who doesn’t love a good medically-induced nap?

In terms of serious complications, like a smile from your driving instructor — they’re rare. At most, during the first few weeks post-procedure, a person may have some trouble swallowing, or find they’re regurgitating.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Botox Treatment
90% Success
The treatment involves injecting Botox into the upper esophageal sphincter (hey-o), causing a temporary semi-paralysis.
Many people who have undergone this procedure then learn to burp on their own in about 3 months, though some may need to repeat the injection.

It is close to 100% for validating the diagnosis (ability to burp restored and major reduction of symptoms). About 80% keep the benefit permanently. Some within that 80% don't burp quite as well a year or more later as they did early after the Botox, but they seem to never return to original level of symptoms. The 20% who lose the benefit can be reinjected or undergo myotomy.

Since the genesis of reality television, never has a demographic of people been so desperate to get knocked out and injected with Botox. And tbh, we can’t blame them.


Other Treatment Options

Largely anecdotal
Shaker Exercises
50% Success
Larynx Massage
50% Success
No evidence
Here's how it's done:
1. Lie flat on your back. 2. Lift your head and look at your toes (lift head only, do not raise shoulders). 3. Hold this position (the goal is 60 seconds). 4. Relax, lower head and rest one minute. *Perform steps 1 to 4 three times. 5. Lift head up and lower head quickly 30 times (head only, do not raise shoulders).
No evidence

No-Burp Treatment Providers

R-CPD is so misunderstood and dismissed that it didn’t even have a name until 2019.

That's when Dr. Robert W. Bastian, and his assistant, Melissa L. Wingo (formerly Smithson) wrote the literal first paper on the syndrome. He’s the first person on our list—literally.

Unfortunately, treatment providers are few and far between. We truly hope this changes, but in the meantime, here’s a directory.

Know of a doctor or clinic we should add? Contact us. We’re like grandmas; we love correspondence.


The United States
Dr. Robert W. Bastian
Downers Grove, IL
Dr. Sunil Verma
Irvine, CA
Dr. Lisa Galati
Albany, NY
Dr. Joseph Spiegel
Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Jennifer Anderson
Toronto, ON
Dr. Amanda Hu
Vancouver, BC
Dr. Jurjaan Snelleman
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr. Javier Olóriz
Granada, Spain
Dr. Lieve Delsupehe
Roeselare, Belgium
Dr. Yakubu Karagama
Manchester, UK
Dr. Paul Paddle
Richmond, Waverly, Swan Hill, Mildura
Dr. Matthew Broadhurst

No-Burp Community and Resources

Viva la No-Burp Revolution!

Though it may have taken you more than one search engine to find this page, we simply can’t have you leave without providing you some support and solidarity for the journey ahead.

It turns out people who can’t burp are cool, so here are some pretty legit resources.

If you think you can’t afford it, there are many ways to finance it. (ask Tiffany from Dr. Bastian’s office, I can intro you via email)


The r/noburp community is thousands of members strong. In fact, they were the very inspiration for this site. From exercises you can try at home, to good old fashioned commiseration, this forum has all the information you could ever need, and some you didn’t ask for. When was the last time an index made you this overjoyed?
YouTube videos
If just the thought of burping for the first time is enough to bring a tear to your eye, this hilariously poignant video is sure to make you full-on weep. It sure resonated with us.
And if you’re wondering exactly how to do those shaker exercises he mentions, this is a start.
Dr. Bastian
Dr. Bastian resources
Dr. Bastian truly pioneered the research and treatment of this condition. Did we mention he named it? If you like your medical explanations to be a little less informal, and a little more written by a professional in the field, here you go.
And here, too.
It's a young platform, but already has great content on the topic. Check out this video to get a gist of what's available there.

See? Learning is so much more fun when it’s not graded. Did we miss anything valuable? Let us know.