VitalStim® can help patients with Dysphagia.
Dysphagia is defined as difficulty with swallowing. It can occur as a result of a stroke or other neurological disease, normal aging or after a long period of inactivity. An estimated 15 million adults in the US currently suffer from dysphagia.
In the last few years, new treatment options have become available – especially the use of electrical stimulation. This exciting treatment tool, VitalStim® Therapy, is showing good outcomes in most patients with relatively few treatments. It is simple for certified clinicians to administer and is pain free for the patient.
Who Is A Typical Patient?
Typical patent categories include, but are not limited to:
- Those that experienced a stroke
- Head and neck cancer (post radiation) and/or surgery
- De-conditioning as a result of age or co-morbidity
- Various neuromuscular disease processes (e.g., Parkinson’s, ALS, etc.)
Am I A Candidate For VitalStim® Therapy?
If you show signs of aspiration or have difficulty managing your diet, you may be a candidate for dysphagia therapy. Look for one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Coughing/clearing throat after swallowing
- Abnormal volitional cough
- Decreased voice quality (wet, hoarse, weak)
- Recurring chest infections
- Multiple swallows or special maneuvers required to clear throat
- Difficulty completing a meal
- Feeling of food being stuck in the throat
- Modified diet required (thickening, pureeing food; soft solids)
- Difficulty initiating a swallow
- Spilling food or liquid from lips and/or drooling
LSVT® BIG and LOUD Therapy
Now providing treatment for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®) Big and Loud Therapy to empower those living with Parkinson’s disease to move and speak better. Declining vocal strength, muffled speech and difficulty swallowing create problems with communication and eating. Patients also often experience tremors, slow movement, impaired balance and stiffness. But there is good news – studies have proven patients with Parkinson’s disease at any stage can benefit from intensive rehabilitation.
- LSVT® can help people with other conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, multiple systems atrophy, cerebral palsy.
- LSVT® Big and Loud is especially effective soon after the disease is diagnosed.
SPEAK LOUD – MOVE BIG
LSVT® is an effective treatment program that’s proven to help individuals living with Parkinson’s disease, giving them new hope for improved communication and movement for work, family and social activities. The method was developed following rigorous research funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Physical therapists or occupational therapists use LSVT Big to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson’s disease. Therapists work with individuals to improve major motor skills, like walking, arm and leg movement, balance, and hand skills such as writing.
Speech-language pathologists improve vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a series of loud exercises. Therapy does not train people to shout or yell – rather it trains a healthy louder voice with no strain.
Bioness® L300 Foot Drop System
The Bioness® L300 is the first FES Foot Drop System that is low profile, wireless and easy to use.
The L300 may help patients regain function for foot drop associated with:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Beyond producing a more normal gait, the Bioness® L300 may help:
- Reeducate muscles to function without the system
- Prevent or retard muscle atrophy
- Maintain or increase joint range or motion
- Increase local blood flow
Recent clinical study showed that the Bioness® L300 offers significant improvements when compared to walking without it! An 8 week study of 15 patients who used an AFO showed that the L300 significantly improved stride time compared to an AFO and 100% of the patients in this study preferred the L300 to their AFO.
Use of the Nintendo Wii in rehabilitation provides the patient benefits of increased enjoyment and compliance with treatment. At the same time therapists are able to choose specific games and activities to strengthen targeted muscle groups, challenge the patient’s cognition, improve coordination, and increase the patient’s endurance / activity tolerance. The Wii is a very useful therapy tool that is a “fun” addition to the treatment program
Low Stimulation Gym
Patients who have experienced a stroke or brain injury can sometimes become overwhelmed in noisy, bright, or busy environments. This “over-stimulation” can negatively affect the patient’s ability to participate in the therapy program and slow recovery. Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington offers a separate low stimulation therapy gym for these patients to provide the optimal healing experience.
Gait Training Un-weighing System
The gait training un-weighing system can be used on land or in combination with a treadmill to enable partial weight bearing therapy. Partial weight bearing gait training provides the assurances of comfort and safety to allow the patient to concentrate on learning to walk again. It also allows the therapist treating the patient to focus on facilitating and correcting the mechanics of the walking cycle without having to support the weight of the patient. The gait training un-weighing system utilized at Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington is equipped with a dynamic suspension system that allows for vertical displacement (up and down) of the patient’s center of gravity and functional pelvic rotation to promote normal walking mechanics during partial weight bearing therapy. This allows the patient to learn to walk with proper gait mechanics again before being able to support 100% of his/her body weight.
Ceiling Lift Systems
Ceiling lifts are utilized in both therapy gyms and in a number of patient rooms. These lift systems are used to protect both the patient and the hospital staff in the safe movement, handling, and treatment of patients unable to support their own body weight.