VitalStim® TherapyFrederick, Maryland Wilmington, North Carolina
Fifteen million Americans are estimated to have dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Most of those affected are elderly, with studies suggesting that up to 75% of nursing home residents experience some degree of dysphagia, and as many as half of Americans over 60 will suffer from this disorder.
Traditionally, treatment has included such things as oral exercises, thermal stimulation, modification of food and liquid consistencies, positioning and other compensatory techniques that may decrease the symptoms and risks. In many cases, in order to try and keep the patient safe from aspiration pneumonia (a result of food or liquid going into the lungs and causing infection), many patients must remain on food and liquid consistencies that are unappealing or even worse, have to resort to being fed via a tube.
This can be frustrating not only for the treating therapist, but more so for the person suffering from the swallowing disorder. Many people suffering from dysphagia become depressed, lose weight and/or become dehydrated because they lose the desire to eat foods or drink liquids that have been altered in their consistency.
VitalStim® is an exciting new therapy, the first that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of dysphagia. Finally there is hope for those who have been suffering with dysphagia … a chance to improve their quality of life.
- The only Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation cleared by the FDA for the treatment of dysphagia.
- Proven to be effective and safe.
- Better and faster results than any traditional treatment.
- Patients frequently see dramatic improvement in swallowing in 6 to 20 sessions, and sometimes within only 3 days.
How VitalStim® Works
Small electrodes are placed on the surface of the patient’s neck by a therapist who has been trained and certified to be competent in providing the treatment. Small electrical currents stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing, the muscles contract and the quality of the swallow improves. With repeat treatments, the muscles are re-educated to function again.
Better Speech & Swallow therapists have been trained, certified and are experienced in using VitalStim® Therapy. We have had very positive results with the majority of our clients, with many returning to full oral feedings after being fed with enteral feedings for both short and long periods of time.
For more information on VitalStim® Therapy please visit their website at: www.vitalstimtherapy.com.