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Dysphagia is defined as difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is frequently a secondary complication of many conditions including stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, mouth or throat cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), multiple sclerosis or several other degenerative and muscular conditions. Two specialized programs available for treatment of dysphagia at NMMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Center are VitalStim Therapy and Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation (DPNS).
VitalStim Therapy is a new medical breakthrough used in the treatment of swallowing disorders. It is an active rehabilitation program, combining the physiologic benefits of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and voluntary therapeutic programming. This new therapy incorporates a specialized neuromuscular electrical stimulation system and uniquely designed surface electrodes to stimulate inactive swallowing muscles commonly found in patients with dysphagia. The VitalStim treatment program is applicable for both adults and children suffering from dysphagia unless otherwise contraindicated.
DPNS is a systematized therapeutic program which stimulates directly the pharyngeal musculature with specifically progressive and accountable techniques. DPNS has been shown to have a dramatic effect upon restoration of swallow function, improving quickly the redirective/reflexive cough and improving vocal quality through efficient vocal fold adduction function. DPNS can be used alone or in conjunction with VitalStim to restore swallowing ability to functional limits to enable patients to meet their nutritional needs safely and efficiently by mouth.
For additional information about this program or related rehabilitation services, call (662) 377-7215 or 1-800-THE-DESK (1-800-843-3375).