VitalStim Therapy for Difficulty Swallowing

November 9, 2015 in Our News & Bulletins by Integrity Rehab

VitalStim Therapy for Difficulty Swallowing

If you have one or more of the following signs and symptoms, you may be a candidate for swallowing therapy including VitalStim:

  • Coughing/clearing throat after swallowing
  • Abnormal volitional cough
  • Decreased voice quality (wet, hoarse, weak)
  • Recurring chest infections
  • Multiple swallows or special maneuvers required to clear throat
  • Difficulty completing a meal
  • Feeling of food being stuck in the throat
  • Modified diet required (thickening, pureeing food; soft solids)
  • Difficulty initiating a swallow
  • Spilling food or liquid from lips and/or drooling

Dysphagia therapy may include VitalStim Therapy, which is designed to help swallowing through the use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES). Electrical stimulation is used to aid muscle strengthening to rehabilitate the swallow. The sensory stimulation that is provided also helps muscle recruitment and swallowing function.

A VitalStim Therapy program is typically administered 3 to 5 days per week for one hour. Most patients can expect their VitalStim Therapy program to last one month.

VitalStim Therapy is showing good outcomes in most patients with relatively few treatments. It is available at Integrity Rehab Killeen clinic or Integrity Home Health by a VitalStim certified Speech Language Pathologist who will determine candidacy for therapy, and administer this pain-free treatment. Patient should continue working with physician to manage reflux with proper medications and lifestyle changes.

VitalStim Therapy graphic