Throat and swallowing discomfort


I’m posting an additional blog today because someone asked a question about anterior throat discomfort, especially while swallowing. She works at a lab looking into a microscope for hours every day, and then turning to look into a computer.

Your anterior scalenes originate on your 3rd through 6th cervical vertebrae and insert into your first rib. When they both contract you bring your head forward. There are other muscles that also pull your head forward, but they aren’t close enough to your throat to be a part of this problem.

Your ability to swallow and talk is a function of a group of muscles that collectively are called “hyoid.” I wish I had good graphics I could show you for these muscles, but I only have them printed in my anatomy books and I don’t have access to a scanner, so just know that they are all the deep muscles that form the front of your throat and that move when you swallow.

When the scalenes are in spasm they could easily be impacting the hyoid bone (the bone that goes up and down when you swallow)and cause difficulty in your ability to swallow.

If you’re having any strange difficulty swallowing, and the doctor hasn’t found any reason for it (vital to see your physician first in this situation), then just use your fingertip and press into the muscles, looking for “hot-spots.” When you find a point that hurts, keep your pressure on it for 30-60 seconds and the press a bit deeper. Keep this up until you don’t have any pain.

It may or may not be the answer to throat discomfort, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Wishing you well,


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