Some people with MD experience weakening of the throat muscles, leading to difficulties swallowing and aspirating. Is this something you struggle with? What are some things your doctor or physical therapist has recommended to help with these problems? Have you tried exercises to strengthen your throat muscles and have you had any positive results?
Yes. I have had two swallow studies. The most recent one showed food and fluids going down the wrong “chute”. They get almost to the vocal chords (which they said is the point of no return) before my muscles catch it and force it back up and then down the correct “chute”.
She gave me several exercises to practice. The most helpful one is where I get a mouthful of water, then gently press my teeth down onto my tongue to hold it in place and then swallow the water. It is harder than it sounds. But, I do this every day, sometimes twice a day and it has gotten easier over the last year.
The result I have seen is that I cough A LOT less while eating. It has been very noticeable.
Phil, did you know your food was going down in an odd way prior to the test? It’s great to hear that you’ve had results with the exercises. I find it hard to know if muscles are actually capable of being strengthened with a disease like MD. I have problems with producing energy and whenever someone suggests strengthening a part of my body with exercise I tend to roll my eyes.
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