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Digestive Health | Last Active: Jan 7 11:31pm | Replies (58)

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Sphincter muscle pain. I found that 3 or 4 swallows of COLD water instantly stops the pain.

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Replies to "Sphincter muscle pain. I found that 3 or 4 swallows of COLD water instantly stops the..."

Hello @tamad and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I so appreciate your sharing something that has helped you to deal with Achalasia, Often it takes a lot of investigation on the patient's part in order to find some workable solutions and it looks like you have found just that! I commend you for advocating for yourself and seeking out some treatment.

If you are comfortable sharing more about this disorder, could you explain how long you have had this problem? How was it diagnosed? Did you use any other medicines? What other treatments, surgeries, etc. did you try before you realized that the sips of cold water would help?

Hi Teresa, I was diagnosed with achalasia about 4 years ago using manometry tests following rapid weight loss and frequent vomiting during and after meals. Given my age at the time (73), my surgeon advised against surgical procedures. Instead I have had botox injections into my LES sphincter muscle every 6 months to keep the muscle open enough for the food to go down into my stomach. I have not had any bad side effects like acid reflux after the procedures. Nonetheless, I have sporadically experienced the usual symptoms of achalasia, like chest pain and sphincter muscle pain. Fortunately, early on I discovered that drinking a few sips of cold water instantly stopped the pain. My gastro doc was not aware of this simple solution ... at least in my case.

So it is the sphincter that causes the feeling of restriction accross the bottom of my rib cage; like a tightness going on. I'll need to try the cold water swallowing technique next time I feel it. Thank you for this information.