Volume 47 Number 7, 2010
Pages 651 — 660
Abstract — Tongue-pressure resistance training is known to increase tongue strength in seniors and individuals with stroke-related dysphagia. However, evidence of associated functional improvements in swallowing is equivocal. We investigated similarities in pressure waveform profiles between swallowing and several tongue-palate pressure tasks to identify tasks that may be best suited for inclusion in tongue-pressure resistance training protocols for patients who are unable to safely perform real bolus swallows in treatment. Tongue-palate pressures were recorded in 20 healthy young adults. Participants performed water and nectar-thick juice swallows, effortful and noneffortful saliva swallows, and "half-maximum" tongue-palate partial-pressure tasks emphasizing either anterior or posterior tongue-palate contact at different speeds. Pressure slopes (amplitude change over time) during the pressure application (rise) and withdrawal (release) phases were analyzed. A subset of four tasks with the greatest similarity in slope characteristics to those seen in bolus swallows was identified: anterior-emphasis half-maximum tongue-palate presses, posterior-emphasis maximum isometric tongue-palate presses, posterior-emphasis half-maximum slow tongue-palate presses, and effortful saliva swallows. We propose that future research should explore the degree to which swallowing improvements are obtained from treatment protocols that emphasize these tasks.
Key words: dysphagia, exercise, oral-motor, pressure, rehabilitation, resistance, speech-language pathology, swallowing, tongue, tongue resistance training.
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, October 7, 2010 9:50 AM