Swallowing Maneuvers improve Dysphagia in Stroke Patients: Study
Dysphagia affects more than half of those who have had stroke. Fortunately, most of these individuals regain swallowing function within a week. Simple swallowing techniques and maneuvers can improve the symptoms of dysphagia in patients with circulation stroke.
Dr. Ayan Ghosal and colleagues from West Bengal carried out a study to quantify the symptomatic improvement of swallowing in patients. The findings were published in the Indian Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on June 2021.
This prospective study was carried over 12 months and 15 patients were included in the Videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) post 2 weeks of stroke. They were evaluated for swallowing technique of head rotation to the paretic side at baseline and at 3-month interval.
Key findings of the study:
The patients with posterior circulation stroke and swallowing difficulties were mostly pharyngeal, and VFSS was an important element to examine and identify silent aspiration in these patients
In patients with posterior circulation stroke, the compensatory approach of rotating the neck to the paretic side showed improvement in dysphagia symptoms.
The study also suggested that videofluoroscopy can be used to objectively measure the different swallowing methods and maneuvers to improve dysphagia symptoms.
There was statistically significant improvement in both the Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale (VDS) and Visual Analogue Scale of swallowing (VASs) in follow up visits after Swallowing therapy.
The Principal Author of this study concluded "Simple swallowing techniques and maneuvers can improve the symptoms of dysphagia in patients with posterior circulation stroke. Videofluoroscopy is helpful to diagnose and objectively quantify the improvement of dysphagia symptoms with different swallowing techniques and maneuvers".
For further insight
Ghosal A, Kumar De S, Sinharay S, et al. Improvement Pattern of VFSS due to Swallowing Maneuvers in Patients of Dysphagia with Posterior Circulation Stroke. Indian J Phys Med Rehab 2020;31(2):24–30