What is the role of the chin-tuck position 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

In this, the patient holds his/her chin down, increasing the epiglottic angles, and pushes the anterior laryngeal wall backward, thereby decreasing the airway diameter.

The chin-tuck position decreases the space between the base of the tongue and the posterior pharyngeal wall, creating increased pharyngeal pressure to move the bolus through the pharyngeal region. Use of this position often is helpful for patients with delayed swallow reflex, because, by narrowing the airway entrance and increasing the vallecular space, it increases the probability that the bolus will remain in the vallecular before the pharyngeal swallow is triggered. In this way, the risk of aspiration is decreased.


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