Globus sensation – ‘lump in the throat’

Get rid of the lump in the throat

Globus sensation (globe syndrome) – What is it?

Many people suddenly experience a foreign body sensation (globus sensation) in the throat, swallow frequently, complain of voice problems, and clear their throats. The foreign body sensation still does not go away. Subsequently, these people undergo several examinations by different specialists, often without a sufficient explanation for the complaints. Often the patient is reassured that there is no serious disease. What they want, however, is permanent relief from their discomfort, which usually cannot be provided. The frog in the neck remains.


The typical “globus patient” complains of a foreign body sensation (lump feeling). Eating and drinking usually function without problems, but a foreign body sensation is often felt when swallowing saliva – we call it ’empty’ swallowing. Sometimes patients report recurring voice problems with hoarseness and increased vocal effort.

Prof. Markus Hess about the symptoms and how to get rid of the frog-in-the-throat (globus sensation). (In German language)

Globus sensation – Most often the muscle is tense.

Globus sensation is very often based on increased tension in the muscles that hold the larynx. We like to call this discomfort the “tennis elbow of the neck”. Some report a feeling like a cramp in the throat. One muscle that is particularly important in connection with globus sensation is the constrictor pharyngis muscle, also called the “gullet lace.” Moreover, this muscle can be described as a very “emotional” muscle, because when suppressing emotions such as sadness, anger or fear, which would be expressed in crying or screaming, for example, there is a tightening of this muscle in particular. Tightness of these muscles can result in the vocal folds not being able to vibrate loosely and freely, and the voice not responding – as a reaction, throat clearing occurs to “force” the use of the voice. A muscle that is misused or overloaded is usually more tense even at rest.

This tension can cause an altered perception and a foreign body sensation (globus!) in the pharynx. This leads to tension and in turn to an even stronger increase in the foreign body sensation – a vicious circle!

What will we do to make you feel better?

We have made the experience that in many cases a muscular cause is the trigger for the globe syndrome. With a specific muscle therapy according to Jacob Lieberman, based on osteopathic principles, the trigger points causing the globus sensation are stretched and treated. The gullet and other muscles are relaxed. In this way, the globe syndrome can often be alleviated or even cured.

In some cases, we succeed after only 10-20 minutes. Depending on the cause of the globus sensation, speech therapy may also be useful. Here is more about the intensive or block therapy with our speech therapist.