A Newer Approach in Swallowing Rehabilitation

Thursday, October 20, 2022

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Vital Stim Certified SLPs, Mariko O. and Shelly H.
Vital Stim Certified SLPs, Mariko O. and Shelly H.

Prairie Lakes Health System is proud to offer a new treatment option for those who have difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia. Speech-language pathologists at Prairie Lakes continue to assess and treat dysphagia via screenings, clinical evaluations, Modified Barium Swallow Studies and conventional treatment methods. Prairie Lakes Speech Therapy recently added another swallowing treatment modality called Vital Stim which uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to retrain the muscles that produce a swallow._PLH7383-VitalStim.jpgVital Stim Device

Prairie Lakes currently has two speech-language pathologists who are specifically trained to treat qualified patients with this new therapy. Vital Stim is one of several FDA-cleared NMES devices used to treat swallowing disorders. This type of therapy uses small electrical impulses to restore muscle function by helping the swallowing muscles contract more. Because of the sensitive nature of the areas where the electrodes are placed, the unit delivers a carefully calibrated current safely to the motor nerves in the face and throat while the patient eats, drinks, or does swallowing exercises. Over the course of multiple sessions, the muscles are re-educated. The Vital Stim unit also provides biofeedback to assist the patient in learning new swallow maneuvers and to see the progress being made, which is a key piece in providing effective treatment.

While it can be a helpful tool, Vital Stim is not for everyone. For this reason, a doctor’s order is needed to use Vital Stim in your swallowing treatment plan. To find out if you or a loved one is a candidate for Vital Stim therapy, please contact one of our Vital Stim certified speech-language pathologists at 605-882-7700.

Written by Marketing
Last modified on Thursday, October 20, 2022