Pain In Adam’s Apple When Swallowing: Its Causes And Treatment

Adam’s apple is a familiar bulge or a bony (not a bone) prominence that you see in front of the neck in many men; it is also present in women but the bulge is not that big. It moves up and down when you swallow food or drink fluids. Medical term used for it is laryngeal cartilage some also call it thyroid cartilage.

Primarily Adam’s apple becomes prominent during puberty and it is also considered to be secondary sexual characteristic. It is the cartilage which protects larynx and voice box. The thyroid gland is just close to thyroid cartilage.

Pain in Adam’s apple can be due to various reasons. It can be due to inflammation of the cartilage itself or due to thyroid problems etc. Pain in Adam’s apple is quiet disturbing and patient may sometime find difficulty in swallowing. It is also tender to touch. When pain is present along with fever and redness over the area, it is necessary to consult the doctor.

What Causes Pain In Adam’s Apple When Swallowing?

Since thyroid gland lies adjacent to Adam’s apple, any inflammation and pain in thyroid gland can make the patient feel pain in Adam’s apple.

Actually there is no pain in the Adam’s apple.

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid backs up the esophagus due to weak esophageal valve. Stomach acid irritates the lining of esophagus and causes swelling in that portion which lies at the back of Adam’s apple. Thus it gives an impression that the pain is in Adam’s apple. At times swallowing also becomes painful.

Stress related acid reflux can also give a feeling of soreness and lump in throat area. Cyst or a lump in vocal cord can also give rise to pain in the area of Adam’s apple.

Pain in Adam’s apple can also occur due to trauma.

Cancer of thyroid can give rise to pain in the region of Adam’s apple. Thyroid cancer is many more times common in women than in men. The lump of thyroid cancer appears to be a second Adam’s apple. Most of the time, it is painless and moves similarly as Adam’s apple-up and down with swallowing. Other symptoms include blood in cough, difficulty to swallow food; cough of long duration, weight loss, hoarseness of voice and sometime there is radiation of pain towards jaw and ear.

Treatment For Adams Apple Pain

Treatment of pain in Adam’s apple will depend on the cause. If the cause is treatable, the pain will vanish by treating the cause.

  • If pain is due to inflammation of thyroid gland, focus is aimed at treating inflammation of thyroid gland. Once the condition resolves, pain in Adam’s apple is ameliorated.
  • In case of reflux, patient is advised to eat 2 hours before going to bed. Reduce taking alcohol and spicy food to improve reflux episodes. Proton pump inhibitors are usually prescribed by the doctors to reduce acid reflux symptoms.
  • Patient can apply locally warm fomentation over the area.
  • When there is pain due to trauma or an injury to the area, anti inflammatory medicines and painkillers may also help in reducing the pain in Adam’s apple.
  • Salt water gargling is also a simple home remedy that may be helpful when pain in Adam’s apple is due to upper respiratory tract infection.