DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Esophageal spasms are painful muscle contractions that affect your esophagus, the hollow tube between your throat and your stomach. Esophageal spasms can feel like sudden, severe chest pain that lasts from a few minutes to hours.
Esophageal spasms usually occur only occasionally. But for some people, the muscle contractions are frequent and can prevent food and liquids from traveling through the esophagus. Esophageal spasms can lead to chronic pain and swallowing problems.
Treatment for occasional esophageal spasms may not be necessary. But if esophageal spasms interfere with your ability to eat or drink, treatments are available.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed Aug. 16, 2012.
- Grubel C, et al. Diffuse esophageal spasm. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008;103:450.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..C2009-0-42832-0--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-1604-7&uniqId=327451096-2. Accessed Aug. 19, 2012.
- Townsend CM, et al. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/164856770-3/902155171/1565/469.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3675-3..50052-6--cesec137_2746. Accessed Aug. 19, 2012.
- Herbella FA, et al. Surgical treatment of primary esophageal motility disorders. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2008;12:604.
- Picco MP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Aug. 22, 2012.