Vitalstim® therapy is a specialized form of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) designed to treat dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, through muscle re-education. Vitalstim® therapy is a non-invasive therapy that uses an electrical current to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing while trained speech-language pathologists (SLP) help patients “re-educate” the muscles with special exercises.
Most treatment sessions are 60 minutes in duration and begin with the electrodes being placed on the skin at specific points on the neck. Under the guidance of an SLP, the patient practices various swallowing exercises while the small, carefully calibrated current is delivered by the electrodes. Therapy sessions are repeated for a specific number of treatment sessions until swallowing patterns have been restored to the least restrictive level a patient can get to.
VitalStim® Therapy Effectiveness
Based on the research done by the people who have created vitalstim, it has helped thousands of patients with dysphagia. Some people have gone from being on feeding tubes, to eating food by mouth safely after receiving vitalstim therapy. It is reported that patients often see dramatic improvement in 6 to 20 treatment sessions.
VitalStim® Therapy Safety
Vitalstim® therapy is the only FDA-cleared NMES device for the treatment of dysphagia. Since it began in 2002 it has established itself as a safe and effective treatment.