Many people having a sensation of having a foreign body or lump stuck in their throat jumps to the conclusion that they have developed throat cancer.
Take a deep breath…
Maybe you are over exaggerating your symptoms and misinterpreting your disease.
Most probably you are suffering from cricopharyngeal spasm. It is defined as muscle spasms occurring in your throat. It is a self-limiting condition and no doubt uncomfortable enough to persuade you to look for a solution, but it isn’t as dangerous an as cancer.
So relax and learn more about cricopharyngeal spasm and its treatment.
What Is A Cricopharyngeal Spasm
Cricopharyngeal muscle is located at the top of the esophagus. We all must have read in our biology classes that esophagus is a long and muscular tube that helps the food that we eat to reach the stomach and get digested. Also, esophagus prevents the acids to creep up from our stomach. Contraction of cricopharyngeal muscle is a common phenomenon. But when it contacts too much spasm occurs and is known as a hypercontraction state where your throat feels stuck instead of the fact that you can swallow chewed foods and liquid.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cricopharyngeal Spasm
Cricopharyngeal spasm symptoms include:
- The discomfort that is high in between meals and beverages
- Choking sensations
- Tight feeling around the throat
- Impression as if a large object is stuck in your throat
- Perception of a lump that you are not able to spit out or swallow
- The symptoms disappear on eating or drinking because the related muscles are relaxed to assist in eating or drinking.
- Symptoms get worse throughout the day.
- Anxiety aggravates the symptoms.
What Causes Cricopharyngeal Spasm
The upper oesophageal sphincter is usually in a state of contraction and relaxes when food or liquid passes from the mouth to the stomach. After that, they immediately contract again to prevent the content and stomach acids from flowing back to the mouth. But this natural phenomenon gets off balanced and results in notable spasms. Specific factors that are responsible for disrupting the function of these valves are:
- Excessive negative emotions.
- Certain foods such as peanuts, pumpkin seeds etc..
- Weight gain or weight loss
Cricopharyngeal Spasm Treatment
Usually, patients do not require any treatment for Cricopharyngeal Spasm. The symptoms in most of the cases resolve on its own in around 2-3 weeks or more. But those who are suffering from this condition for more than a week to a month need to bring changes in their lifestyle and food habits.
Home Remedies For Cricopharyngeal Spasm
To assuage the discomfort try heat application. Heat relaxes the muscles and relieves the ache.
Place, a traditional heating pad or make your heating pad. To make a heating pad at home microwave a bowl of rice. Transfer it to a sock and use it.
Alternatively, soak a towel in warm water. Wring out the excess of water and place it over the affected area.
Drinking warm fluids will also help.
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Increase Fluid Intake
Cricopharyngeal spasm natural treatment includes drinking lots of water and other Fluid drinking keeps your throat hydrated and reduces the intensity of the symptoms. Make sure to drink at least 3L of water every day.
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The most common symptom of cricopharyngeal spasm is tightness in the throat. Warm herbal tea will help you alleviate this symptom. Herbal teas have the warmth of the water and calming properties of the plants. It soothes the throat and reduces cricopharyngeal spasm symptoms.
Choose the herbal tea of your choice. Drink 2-3 cups of warm herbal tea every day.
Note:- Avoid caffeinated drinks before going to bed as it will make you active, disturb your sleep and increase the restricted session in the throat.
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Rhodiola is termed as a ‘depression herb’ because it has anti-aging and anti-depressant properties. It improves physical performance and boosts the mind. It fights stress anxiety, boosts the level of serotonin (the mood hormone), and thus it is an ideal home remedy for Cricopharyngeal Spasm.
Meet your doctor to know the proper dose of this herb.
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Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is an essential nutrient required in small amount by the body to carry out various body functions and boost body immunity. Consume foods rich in vitamin B complexes such as green leafy vegetables, sprouts, fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain, and dairy products. For vitamin B complex supplements consult your doctor.
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Cricopharyngeal spasm may not be life-threatening, but it affects the quality of life. Patients isolate themselves from friends and family and withdraw themselves from events due to related anxiety. Better try the Cricopharyngeal spasm home remedies and relieve tension and stress to liberate yourself from tight throat feeling.
To prevent Cricopharyngeal spasm follow the preventive steps discussed below:
- Reduce anxiety and stress. Practice yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.
- Avoid junk foods, processed foods, fatty foods and spicy food.
- Eat small meals at regular intervals.
- Maintain a journal to analyze your eating habits and response to the situations that stress you so that you can bring change.
- Practice regular exercise.
To rule out other possibilities of throat spasm and to clear all your doubts, better see your doctor.