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A Window into Swallowing Rehabilitation: Using sEMG Biofeedback for Effective Dysphagia Practice

November 18, 2020
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored by Accelerated Care Plus

Many Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are involved in assessing and treating the complex process of deglutition, but not all possess adequate tools for carrying out these tasks. Palpation and visual inspection are often utilized; however, there is a significant amount of evidence showing these methods provide insufficient and unreliable information. This leaves many SLPs questioning how to effectively guide patients in relearning swallow function. Swallowing therapy should center on the principles of neuroplasticity, motor learning, and exercise to be efficacious.

Adjunctive use of surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback presents an opportunity for clinician and patient to simultaneously observe muscle activity involved in chewing and swallowing. The muscle movement is captured via electrodes applied to the skin, processed and transmitted into signal form via software, with no electrical current being delivered to the patient. The incorporation of sEMG in conjunction with patient specific EB interventions, assists in facilitating the aforementioned principles through auditory and visual feedback. When compared to traditional dysphagia therapy, adjunctive sEMG-guided treatments may generate specific clinical benefits: 1) Reduce unwanted lingual movements 2) Decrease swallow reaction times 3) Execute superior hyolaryngeal elevation (excursion and/or duration) 4) Improve swallow duration time 5) Gain stronger pharyngeal contractions 6) Achieve greater neuromuscular control of swallowing.

During the live chat, presenters will discuss the following topics:

  • Application of sEMG biofeedback in dysphagia rehabilitation
  • Use of immediate feedback in motor learning of new movements and volitional control of physiological processes
  • Incorporating virtual reality visualizations to improve patient understanding and motivation
  • Engaging patient in progressively challenging swallow exercises


  • Valerie Middleton, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Rebecca Klickermann, MA, CCC-SLP

This free event is not offered for CEUs.

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