Effect of Tongue Pressing Effortful Swallow Exercise on Orofacial Muscle Strength in Healthy Older Adults: A Prospective Intervention Study


Building a functional reserve through muscle-strengthening exercises is essential in older adults to prevent the changes in swallow function that occur with age. Tongue-pressing effortful swallow is one such exercise proposed, however, the effect of this on the lip and tongue muscles in Indian older adults has not been investigated. Most of the studies are in the Western context, and these findings cannot be generalized to the Indian context due to anatomical differences across geographical regions. This study aimed to assess the effect of tongue-pressing effortful swallow exercise on lip strength and endurance, anterior and posterior tongue strength and endurance using IOPI (Iowa Oral Performance Instrument) in healthy older adults. A total of sixteen participants within the age range of 60-73 yrs (67.18 +_4.26) were involved in this study. Participants performed tongue-pressing effortful swallow exercise at home for 12 sessions (weekly thrice for four weeks). Paired sample t-test revealed a high significant difference only for lip strength, anterior and posterior tongue strength (p<0.05) before and after exercise. Similar findings were reported by Park et al.(2019) with respect to anterior tongue strength. There was no significant difference in lip and tongue endurance, which could be attributed age related fatigue in the older individuals. The study revealed that tongue-pressing effortful swallow exercise improved lip and tongue muscle strength in older individuals prone to swallowing difficulty. The healthcare sector can take a step to implement this swallow exercise as a prophylactic measure for older adults to avoid further complications.

Author Information
Sivaranjani P, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India
Swapna N, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2024
Stream: Lifespan Health Promotion

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon