The purpose of the esophagus is to move chewed food and drink from the mouth to the stomach for the start of digestion. The esophagus consists of a series of muscles and sphincters that must operate in a specific order to move the contents of the mouth efficiently to the stomach. A motility issue means that somewhere in that series of motions, something is not operating correctly. These disorders are common and occur on a spectrum related to systemic diseases known as secondary motility disorders. The condition typically presents symptoms like chest pain and dysphagia, which means difficulty or discomfort in swallowing.
There are a variety of tests which can measure the effectiveness of the esophagus.
Motility testing can show the doctor more information about the condition causing a patient’s symptoms and ensure that the correct diagnosis is made and a treatment plan formulated. Motility testing is often one of the first rounds of tests ordered when patients have gastrointestinal symptoms, as the screenings allow doctors to rule out functionality issues before ordering further testing for other conditions. Some of the motility disorders that the testing can diagnose include:
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