Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What's Causing Discomfort While Swallowing?

Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:27 PM

Question: I have been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, anemia and have leaking valves. I have begun to notice that when I swallow liquids or food there is a slight discomfort or ache in my back between the shoulder blades as I swallow. This dull ache seems to follow down my back as I am actually swallowing. I love hot and spicy foods and have been drinking a tomato drink that is very spicy. Could any of these conditions cause this ache in my back as I swallow?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Normally, discomfort while swallowing liquids suggests significant disease around the esophagus, but normally the swallowing mechanism would also be impaired because of inflammation. There is a caveat, though, since cardiac (heart) pain can give identical symptoms. I recommend you see your doctor for an immediate evaluation.

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