Spasms in the esophagus can be quite distressful and painful. One of the main causes is stress. Other causes are at this time unknown, but magnesium deficiency may be involved.
When esophegeal spasms occur it can be very distressing. They often occur during meals and the food gets stuck on its way down, causing pain along the way. The best immediate help is taking small sips of water and waiting till it is well past before proceding to eat more.
The pain of thess spasms can cause distress anywhere along the esophagus but can also cause pain in the back, the uppper abdomen, in the throat and in the shoulder. For some people eating slowly helps. Sometimes the meal must be abandoned for a time and laying down to rest helps. Stress during meals can bring it on but for others limiting hot or spicy food can help.
Diagnosis can be made through an esophagogram and esophageal manometry but generally diagnosis can be made on symptoms alone.
Conventional medicine has no treatment for these contitions to result in a curat. On occassion I have seen a low dose of ativan prescribed just before mealtimes with some effectiveness when stress is thought to be the immediate cause.
Before going to the risks of taking a narcotic I would suggest relaxation techniques such as deep breathing before meals, creating a stress free atmosphere in the dining room with soft music, candlelight and an unhurried atmosphere. Leave the problems of the day behind for discussion at a latter time.
Make sure you food is cut to small enough sizes and chew sufficiently. Small sips of water between swallows of food may be helpful for some. Eat slowly.
Because there are issues with contraction of musculature with esophegeal spasms a trial of magnesium citrate or magnesium malate may be helpful. Magnesium is responsible for the relaxation phase of muscle activity. Many many people are magnesium deficient. Trial your dosages starting with 300mg a day. You can go up to 900mg to 1500mg a day in divided doses about 45 minutes before a meal. For some people magnesium may have a laxative effect. Simply reduce your dosage some.
Always remember that more magnesium is required in the diet than calcium. Calcium is responsible for the contraction of muscles. Calcium, for the average person, should not exceed 300mg a day in supplementation. Calcium is best derrived from fresh vegetables, not dairy as we are lead to believe. If there is magnesium deficiency then calcium can get the upper hand.
I have seen that a true cure to this condition can come through the applications of classical homeopathy. This is not something that you can do yourself. You will have to find a trained classical homeopathy to assist you. Homeopathy has had an excellent track record for treating muscle spasms of a wide variety. I personally have had success with homeopathy for treating esophegeal spasms. Remedies must be individually selected based on the idosyncracies of your own particular symptoms so I can not recommend a general remedy to you.