Exercise-Based Approaches to Dysphagia Rehabilitation

Rehabilitative techniques for dysphagia increasingly employ exercise modeled on methods used to train muscles in sports medicine

Catriona M. Steele

2012

Scholarcy highlights

  • Rehabilitative techniques for dysphagia increasingly employ exercise modeled on methods used to train muscles in sports medicine
  • All three techniques invoke principles of task specificity, muscular load, resistance, and intensity, and aim to achieve functional changes in swallowing through changes in muscle physiology derived from strength or endurance training
  • Studies of treatment benefit arising from these techniques involve small sample sizes; this is true of randomized studies with controls receiving standard treatment or experiencing spontaneous recovery
  • A review of the available literature shows that improvement of penetration-aspiration is a common finding for individuals with dysphagia receiving one of these three treatment approaches
  • Hypothesized as an expected outcome of swallow muscle strength training, improvements in post-swallow residues are noted to be uncommon as an outcome of these exercise-based approaches

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