Treatment options for more severe or disabling cases of cricopharyngeal spasms include: Medical therapy may be necessary for cricopharyngeal spasms that have a known cause, last for more than six months, or are painful, disabling, or cause severe anxiety. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional who uses Please enter your email address. Having tension headaches and back, shoulder, and neck pain is so common that it might seem normal, but it’s not. Inflammation can also cause the esophageal and surrounding muscles to swell, leading to a feeling of restriction in the throat. Last medically reviewed on June 13, 2018. In most people with cricopharyngeal spasm, the muscle will still relax enough to allow the esophagus to open for swallowing. Roughly 5.7 percent of people with neurologically-based dysphagia have cricopharyngeal dysfunction. Reduce stress and anxiety. Based on your doctor’s recommendation, anxiety can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. And the sensation caused by the muscle spasms in the throat tend to heighten these feelings more. Tension or tightness in the throat is often accompanied by a feeling that: There are a number of reasons that you could be feeling tightness and tension in your throat. Head colds, sinus drainage, and nasal allergies can all cause dripping of mucus down the back of the throat. Wendy M Yoder, Ph.D. and This type of surgery can be performed on an out-patient basis, or patients may be required to be hospitalized for one night. Here are some possible causes. This is despite a persistent or continuous feeling of restriction. Do you feel like you have a tension or tightness in your throat even though you can’t identify a reason for the feeling? The first steps in any allergy treatment are identification and avoidance. It is very rare, but severe cases of GERD might require surgery. But... At its core, anxiety is essentially long-term stress. Based on your doctor’s recommendation, anxiety can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. Reduce stress and anxiety. You have suffered from a panic attack or recent very stressful situation. Or it may be something less serious but still health-related, like gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and postnasal drip. One of the easiest ways to relax the cricopharyngeus muscle is to stop worrying about the sensation; in itself, it will not hinder your breathing or cause you anything other than discomfort.
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