Nutcracker Oesophagus

Many terms are used for oesophageal spasms.

"Nutcracker oesophagus" usually refers to hypertensive peristalsis where the normal muscular action of persitalsis is exaggerated. The oeosphageal muscles contract and relax sequentially as for normal peristalsis but with greater pressure. Symptoms may be hard to define but include various chest pains, regurgitation or dysphagia. The muscular contractions occur as they should but are excessive. When extreme, the condition is termed hypercontractile oesophagus or commonly called "jackhammer oesophagus".

In "diffuse oesophageal spasm", the normal contraction and relaxation co-ordinated rhythm of peristalsis is interrupted or out of sequence.

Severity and frequency of symptom occurrence is variable but as it's unlikely to progress to anything further, usually no action is taken apart from pain killers for chest pain. When more severe, it may be treated in much the same way as for achalasia.

Often these conditions will improve over time.