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A lump in the throat when swallowing 

The feeling of a lump in the throat is a common problem that makes it difficult to swallow and eat. Here we describe common causes of the feeling of a lump in the throat and how you can effectively treat it.

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Why do you get a lump in the throat?

The feeling of a lump is a common problem caused by the muscles in the throat and pharynx not working properly. The feeling of a lump can also cause other symptoms, such as spasms in the throat, and make it difficult to swallow solid food.

Symptoms of a lump in the throat

If you have problems with a feeling of a lump in the throat, you often have other problematic symptoms.

Common symptoms:

  • Constant throat clearing, hoarse voice or dry irritating cough
  • Spasms in the throat
  • Problems swallowing dry and solid foods such as meat, chicken and rice
  • Air in your stomach that makes you need to burp often
  • Heartburn and acid regurgitation

It is common for one of the symptoms to appear first. You experience the symptoms, and they may then disappear again for a while. Over time, you may experience more symptoms. And more frequently.

Familiar with any of these symptoms?

Do our self-test to see if your symptoms are due to a hiatal hernia. You can then treat them yourself to get rid of your problems.

Can cause worry and stress

The feeling of a lump in the throat can create stress and anxiety that further aggravate the situation.

Some people are afraid that food will get stuck when swallowing. Others try to clear their throat in panic or swallow the lump in their throat without success.

Sometimes you may need emergency treatment in the form of muscle relaxants.

Treat the feeling of a lump in the throat

A hiatal hernia is usually the cause behind the feeling of a lump in the throat. The only effective way to treat the problem is to train a muscle – the diaphragm. The most effective way to train the diaphragm is with IQoro.

Treatment with IQoro. Training takes 30 seconds per session.

IQoro strengthens the diaphragm

Your diaphragm can be trained with IQoro – a treatment method that strengthens 148 muscles between your mouth and stomach in a simple daily routine.

Training can help those who experience a lump in the throat to get rid of the problem – without medication or surgery.

Many people notice that their symptoms improve after only a short period of training.

Can IQoro work for me?

The treatment with IQoro works equally well, regardless of your age, weight or other conditions.

Scientific studies have been carried out where people with swallowing problems trained with IQoro. By training with IQoro all participants in the studies improved after 6 months of treatment.

You only need to exercise for 30 seconds, three times a day, to treat the cause of the feeling of a lump in the throat.

5.0 star rating

“Have only been using IQoro for 7 weeks. I like the feel of my diaphram and throat muscles pulling when in use. I feel my throat is opening up, and I already have lost the lump feeling in my throat, and swallowing food has now become normal.”

Eileen C, verified customer.
Cleaning IQoro. IQoro can easily be cleaned using soap and water after training.

Proven efficacy with IQoro

That IQoro works is proven. As seen in both scientific studies and customer surveys.

Scientific research

The efficacy of IQoro has been proven in several internationally reviewed and published studies conducted at Swedish universities.

IQoro winner of the Bionow Product of the Year Award

IQoro has been awarded the prestigious Product of the Year award at the Bionow Awards held in Manchester on 7 March 2024. IQoro was the only foreign nominated entry to win the award, which according to the jury stood out for its effectiveness and ability to replace drugs and surgery.

The winning product is effective, easy to scale and can offset the need for surgery and medication so is therefore very impactful. Read more about the award

Customer surveys

The efficacy is also confirmed in our latest customer survey, which we conducted with 4400 customers. 75% of people responded that they reduced or stopped taking their medication for a hiatal hernia within 5 months of using IQoro.

The fact that the figure is not higher is partly due to the fact that some customers had not had time to train for at least 6 months at the time of the customer survey.

How long do I need to train to notice improvements?

How quickly you notice improvements mainly depends on two things.

  • How long you had the problems before starting training with IQoro.
  • How carefully you follow your training routine.

Many people experience improvements after only a few weeks. For others, it may take a little longer.

You get a results guarantee

If you have had the problems for a long time, it takes longer to train the muscles. Just like when you haven’t worked out at the gym for a long time.

Our results guarantee promises you positive changes within 6 months. If you don’t notice any improvement, you’ll get your money back.

Risks of a feeling of a lump in the throat

The feeling of a lump in the throat can pose a number of risks if left untreated.

  • Worry and anxiety.
  • Increased risk of food getting stuck in the throat.
  • Increased risk of a hoarse and altered voice.
  • Increased risk of pneumonia.
  • Risk of developing more severe swallowing difficulties.
  • Risk of becoming malnourished.
  • Risk of having sleeping problems.
  • Strain on other muscles in the swallowing process, which can lead to problems with snoring and sleep apnoea.

Fast treatment is crucial

Without treatment, your symptoms may become more severe over time. Therefore, it is important that you start strengthening your muscles as soon as possible. If you wait, it may also take longer for you to train your muscles again.

My partner thought I was a hypochondriac

Magnus has always been a bii of a hypochondriac, so when food started to get stuck in his throat, his thoughts turned to cancer. He hardly thought that the solution would be a little plastic training device.

I thought that rocket salad and Parma ham would be the death of me. Read Magnus’ story

Symptom relief for the feeling of a lump in the throat

Once you start training with IQoro, it takes some time for the training to take effect. In the meantime, you can relieve your symptoms with the help of these general tips.

  • Drink water after swallowing food.
  • Avoid eating before going to bed.
  • Avoid foods that aggravate your reflux.
  • Raise the head end of the bed about 15 cm.  
  • Sleep on your left side, so that the contents of your stomach do not come up into the oesophagus as easily.
  • Avoid bending down to the floor when standing up. 
  • Avoid heavy lifting.

Symptom relief with medication

A lump in the throat and other problems caused by a hiatal hernia can be temporarily relieved with the help of different medications. You can read about some of these here.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants relax the muscles in your throat and make it easier for you to swallow food. 

However, muscle relaxants are only a temporary solution because the cause of your problems does not go away.

Acid reflux medication

Medications for stomach acid do not help with the feeling of a lump in the throat. Sometimes, however, reflux can occur in connection with the feeling of a lump in the throat. Acid-suppressing medication can then be used temporarily, among other things to relieve problems with heartburn.

Keep in mind that medications only provide relief
Acid-suppressing medications only relieve the symptoms, they do not treat the cause of your discomfort.

Medications can also give you serious side effects if used for a prolonged period. They should therefore only be used temporarily.

Causes of the feeling of a lump in the throat

The most common cause of a feeling of a lump in the throat is a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia means that a muscle – the diaphragm – is weakened.

1. The stomach slides up

When the diaphragm is weakened, the upper part of the stomach and lower oesophageal sphincter can slide up above the diaphragm. When it does, it also pushes the oesophagus upwards at the same time.

The oesophagus is a bit like an accordion that can be compressed. And when compressed, the swallowing function no longer works normally.

Pockets can then also be created in the oesophagus. These are called diverticula and can impair swallowing function even more.

Without a hiatal hernia. The oesophagus works well.
With a hiatal hernia. The oesophagus becomes compressed and folded.

2. The oesophageal sphincter gets in trouble

At the opening to the oesophagus is the upper oesophageal sphincter – a muscle that needs to relax to allow the food into the oesophagus.

When the diaphragm does not do its job in the swallowing process, the oesophageal sphincter also has problems.

When the oesophagus is compressed, the upper oesophageal sphincter cannot relax and open the entrance to the oesophagus sufficiently. This is what gives you the feeling of a spasm or lump in the throat.

Tight upper oesophageal sphincter. It becomes harder to swallow food resulting in a feeling of a lump in the throat.

3. Food can get stuck when swallowing

The fact that the upper oesophageal sphincter does not work optimally also means that food can easily get stuck in the pharynx. Liquid foods such as water, yogurt or soup, on the other hand, rarely cause problems.

Can cause air in the stomach

Repeated swallowing can also cause a lot of air in your stomach, resulting in frequent burping.

Although a hiatal hernia is the most common cause of the feeling of a lump in the throat, there may also be other reasons for your discomfort. Read more about this below.

Seeking help

A lump in the throat is a common problem that many people suffer from. Most often, you can get rid of the problem by training the muscles of the pharynx and diaphragm.

When should I seek medical help?

If you have problems swallowing food, you need to seek medical help to rule out that it is due to something other than a hiatal hernia.

Consult your health centre, or A&E if the situation is urgent.

Achalasia cardiae

A disease that causes similar symptoms to a hiatal hernia is, for example, the rare and serious oesophageal disease achalasia cardiae.

Examinations and investigations

When you seek help for a lump in your throat, you will usually be examined by a doctor. You will then have to describe your problems. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider the following questions before your doctor’s visit:

  • How often and in what situations do you notice your symptoms?
  • How long have you had the symptoms?
  • Do you have other symptoms of a hiatal hernia? 

Feel free to use our self-test for a hiatal hernia to find out if you have other symptoms of a hiatal hernia.

Self-test: Why do you have the feeling of a lump in the throat?

A simple, 3 minute self-test.
Do you have the most common root cause of a feeling of a lump in the throat?
Find out immediately.

Gastroscopy in the event of a lump in the throat

When seeking help for a feeling of a lump in the throat, doctors may want to perform a gastroscopy. A camera is then inserted through the mouth to examine the oesophagus and stomach.

This examination is mainly to rule out other diagnoses – not to investigate whether you have a hiatal hernia.

If you have a hiatal hernia, it is not always visible in a gastroscopy. The stomach can slide back down under the diaphragm before the examination meaning that the hernia is not visible to the camera.

Surgery for a lump in the throat

It is very rare to be granted surgery for the feeling of a lump in the throat, at least not if it is due to a hiatal hernia. Which operations are carried out depends on your problems.

Surgery for pockets in the oesophagus (diverticula)

Pockets in the oesophagus can, in some cases, be operated on.

But experience from healthcare shows that those who undergo surgery for pockets in the oesophagus often experience their return after some time.

Surgery for a hiatal hernia

If you have severe symptoms of a hiatal hernia, your doctor would also be able to suggest a surgical procedure to relieve the symptoms. 

However, it is a risky procedure that is only offered when no other treatment methods work.

The operation involves sewing the stomach into place under the diaphragm. Thus preventing it from sliding up above the diaphragm. 

After surgery, you can no longer vomit or burp without assistance from the healthcare system.

Research has shown that IQoro is a simple and relatively inexpensive treatment that can replace surgery for a hiatal hernia.


Kjellén G, Tibbling L. Manometric oesophageal function, acid perfusion test and symptomatology in a 55-year-old general population. Clinical Physiology. 1981; 1:405-15

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