What is it?

Jackhammer esophagus, also known as hypercontractile esophagus, is a motility disorder of the esophagus characterized by high-pressure contractions (spasm) that resemble the rhythmic motion of a jackhammer. The exact cause of jackhammer esophagus is unknown, but it is believed to be related to abnormalities in the muscles and nerves that control esophageal contractions.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Hypercontractile esophagus

Signs & symptoms

Jackhammer esophagus is a relatively rare condition that can cause symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and heartburn.


Diagnosis of jackhammer esophagus typically involves a combination of tests, including esophageal manometry, which measures the muscle contractions in the esophagus, and an upper endoscopy to rule out other conditions.


In severe cases in which the spasms make it difficult to eat or drink, treatment options may include managing underlying conditions, medication to relax the esophageal muscles, and in rare severe cases, surgical interventions. Consultation with a gastroenterologist is recommended for proper diagnosis and management.

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

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