OBJECTIVE: The present study compared surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity obtained from the submental muscle group for a tongue press and a head lift exercise as potential therapeutic exercises for dysphagic elderly. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-three healthy volunteers with a mean age of 35.3 participated in this study. Subjects were required to perform an isometric task, pressing their tongue against the hard palate, and an isotonic task requiring sustained lingual force against the hard palate. Pressure sensors were used to measure the amount of lingual pressure against the hard palate. Submental sEMG data from these tasks were compared with those obtained from the isometric and isotonic aspects of a head lift exercise. RESULTS: No sEMG differences were identified between the isometric tongue press task and head lift exercise. Isotonic tongue press exercises resulted in significantly higher maximum and mean sEMG values compared with the isotonic head lift exercise (p < 0.05). The submental sEMG activity from the tongue press exercise was equal (isometric) to, or greater (isotonic) than comparable muscle activation obtained during the head lift exercise. CONCLUSIONS: The tongue press exercise may be less strenuous than the head lift exercise while achieving the same therapeutic effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology