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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Hiccups: the protagonists are phrenic and diaphragm

Hiccups: the protagonists are phrenic and diaphragm

Everyone will have had hiccups at least once in their lives, that sudden and uncontrolled sensation of spasm, sometimes painful, in the throat and lower chest.

Sometimes, when we eat/drink too much or too quickly, or we drink too much alcohol, we create conditions of irritation at the gastric level, dilation or inflammation which consequently irritate the phrenic nerve which immediately triggers involuntary contractions of the diaphragm which end with the closing of the glottis producing the famous “hic” sound.

This is certainly a good moment to feel on a proprioceptive level where the diaphragm really is and where the glottis is but it is also a highly annoying moment.

The same thing can happen to us in particular stressful situations in which we breathe not exactly regularly, or even when we ingest drinks that are too hot or too cold.

Usually it is a transitory phenomenon but, in some cases, it can last hours or days leading to complications such as reflux, gastritis, pericarditis.

How to avoid it? Well, avoiding the situations listed above as much as possible.

If this happens, what are the remedies? The remedies that we all know and have always tried are: drinking the famous 7 sips of water one after the other; hold your breath for 10 seconds, swallow a teaspoon of sugar quickly; drink a teaspoon of lemon juice.

But did you know that an osteopath can also be useful?

Manipulating the affected structures with direct tissue inhibition techniques and freeing the phrenic path resolve the situation.

Valentina Carlile - Osteopath expert in Osteopathy applied to voice and speech disorders since 2002. For information and reservations visit the page Contacts

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