You or your loved one may experience difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) for different reasons, including stroke, Parkinson's disease or other progressive neurological conditions, brain or spinal cord injury, reflux, or head & neck cancer.
At Neurogenic Communication & Swallowing Solutions, we provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations & individualized speech and swallow therapy. Treatment often focuses on increasing swallowing safety & efficiency, which may include exercises or compensatory strategies. Regardless of technique, our therapeutic focus is improving your quality of life.
We provide the following specialized approaches
Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
A gold standard instrumental assessment of swallowing.
A flexible endoscope (i.e., a small tube with a camera) will be placed into your nose and down your throat. With the endoscope in place, you will eat and drink food/liquids mixed with food coloring. This allows us to directly visualize the structures in your throat to see how well you swallow, if food/liquid goes into your airway (i.e., aspiration), what consistencies are safest for you, and determine strategies to help you swallow better. Results will be discussed after the test. If swallowing therapy is indicated, a treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
FDA-cleared therapeutic neuromuscular electrical stimulation technology.
Therapeutic intervention using a device that sends electrical impulses to nerves administered through skin electrodes. NMES aims to improve muscle contraction & swallow function. VitalStim is a common form of NMES. Effective Swallowing Protocol (ESP) is another FDA-cleared, specialized form of NMES. After training in both treatment methods, NeurogeniCSS offers the ESP given research supporting its effectiveness. ESP encourages indirect therapy (i.e., exercises are completed with no food or liquid trials). This helps to reduce aspiration risk. A Restorative Posture Device (RPD) may also be used to further increase muscle recruitment & activation during each swallow. Treatment would be modified for your comfort & individual progress. Treatment is 30-minutes in duration.
McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP)
An intensive swallowing rehabilitation program based on exercise physiology.
MDTP is well-researched for patients with chronic swallowing difficulties following stroke, head and neck cancer, and other conditions. Treatment is intensive. Sessions are 60 minutes in duration and a home exercise program will also be included in your treatment plan. When adhering to the strict therapy regimen, research shows some patients progress from eating nothing or very little by mouth to a consistent oral diet by the end of the program.
Respiratory Muscle Strength Training (RMST)
Treatment to exercise muscles important for breathing, coughing & swallowing.
Therapy focuses on the use of a calibrated, one-way, spring-loaded valve to exercise expiratory & submental muscles. This treatment may be recommended for you or your loved one with Parkinson's disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and/or spinal cord injury. An individualized treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs to improve cough, swallowing function, and/or airway protection. Treatment focuses on the "power of 5" (i.e., 25 exercises per day (5 sets of 5 repetitions) five days/week.