It is a known fact that the muscle spasms in the throat are triggered by an excessively contracted cricopharyngeus muscle that is located in the esophagus. Generally, the muscle stays in a constricted condition until swallowing and then relaxes in order to allow saliva and the food eaten by an individual to pass through. If the cricopharyngeus muscle is overly contracted, it can cause a choking sensation or a feeling that there is something stuck in the throat or even make it difficult to swallow food. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are actions that you can perform in order to relax the muscles and provide relief to the uncomfortable sensations or inability to swallow.
Minimize stress and anxiety
The common cause or trigger of cricopharyngeus spasm includes stress, anxiety, fear and fatigue. Understandably, the sensations caused by the muscle spasms in the throat tend to intensify these feelings even more. If an individual has been analyzed with cricopharyngeus spasm, he/she should be encouraged to relax and stop worrying about the sensation. In doing so, the condition will not disrupt the normal breathing process or lead to any discomfort to the individual.
Encourage individual to drink warm water
When it comes to cricopharyngeus spasm, both drinking and eating basically relaxes the muscle since its function is to relax once the individual swallows. You have to encourage the individual to drink warm water since it will not interfere with a healthy diet. This is one of the initial first aid measures that you can perform if an individual is diagnosed with this condition.
The individual with this condition is usually prescribed with medications. Muscle relaxants have been one of the options for individuals diagnosed with cricopharyngeus spasm. In some cases, diazepam can also be prescribed by the doctor to minimize the anxiety which aggravates the symptoms of cricopharyngeus spasm.
If an individual has been diagnosed with cricopharyngeus spasm, another option is to undergo corrective surgery. There are surgical options such as cricopharyngeal myotomy which is a traditional surgical procedure in which the cricopharyngeal muscle is incised in order to relax it permanently. This is performed through a small-sized incision in the neck under general anesthesia and requires 1-2 days of hospitalization.
Another surgical option is endoscopic surgery which is performed via the mouth and involves the use of a laser to divide the muscle from its interior surface. Take note that this type of surgery can be performed on an out-patient basis or would require hospitalization for a night.
Even though commonly used for aesthetic purposes, a Botox injection (botulinum toxin type A) administered into the cricopharyngeus muscle if the individual has been diagnosed with cricopharyngeus spasm. Once Botox is injected, it will help minimize tonacity or over contraction in the affected muscles.