An esophageal spasm is a rare disorder, indicating abnormal muscle contractions in the esophagus (food pipe).
You may receive different treatments for esophageal spasms depending on the frequency and severity of the condition.
Lifestyle and home remedies
If the spasms are occasinal, your doctor might recommend some home remedies and changing your lifestyle, including:
- Avoid your food triggers.
- Find ways to control your stress.
- Avoid very hot or cold foods and drinks.
- Place a peppermint lozenge under your tongue.
Medication and treatment
If the spasms are frequent and make it difficult for you to eat or drink, your doctor might recommend:
- Medications to relax your swallowing muscles, including
Sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra),
onobotulinumtoxin A (Botox) injections or
calcium channel blockers, such as diltiazem (Cardizem CD, Tiazac, others),
- Managing underlying conditions.
Esophageal spasms are sometimes related to heartburn, GERD, anxiety or depression. So, your doctor might recommend a proton pump inhibitor to treat GERD or an antidepressant, such as trazodone or imipramine (Tofranil)
- Surgery (myotomy).
If medication doesn't work, your doctor might recommend a procedure that involves cutting the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus, to weaken esophageal contractions.
- Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM).
This is a new minimally invasive technique. The doctor will insert an endoscope through your mouth and down your throat. Then, as in myotomy, the surgeon cuts the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus. POEM is also considered only if other treatments don't work.
Keywords: treatments for esophageal spasm