It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Ear, Nose & Throat Message Board

  • Swallowing problem solved

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 02-24-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
    Join Date: Feb 2016
    Location: Arizona
    Posts: 1
    vigil101 HB User
    Talking Swallowing problem solved

    I had swallowing problems for years. First I started to have problems swallowing liquids where the liquid would sometimes go down the wrong way and I felt like I was choking (well I was choking). I couldn't swallow confidently and most of the time I felt like I couldn't swallow at all. I would try to let the liquid dribble down my throat so I wouldn't choke during swallowing. I can't even explain how bad this became. My problems progressed to the point where I couldn't swallow food either. I had every hospital test and worked with a gastroenterologist who finally referred me to a "speech therapist" of all things (and I'm so glad he did!) who specialized in working with patients who were recovering from strokes. I'm a 50 year old male and have not had a stroke so I thought this appointment would be a waste of time. First of all she spent a lot of time during my appointment and didn't rush. She explained that lots of people have swallowing issues and for the first time I felt like I was not alone, that other people experienced these issues and were solving their problems and that gave me confidence that I could too. She also showed me a video of one of my hospital swallowing tests which showed my esophagus and I could watch it on her computer monitor as she talked about it. She said it looked more curved to her than normal. In any case, she recommended a series of swallowing exercises to practice my swallowing (which gave me confidence I could do something positive to start to work on my problem) and I realized that my posture was not good from looking at the video and decided myself that I was going to work on my posture and try not to be hunched over at all when I swallowed. She also asked me if I had any tricks I used in order to swallow and she told me to stop using those; that I needed to learn to swallow correctly without tricks or crutches to get the swallow down. I realized that I would often lean over the kitchen sink, for example, when I tried to drink something in case I needed to spit it out when the swallow didn't work. So I stopped doing those types of things and I worked on my posture. This took practice. Finally and most importantly, I had had intermittent upper back pain for a while and I finally put 2 and 2 together myself and realized my swallowing muscles and upper back/neck pain (which was from a herniated disc and I was seeing another doctor for that problem) were in the same general area. I realized both things were muscle related. Weak muscles in my spine and weak swallowing muscles. That was my light bulb moment and I was proud that I had finally put 2 and 2 together. I had never worked out or exercised regularly before. So I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer and decided I was going to fall in love with that gym. I started going 3-6 times per week for at least a half hour each time. After a few months I noticed both my back pain and my swallowing got better and continued to get better and better to the point where I no longer have any back pain at all and (3 years later) my swallowing problem is 90 percent solved. It probably took me a year and a half to get to 50% of normal on my swallowing. Very gradual but I felt any progress was amazing and I was so happy! As my swallowing got better and I realized that I could in fact swallow, I gradually gained confidence in my swallowing ability. But I also realized that, while I had solved the majority of the physical weak muscle problem, my mind was still afraid to swallow so I would many times try to abort the swallow or would choke in the middle of it because I didn't have the confidence in my muscle ability to swallow. I trained myself though to relax and over time my swallowing got better and better. I do actually think about swallowing now, it doesn't feel like second nature sometimes because I remember the past issues I've had. That's why I say I'm 90% cured because I very often do think through a swallow rather than swallow as if I have never experienced any issues. That said, I know I'm cured and it's changed my life so I wanted to put my story up here on these boards in case anyone else can benefit from my experience. I don't need to see any doctors now at all. My gastroenterologist has been amazed at my progress because, even with all of his experience, he had never considered exercise as a solution to my problem. He's also impressed that I never stopped working out 3-5 times a week. The other good news is now I'm addicted to the gym and would miss it a lot if I didn't go. I feel and look great. If you had told me at the beginning that exercise would solve the majority of my swallowing problems and pain I would not have believed you. So I took the long route of self-learning and thankfully found this out for myself to improve my life. I hope you will not hesitate to exercise regularly and I know you will be glad you did. Good luck!

    Sponsors Lightbulb
    Closed Thread

    swallowing difficulty

    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:51 AM.

    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!