Cricopharyngeus Spasm: A Troubling Feeling of a Lump in the Throat

Cricopharyngeus spasm is caused by over-contraction of the upper esophageal sphincter, or cricopharyngeus muscle, and causes an annoying, preoccupying, even anxiety-provoking sensation of something stuck in the throat, like a “wad of phlegm.” A common description is “There is something in my throat that I can’t swallow or spit out.” Individuals with this problem often have difficulty getting a clear diagnosis, and may see several physicians and undergo unnecessary and unhelpful tests in their quest for an answer. Sometimes also called “globus sensation,” this disorder is described and explained in detail.

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