Esophageal spasms are abnormal contractions of the muscles in the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). These
Diffuse esophageal spasm; Spasm of the esophagus
The cause of esophageal spasm is unknown. Very hot or very cold foods may trigger an episode in some people.
Difficulty swallowingor pain with swallowing Pain in the chestor upper abdomen
It can be hard to tell a spasm from
Exams and Tests
Esophagogram (barium swallow x-ray)
Nitroglycerin given under the tongue (sublingual) may help a sudden episode of esophageal spasm. Long-acting nitroglycerin and calcium channel blockers are also used for the problem.
Long-term (chronic) cases are sometimes treated with low-dose antidepressants such as trazodone or nortriptyline to reduce symptoms.
Rarely, severe cases may need dilation (widening) of the esophagus or surgery. to control symptoms
An esophageal spasm may come and go (intermittent) or last for a long time (
The condition may not respond to treatment.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of esophageal spasm that don’t go away.
Avoid very hot or very cold foods if you get esophageal spasms.