It is estimated that as much as 50% of stroke patients develop some degree of dysphagia. Dysphagia is a difficulty or inability to swallow and if not treated can lead to serious complications. VitalStim therapy is an FDA approved therapy to promote swallowing by using Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation to the swallowing muscles in the neck.
As a leading provider of Speech and Occupational Therapy, South Coast Post Acute proudly offers the state-of-the-art VitalStim Therapy. This therapy in conjunction with traditional exercise therapy has shown great potential in providing significant and lasting improvement from this debilitating affliction. Based on a comparison study, electrical stimulation is significantly more effective than thermal application for restoring swallowing function after loss or impairment by stroke, neurodegenerative disease, cancer or respiratory problem. In fact, electrical stimulation with VitalStim Therapy had a success rate of 98.4% compared to 32.7% for thermal application. Electrical stimulation is equally effective for both long-term patients (over 180 days) and short-term dysphagia patients (under 180 days). It was even found effective for patients who have endured swallowing impairments for 40 years.
VitalStim Therapy involves the use of small electrical impulses to swallowing muscles in the throat using electrodes attached to the skin. This electrical stimulation accelerates the strengthening of your muscles as well as increases the effectiveness of exercise therapy.
The treatment of dysphagia with the VitalStim Therapy is primarily done by Speech Language Therapists. The Speech Language Therapists at South Coast Post Acute use a variety of techniques and strategies to accelerate your recovery. The VitalStim Therapy device is the only device specifically cleared by the FDA for the treatment of dysphagia with electrode placement on the neck.
For more than 40 years, South Coast Post Acute has provided remarkable care by delivering patient-centered therapy and dedicated expertise. If you or a loved one has difficulty swallowing or have been diagnosed with dysphagia, our highly trained medical care staff can offer you the VitalStim Therapy.