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Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) Therapy for Dysphagia

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As many as half of all Americans over 60 will experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. CarePartners offers advanced therapies that can help you “re-educate” the muscles used for swallowing.

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) therapy with the VitalStim® system is a proven, non-invasive and pain-free treatment that uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles you use to swallow. Combined with other therapy tools, NMES has been shown to be effective in treating dysphagia for all ages.

CarePartners Dysphagia Treatment Programs including VitalStim are offered through CarePartners Outpatient and CarePartners Home Health with speech-language therapists specially trained and certified in this innovative treatment.

CarePartners Patients Get Results

Our NMES patients have experienced significant results, including:

  • Increased swallowing function
  • Increased vocal intensity
  • Increased tone and movement of facial muscles
  • Decreased choking episodes
  • In some cases, discontinuation of a feeding tube

Some patients see improvement in as little as six treatments. Others may require 20 or more.

Dysphagia Therapy for a Wide Range of Conditions

CarePartners helps patients whose dysphagia is complication of many conditions, including:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Radiation therapy as a result of head and neck cancer
  • Post-polio syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Other degenerative and muscular conditions

Patients who have difficulty swallowing have a higher risk of penetration or aspiration (food or liquid getting into the lungs), muscle weakness, infection, pneumonia, dehydration and malnutrition.

Are CarePartners Dyphagia Treatment Programs Right for You?

Find out if NMES therapy with VitalStim and other dysphagia treatments at CarePartners are right for you. These specialized therapies require a physician referral. Ask your doctor if we can help you, or contact us at (828) 277-4800.

To learn more about VitalStim, please visit www.vitalstim.com.

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