What do spasms in the diaphragm indicate?
The spasms may not be in diaphragm but intestine peristalsis
Based on the history you have shared, it can be due to abdominal spasms or increased intestinal movements or peristaltic activity which you may be feeling like a diaphragmatic spasm as you have shared.
But diaphragm spasm is a potentially life-threatening condition associated with severe respiratory compromise or impaired lungs functions.
But still for reassurance get yourself reviewed by your primary care physician for detailed chest examination and respiratory rate comparison along with abdominal auscultation for bowel sounds.
If such suspicion persists, Pulmonary function tests may be needed along with arterial blood gases.
Meanwhile, antispasmodic meds like drotaverine can be taken if the origin appears to be from the gut. Also, supplements for calcium, B12, folic acid and D3 can be started.
An X-ray erect abdomen and ultrasound abdomen may be needed as well.
Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Neurologist opinion may be sought rather than pain management doctor
Even if the diaphragm is involved it may not be spasms and may be irritation due to stomach flatulence or other cause of phrenic nerve irritation which supplies the diaphragm.
But complete spasms in between aren't possible as it would have caused significant respiratory problems to carry out daily life routine.
Still, a neurologist opinion can be sought to carefully examine for whole bodies motor and sensory systems and look for any spinal level or issue with the diaphragm.
Pulmonary function tests are also a good way of assessing musculoskeletal issues relating to respiratory musculature especially diaphragm.
Hope I have answered your query.
Dr Saddiq Ulabidin, General & Family Physician
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