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New Speech Therapy Approach is "Easier to Swallow" for Patients

New Speech Therapy Approach is
Stroke victims, or those with Parkinson’s Disease may avoid the need for a feeding tube with the help of a new speech therapy service known as “VitalStim.” VitalStim uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), which refers to a small current stimulating the inside of the neck to activate the swallowing muscles.

"I feel that VitalStim enables us as speech-language pathologists to literally 'amp up' our treatment of patients with swallowing disorders. As a patient, you could meet your goals faster by using this technology combined with traditional swallowing exercises. Essentially, VitalStim would help you return to a more normal diet or previous eating habits following a stroke, brain injury, surgery and other neurological events." - Lindsay McAlpin, Speech Pathologist

Speech Pathologist Lindsay McAlpin treated a patient who was on a feeding tube when she started VitalStim therapy and was recently discharged on an oral diet. The patient expressed her feelings about her therapy treatment.

"The electrical response taught me how to smile on the side of my face that was affected and helped me to swallow my food again. My quality of life is much better now." -Augustine

For more information on VitalStim Therapy, call North Oaks Rehabilitation Services at (985) 230-6160.