The head lift exercise (HLE) is the most common exercise for strengthening the swallowing musculature in clinical situations. This study investigated whether a change in the backrest angle of a bed influences swallowing musculature activity and physical strain during the HLE and whether it can generate an appropriate exercise load for swallowing musculature activity for older women compared with younger women. Participants were 10 elderly women and 10 young women, each of whom performed the HLE with a backrest randomly angled at 0°, 15°, 30° and 45°. The activity of the suprahyoid, infrahyoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles was assessed with electromyography. The perception of fatigue was measured with the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale. The activity of the infrahyoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles in elderly women was significantly lower when the angle of the backrest was raised to 45° vs 0°. In both groups, the Borg rating decreased significantly at the 30° and 45° backrest positions vs the 0° and 15° positions. The activity required for the suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscles in elderly women at a 30° backrest position was almost equal to the activity required by these muscles in young women at a 0° backrest position. In elderly women, it is possible that the HLE with the backrest at a 30° angle may be easier and provide a more appropriate exercise load for strengthening the swallowing muscles.
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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