AbstractPurpose of review
To review recent literature depicting a shift in dysphagia rehabilitation in adults. Distinguishing rehabilitation from compensation in dysphagia management, a review of basic exercise principles is followed by description of recent publications depicting exercise-based therapies. Subsequently, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) is reviewed as it may contribute to exercise-based dysphagia rehabilitation in adults.Recent findings
Surveys have documented extensive variability in the clinical application of dysphagia therapy techniques. Despite this variability, two trends are emerging in dysphagia rehabilitation research: documentation of physiologic and functional changes within the swallowing mechanism subsequent to therapy; and prophylactic exercise-based therapies. In addition, extensive efforts have emerged describing the potential application of TES in dysphagia rehabilitation. Though results of these efforts are conflicted, TES may serve a useful role as an adjunct to well developed exercise-based rehabilitation for dysphagia.Summary
The focus of dysphagia rehabilitation in adults is changing. Current efforts indicate that exercise-based therapies should incorporate multiple principles of exercise physiology and document physiologic change within the impaired swallowing mechanism. TES may function as an adjunctive modality; however, current practices should be evaluated to develop additional parameters of stimulation that are focused toward specific dysphagia impairments.