Swallowing issues - Restricted movement of throat cartilage, Clicking, Pressure, Lack of sensation

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I really hope somebody out there might be able to help or offer some advice.

A few years ago I developed pain in my throat when swallowing with a general swelling over the thyroid and throat cartilage. I then developed clicking when swallowing. It wasn’t overly painful and it didn’t bother me much at first but then for a brief period of time it became excruciating to swallow, but it always felt as though the pain was outer throat and something to do with my throat cartilage rather than it feeling like a sore throat at the back of my mouth.

Then one day after a long sleep I woke up to what felt like a completely numb throat, as in no sensation at the back of my throat when swallowing. It was as if my throat cartilage was now jammed stuck and not able to move freely when swallowing. This was a horrible sensation and drove me crazy.

To this day around 4 years on from when my throat went numb or my cartilage stopped moving freely, I am still struggling with this issue.

With my head in certain positions my throat clunk’s/clicks as though it is clicking past something in the throat. This happens more frequently when my head is tilted forward. If my throat does not click when I swallow it feels as though there is just a contraction/clenching of the Swallow muscles but everything just clenched together rather than the usual up and down free motion of a regular swallow. Imagine clenching your first as hard as you can, it’s that kind of sensation in the throat.

I have had the usual camera down the throat, Neck mri, CT, videofluoroscopy and none of them show anything that isn’t normal according to the ENT docs.

There is a definate blockage/restriction in movement of some part of the throat that moves during swallowing. This restriction in movement means the actually swallow I am able to muster up is minute and with a lack of sensation at the back or the throat, while the rest of the throat is stuck, pushing upwards but being blocked by something.

Every swallow is distressing and this has taken a huge toll on my life. Has anyone experience something similar or can anyone offer any advice. What could be going on here?

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  • Posted

    This is completely unqualified speculation, and I have no idea what is causing your trouble, with which I sympathise, but:

    On the basis that something originally caused the swelling and that this has become worse over time, I wonder if it has been triggered by reflux? Try taking Gaviscon Advance to see whether this makes a difference.

    It certainly sounds like there is some kind of stricture, perhaps triggered by the nerve system. I am wondering whether high resolution manometry might give some kind of insight into what is happening, on the basis that the other tests have come back 'normal' (which seems surprising for the barium meal swallow test).

    Some form of physiotherapy might help?

    You might consider acupuncture on the basis that sometimes this helps reduce tension. Probably any kind of relaxation technique might help a bit, especially with the nerve system.

    Medication might help, eg Buscopan or even something that helps promote blood supply to nerve endings (eg nitrates).

    You could consider having checks on your mineral / vitamins levels as you seem not to have been taking in food normally for a period. And try allergy testing whilst you are at it.

    All this sort of thing would ideally be under the supervision of a knowledgeable doctor, so it may be time to ask for a second opinion, as this is just the sort of situation where good doctors ask their colleagues for their advice and guidance anyway. It would depend on where you live but you might try somebody like Anthony Hobson but I do not think he works in the NHS.Sometimes the distinction between ENT doctors and Gastroenterologists gets a bit blurred.It is a diagnostic process you seem most to be in need of.

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