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Laryngeal Manipulation for Dysphagia with Muscle Tension Dysphonia


The purpose of the article is to describe the use of laryngeal manipulation as a treatment for dysphagia resulting from excessive paralaryngeal muscle tension and to identify the patients likely to have symptomatic improvement. This is a retrospective single-center case series. A retrospective review identified patients from 2007 to 2013 with laryngeal manipulation for muscle tension dysphagia in an academic Otolaryngology practice. Subjects with dysphagia not attributable to an anatomic cause who attended therapy at least one time were included in the study. The primary outcome of the study was subjective improvement in dysphagia symptoms (yes/no) during follow-up. Symptoms, demographic information, treatment, and response to therapy were recorded. The Kruskal–Wallis test was used for analysis of continuous variables, while a Chi-squared test or fisher’s exact test was used for analysis of all categorical variables. Forty-four subjects were included, consisting of 37 women and 7 men. Subjective improvement in dysphagia was seen in 34 subjects (77.3%). No significant differences were seen in improvement based on gender (p = 0.3223), race (p = 0.4317), number of sessions with a speech pathologist (p = 0.3198), or presenting symptoms including hoarseness (p = 0.0853), pain (p = 1.000), globus (p = 0.2834), and cough (p = 1.000). We found subjective improvement with laryngeal manipulation as reported during follow-up visits to clinic among individuals with muscle tension dysphagia. Patient age, presenting symptoms, and number of therapy sessions were not found to be significantly associated with resolution of symptoms.

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Correspondence to J. Pieter Noordzij.

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DePietro, J.D., Rubin, S., Stein, D.J. et al. Laryngeal Manipulation for Dysphagia with Muscle Tension Dysphonia. Dysphagia 33, 468–473 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-018-9875-x

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  • Muscle tension dysphonia
  • Dysphagia
  • Laryngeal manipulation