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MCH Rehab Center
Vital Stim Therapy

What is Vital Stim Therapy?

Vital Stim Therapy is used in conjunction with traditional oral motor exercises in order to strengthen swallowing muscles and improve overall swallow function. Often times, patients regain their swallowing ability faster and more thoroughly than with traditional dysphagia techniques. 

Vital Stim is the only FDA approved treatment approach that successfully combines Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) and traditional dysphagia techniques. Vital Stim is a method to promote swallowing through the use of electrical current directed to affected muscles. The goal of this therapy is to strengthen the swallowing muscles and improve motor control of the swallow.

What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is defined as difficulty swallowing. It can occur after a stroke or other neurological diseases, normal aging, or after a long period of inactivity. An estimated 15 million adults in the US currently suffer from dysphagia.

The management of dysphagia mainly consists of diet modification to decrease choking episodes, and in severe dysphagia a feeding tube may be placed in the stomach to provide nutrition.

In the last few years, new treatment options have become available, especially the use of electrical stimulation. This research based treatment tool, Vital Stim Therapy, has resulted in positive outcomes in most patients. It is simple for certified clinicians to administer and is pain free for the patient.
What diagnoses can benefit from Vital Stim?
  • Stroke

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Myasthenia Gravis

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Muscular Dystrophy

  • Dementia

  • Post head/neck cancer

Dysphagia Facts...
  • It is estimated that oropharyngeal dysphagia affects between 6 and 15 million adults and an unknown number of children in the United States. (ECRI, 1999)

  • Dysphagia is very common after stroke. By some estimates as many as 25-50% of acute stroke patients develop dysphagia. (Mann, 2000)

  • It is also common in various neurological diseases, head and neck cancer, and also aging. As many as 20-40% of head injured patients may present with dysphagia. (Winstein, 1981)

  • Many patients with dysphagia suffer seriously impaired quality of life and may develop serious complications, such as dehydration and malnutrition.

Therapist Training...

The Vital Stim certification course consists of 12 hours of online certification and testing, as well as 16 hours of hands-on certification coursework. At the end of the course the clinician must pass a written post-test, as well as demonstrate accurate practical application of Vital Stim Therapy.

All Vital Stim treatments require a physician's referral.

The goal of the Morris County Hospital Rehab Center is to provide quality care with an emphasis on individual, personalized service. Rest assured, our highly trained staff is constantly learning, applying, and practicing the most modern and successful methods in the physical, occupational, and speech therapy fields.

Your return to good health is our common goal.

MCH Rehab Center

Phone: 620.767.6811

Address: 600 North Washington Street, Council Grove, KS 66846

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