What is the role of exercise in the treatment of dysphagia?

Updated: Mar 20, 2020
  • Author: Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

Exercises are used to increase muscle tone and augment pharyngeal swallow. Two types of exercise can be recommended to patients with dysphagia: indirect (eg, exercises to strengthen swallowing muscles) and direct (eg, exercises to be performed while swallowing).

Exercise techniques are geared especially toward range of motion (ROM), coordination, and the strengthening of muscles of the jaw, lips, cheek, tongue, soft palate, and vocal cords. Exercises designed to facilitate oral motor strength, ROM, and coordination usually are performed 5-10 times per day.


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