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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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Osteopathy and Voice: The diaphragm #5 - Diaphragmatic cramps and spasms

Diaphragmatic cramps and spasms

A diaphragmatic cramp or spasm can cause chest pain and shortness of breath, symptoms that can be mistaken for heart symptoms. Some people also experience sweating and anxiety during a diaphragmatic spasm. Others report feeling like they can't take a full breath during a spasm.

Biomechanically it happens that during a spasm the diaphragm does not rise after exhalation. This condition maintains continuous lung patency, creating tightness (spasms) in the diaphragm. The sensation sometimes felt is of chest cramps. Exertion or too intense physical activity can cause diaphragmatic spasms, which often result in what people call a pinch.

Diaphragm spasms usually disappear with spontaneous remission within a few hours to a few days, but a correct manual myofascial release technique also solves the problem.

Rarely, a condition that can be confused with spasm, i.e. diaphragmatic flutter, may occur. During an episode, someone might feel a fluttering or throbbing sensation in the abdominal wall.

This last condition can give:

• shortness of breath

• chest tightness

• chest pain

• abdominal pain


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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