Clicking/Popping Throat when Swallowing

Posted by mushroom @mushroom, Oct 2, 2020

I was doing some neck massages a few days ago and then afterwards whenever I swallow, I feel a clicking/popping sensation and sound when my larynx moves up upon swallow. There is no pain at the moment but the popping sensation in my throat gives me anxiety whenever I swallow. Is this the result of the cartilage rubbing on each other? Is it from the hyoid bone rubbing the thyroid cartilage? Are there exercises that can fix this?

Hello @mushroom, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I found a video that describes how to release the muscles that attach to the hyoid bone that might be worth a try. Have you talked with your doctor to see if this may be a more serious problem?

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@johnbishop

Hello @mushroom, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I found a video that describes how to release the muscles that attach to the hyoid bone that might be worth a try. Have you talked with your doctor to see if this may be a more serious problem?

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Thanks for the recommendation. I actually got the clicking in my throat after trying some throat massages so I'm afraid to try this out just in case I make it worse. I'm planning on going to the doctors soon though so hopefully this isn't serious. I appreciate the recommendation!

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@mushroom

Thanks for the recommendation. I actually got the clicking in my throat after trying some throat massages so I'm afraid to try this out just in case I make it worse. I'm planning on going to the doctors soon though so hopefully this isn't serious. I appreciate the recommendation!

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@mushroom– Hi. If I could provide you some reassurance, so you don’t cause yourself anxiety which can make things seem worse than they are.
You most likely massaged an area that was tense and needed the massage. You most likely just relaxed some muscles and drew attention to that area which now makes you hyper focused on the sound. If you didn’t have it before, the it is most likely nothing. The body is amazing and as it is amazing it does get loud sometimes, which is extremely normal. A simple massage would not have caused damage to that area. Perhaps just drew attention to it. Most doctor visits are due to people needing reassurance. So hopefully you end up with a doctor who understands mind/body connection, and doesn’t send you on a hunt as well as a ton of imaging. Be calm and the clicking probably fade away.

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@nrd1

@mushroom– Hi. If I could provide you some reassurance, so you don’t cause yourself anxiety which can make things seem worse than they are.
You most likely massaged an area that was tense and needed the massage. You most likely just relaxed some muscles and drew attention to that area which now makes you hyper focused on the sound. If you didn’t have it before, the it is most likely nothing. The body is amazing and as it is amazing it does get loud sometimes, which is extremely normal. A simple massage would not have caused damage to that area. Perhaps just drew attention to it. Most doctor visits are due to people needing reassurance. So hopefully you end up with a doctor who understands mind/body connection, and doesn’t send you on a hunt as well as a ton of imaging. Be calm and the clicking probably fade away.

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Thank you for your words, they are comforting. The clicking is still there and it is really discomforting when I swallow. There is still no pain though. I went to the doctor and they couldn't feel the click since they were pressing on the area too hard. It still clicks today and I'm thinking about going to an ENT specialist to get it checked out. Should I be concerned if there is no pain in the area? It's a annoying when I swallow 🙁

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@mushroom You swallow many times in a day. I'm sure that your condition must be extremely annoying. Going to a specialist (ENT) is going to be the best avenue in addressing your concern. May I ask what sorts of questions your previous provider asked you about your throat, during your appointment?

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@erikas

@mushroom You swallow many times in a day. I'm sure that your condition must be extremely annoying. Going to a specialist (ENT) is going to be the best avenue in addressing your concern. May I ask what sorts of questions your previous provider asked you about your throat, during your appointment?

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It is definitely uncomfortable… Thank you for the reassurance for me to see an ENT. My primary care doctor is a nurse practitioner and she just asked me how the clicking started and felt my throat area. She pressed hard on my neck so the throat wasn't able to move to click. She didn't see anything and just asked if I wanted an x-ray done. I think it might be a good idea to get one? I'm just scared of unnecessary radiation accumulating in my body in the throat area. Let me know your thoughts!

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@mushroom

It is definitely uncomfortable… Thank you for the reassurance for me to see an ENT. My primary care doctor is a nurse practitioner and she just asked me how the clicking started and felt my throat area. She pressed hard on my neck so the throat wasn't able to move to click. She didn't see anything and just asked if I wanted an x-ray done. I think it might be a good idea to get one? I'm just scared of unnecessary radiation accumulating in my body in the throat area. Let me know your thoughts!

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@mushroom Yes, I would definitely have an x-ray if that is what your provider advised. I'm not a medical provider but my understanding is that x-rays today do not expose patients to large amount of radiation today, as they once did. (I asked my provider the same question in the past) Would you feel comfortable calling your provider and asking about the level of radiation you would exposed to?

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@erikas

@mushroom Yes, I would definitely have an x-ray if that is what your provider advised. I'm not a medical provider but my understanding is that x-rays today do not expose patients to large amount of radiation today, as they once did. (I asked my provider the same question in the past) Would you feel comfortable calling your provider and asking about the level of radiation you would exposed to?

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That's a great idea to talk to my doctor about it. Thank you for your help!

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@mushroom

That's a great idea to talk to my doctor about it. Thank you for your help!

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I was wondering if you ever found out what the clicking was? I've been having the same thing for over a month with no answers.

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I had my last, and final check up with my emt doctor a few weeks ago. There was a small hole in my ear drum that was treated with medications that didn't work. Finally a patch was put over the opening that is there permanently. I still get those sounds once in a while, but not nearly as bad or often. I guess it's another one of those "geezer" things that crop up.

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@shey

I was wondering if you ever found out what the clicking was? I've been having the same thing for over a month with no answers.

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I've been experiencing the same problem for over a year and a half, and haven't been able to find out what's wrong. If I lie face down and turn my head, or sometimes just swallowing while at an angle that's not exactly vertical I get that popping feeling, and what I haven't heard from anyone say that happens to me is that the displacement of whatever is moving sometimes doesn't get rectified until I twist my head in 17 different directions or punch my throat, and the effects of the pop can sometimes be felt over hours. Once it took a day. @mushroom Did you ever find out what the problem was from the ENT?

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It was a small hole in my eardrum. I now have a very small patch over it. That can cause some of the crackling sound, and a sense of my ear being full. It's as good as it's going to get. What I found interesting is the patch is made out of the same material as cigarette paper. The kind that people use to roll their own tobacco. Very strange! Have you been to an ENT specialist? If not, I would suggest you do.

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