Outline: Hiccup and Vocal Chords Essay

Submitted By bentleycoop
Words: 345
Pages: 2

As humans we all get that irritating spasm known as a hiccup. A hiccup is a spasm of the diaphragm and the muscles surrounding it. The spasms create a fast contraction, which draws air in. The fast draw causes your vocal chords to close and release a “hic” sound.
No one knows the real reason of why the body performs this action, nor an accurate way to solve the problem.

There have been many homemade remedies to getting rid of them such as holding your breath, drinking water upside down and even swallowing a spoonful of sugar. None of those however, prove to be an accurate way of getting rid of the hiccups. Usually a person has to wait a while and eventually the hiccups go away on their own. There are such cases where a person can have chronic hiccups which require medical attention to subside. Doctors have tried muscle relaxants, and even sedatives in such cases to no avail.

During an elderly patients’ surgery, doctors noticed the man began to hiccup while unconscious. They tried stimulating the back of pharynx, but in did not work. After two days of non-stop hiccupping they performed a routine rectal examination. Immediately the hiccupping stopped. The silence was short lived however, after several hours the hiccupping came back.

Digital rectal massage was attempted again using a slow continuous motion and the hiccups were terminated completely. Doctors later found out that the hiccups were caused by contractions from the vagus or phrenic nerves. These…