What is it?

Esophageal spasms are when the muscles of the esophagus contract and cause severe and sudden chest pain. It could last between minutes to hours and is sometimes mistaken as angina. Sometimes, this condition occurs occasionally and does not require any treatment while in other cases it could happen frequently. It could cause difficulty to eat or drink. The cause for esophageal spasms is not clear, but it may have to do with abnormal nerve functioning.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Esophageal spasm
- Esophageal dysmotility

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include squeezing pain in the chest, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of an object stuck in the throat, and reflux.


Diagnosis of esophageal spasms is based upon medical history, physical examination, and tests such as esophageal manometry, esophagram and gastroscopy.


Treatment depends on the severity and frequency of esophageal spasms, and could include avoiding hot or cold foods, managing underlying conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, medication to relax the swallowing muscles, botox injections and if all else fails- surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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