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What is Swallow Therapy?

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What is Swallow Therapy?

Understanding the Benefits of Swallow Therapy

Whether someone is suffering from a swallowing disorder or another condition affecting the throat, swallow therapy can prove to be beneficial. The health experts at Northern Inyo Hospital are here to share how this form of rehabilitation can help to improve patients’ quality of life.

What is a Swallowing Disorder?

Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that affects an individual’s ability to swallow food, liquids, and even their own saliva. For many people living with swallowing disorders, it’s common to experience pain or discomfort when trying to swallow, and in some instances, people are unable to swallow at all.

While anyone can develop a swallowing disorder, the most common causes of dysphagia include:

  • Nervous system disorders like cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease.
  • Esophageal issues like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
  • Head and spinal cord injuries.
  • Cancer affecting the head, neck, or esophagus.
  • Stroke.

What is Swallow Therapy?

With swallow therapy, a speech language pathologist (SLP) will work with a patient to help improve their ability to swallow safely, reducing the risk for aspiration. Techniques may include a combination of the following:

  • Swallowing exercises and maneuvers.
  • Positioning strategies.
  • Modifications of foods and liquids.

If you are currently struggling with your ability to swallow, be sure to speak with your primary care doctor about referring you to a speech pathologist.

Rehabilitation Services in Bishop, CA

At Northern Inyo Healthcare District, our Rehabilitation Services team takes a very proactive approach to solving problems for our patients and our community at large. Our therapists have ‘a trained eye’ for how people move, work, and play in their environments. We can help to reduce possible injury and minimize future problems that can occur with poor or limited capacity due to patient conditions. Our team’s strength lies in our ability to be flexible and adaptable. We are constantly striving to improve and upgrade our services to provide specialized therapies that most small, rural communities such as ours do not usually have. We also know enough to know when it’s time to refer a patient to more specialized care.

For more information about the rehabilitation services at Northern Inyo Healthcare District or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 873-2155.