Oesophagus, spasm of

Contraction of muscular fibre in the wall of the oesophagus, occurring in the form of rings, or on several levels at once, when they are known as ladder spasms. They are usually caused by a nervous condition, sometimes by a disorder of the muscular fibre. Symptoms depend on the site of the disorder; in the upper part of the oesophagus it feels like something stuck in the throat; lower down the passage of food can be blocked. Treatment is by rest; drinking water can help, and Valium is a possible drug treatment.

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