Effect of RMT and postural techniques on dysphagia

The swallowing process is comprised of three phases: oral, pharyngeal and esophageal. During the pharyngeal phase, food boluses pass through the upper esophageal sphincter. Dysphagia during neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often caused by problems in the pharyngeal phase.

To address these issues, expiratory muscle training (EMT) alone or in combination with postural techniques was tested to improve dysphagia in PD patients.

Key Findings

  • The pharyngeal phase of swallowing is often affected in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), contributing to dysphagia.
  • Respiratory muscle strength is essential for swallowing.
  • Respiratory muscle training (RMT) alone or in combination with postural techniques improves dysphagia in PD patients, confirmed by videofluoroscopic studies.
  • The combination of the two methods is most effective.
  • RMT effectively improves dysphagia in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Study Methods

Dysphagia was assessed by videofluoroscopic imaging (VFS) in PD patients before and after 4 weeks of EMT or EMT plus postural techniques, including chin tucking, head rotation, head tilting, bending head back, and lying down straight.

Study Results

EMT alone and EMT plus postural techniques reduced the VFS score, with the combination of both techniques being more effective.

In conclusion, EMT, alone or in combination with postural techniques, was shown to improve dysphagia in PD patients.


Byeon, H. Effect of simultaneous application of postural techniques and expiratory muscle strength training on the enhancement of the swallowing function of patients with dysphagia caused by Parkinson’s Disease. J. Phys. Ther. Sci. 28: 1840–1843, 2016.

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