Category Archives: Swallow Solutions

VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG Mouthpiece Configuration

A video guide for clinicians working with the SwallowSTRONG on how to properly configure the patient mouthpiece.

Swallow Solutions Mouthpiece Configuration from Swallow Solutions on Vimeo.

REMINDER: We have a full library of training resources and videos available on our website. Bookmark this page, and save it for later!

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VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG System Overview

Our latest video, embedded below, shows how patients and clinicians can use the SwallowSTRONG System from Swallow Solutions to treat dysphagia.

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Swallowing Problems? Understand Your Treatment Options

If you or a loved one is having difficulty swallowing, it’s important to understand the treatment options available to you.

Thickened fluids and foods. G-tubes. These have their place and can be an important piece of a course of treatment. However, there’s another option that can help patients regain the ability to swallow after treatment: the SwallowSTRONG System by Swallow Solutions.

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What is the SwallowSTRONG?

The SwallowSTRONG is a device that pairs cutting-edge technology and evidence-based practices for an innovative solution to swallowing problems. Designed for use in the home, under the guidance of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or other qualified clinician, the SwallowSTRONG helps patients strengthen the muscles of the mouth and throat, making it easier for patients to swallow.

Does it work?

Yes. Independent studies have found that that treatment with the SwallowSTRONG has resulted in fewer hospital admissions, upgraded diets and improved quality of life.

Is it affordable?

Swallow Solutions is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of patients with swallowing disorders, and have developed a rental model that will make treatment with the SwallowSTRONG more affordable than ever.

Patients can now rent a SwallowSTRONG System directly from Swallow Solutions for only $200 a month (typical treatment course is 2-3 months). With the one-time purchase of the $195 mouthpiece required for each individual, patients can get access to treatment for a total cost of less than $600.

How can I learn more?

If the SwallowSTRONG System sounds like it could be a solution to your swallowing problem, contact Swallow Solutions at 608-238-6678 for more information.
NOTE: Every patient is different and treatment decisions should be made under the guidance of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or other qualified clinician.

Something to Be Thankful For

This week, many of us will gather with friends and family to give thanks the things we’re grateful for. We’ll sit around tables laden with all varieties of different food, and come back for seconds (or thirds).

But the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t so easy for people with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.

For these people, eating or drinking can be a difficult, even dangerous task. The inability to swallow limits their ability to partake in holiday meals. These people often withdraw from meals, making Thanksgiving feel quite lonesome.

But here’s something to be thankful for: a new innovation called the SwallowSTRONG.

The SwallowSTRONG is a therapy device that helps dysphagia patients regain the ability to eat and drink safely by strengthening the muscles involved in the swallowing process.

After undergoing treatment with the SwallowSTRONG, dysphagia patients can once again have a seat at the table.

SwallowSTRONG Rental Program

We believe so strongly in the efficacy of the SwallowSTRONG product that we want to make it easier for more people suffering with dysphagia or difficulty swallowing to get access to the product.

That’s why we’re offering a new rental program, making SwallowSTRONG and all the benefits it brings more affordable than ever.

Patients who use the SwallowSTRONG can increase the strength of the muscles involved in the complex process of the swallow.

With the new Swallow Solutions rental program, renters can get access to the SwallowSTRONG for a security deposit of $250 and $200 a month.

Purchase a per-patient mouthpiece for $315, and it’s yours to keep.

A typical therapy course with the SwallowSTRONG lasts two months. That means that for a total investment of $715 ($250 security deposit, two months rental fee at $200/month, $315 mouthpiece), renters can improve the health and quality of life of patients with dysphagia.

Learn more about the Swallow Solutions rental program by clicking here, or contact Swallow Solutions.

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Muhammad Ali, Parkinson’s and Dysphagia

As the world continues to mourn the passing of Muhammad Ali, we at the blog were thinking about the legendary boxer’s life and his long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Ali was known as a fighter, having gone up against the likes of Larry Holmes, George Foreman and Joe Frazier — but his greatest battle may have been Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease impacts an estimated one million Americans, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, with about 60,000 new diagnoses each year.

Ali’s public bout with the disease began with a memorable moment at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when the gold medalist lit the Olympic flame despite his badly shaking limbs.

Why are we talking about Parkinson’s Disease on a blog about dysphagia (difficulty swallowing?) Because people with Parkinson’s often find themselves suffering with dysphagia as well.

Parkinson’s impacts motor function, often manifesting through tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and postural instability. But additional problems may display as a result of Parkinson’s — one of them being dysphagia.

If you’re suffering from dysphagia, regardless of the cause, we hope that Ali can be an inspiration to you to keep fighting.

Ali was relentless in training for his matches. He knew that regardless of the challenger he’d face in the ring, his body would be prepared.

Swallow Solutions offers an innovative product to help dysphagia patients train the muscles involved in the swallow — ultimately helping them regain the ability to swallow.

With an attitude like Ali, and the SwallowSTRONG, dysphagia patients can often times deliver a knock out blow to their swallowing problems.

(June is National Dysphagia Awareness month. Follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook for more dysphagia facts throughout the month.)

 

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Swallow Solutions Training Videos

The SwallowSTRONG is an innovative device that helps patients with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) strengthen the muscles associated the swallow. We want to make the unique device as easy to use as possible, so we created training videos that cover many ‘frequently asked questions.’

If you’re using SwallowSTRONG with your patients, or if you’re a patient at home using the device, bookmark this page and keep it in mind when you run into any issues.

The first video in the series is the device overview. If you’re new to the device, check out this short video to familiarize yourself. It’s less than two minutes long, but well worth your time!

The next video in the series covers an extremely important area: mouthpiece configuration. A proper mouthpiece ensures the most effective use of the device. An important video for patients and clinicians alike.

The next video covers SSMS, the SwallowSTRONG Management System. SSMS provides clinicians with the ability to remotely track adherence, view patient progress, remotely update therapy targets and more. And it’s all HIPAA compliant. Check out the video below.

In our sample therapy session video, clinicians can get a feel for how a real therapy session would unfold with a patient.

The therapy parameters video covers how clinicians can set unique, personalized parameters for a patient. Parameters include press duration, repetition count and more. By adjusting these parameters, clinicians can craft the most effective therapy plan possible.

Our final video covers how to determine therapy targets. In this video, you’ll learn how to establish an appropriate pressure for therapy — one that a patient will be capable of achieving, but will be sufficiently challenging for strengthening.

If you take a few moments to watch all of these videos, you’ll have a good baseline for working with your SwallowSTRONG.

Keep these videos in your arsenal throughout your use of the device, and you’ll be properly armed in your fight against dysphagia.

VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG Device Overview

If you’ve been following the blog, you may already be familiar with the SwallowSTRONG device. The video below allows you to see it in action.

More videos are available on our website. Check them out here.

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The Complex Process of the Swallow

If you’ve read our blog before, you’re familiar with the frustrating nature of dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.

But the fact is, swallowing is a complex physical process, and as such, many things can go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have professionals diagnose and prepare a treatment plan.

In today’s post, we’ll break down the steps of the swallow. Be sure to check out this article on Provider for more details.

When we think of the swallow, we sometimes think of it as a fluid, continuous process. But what we think of as swallowing actually contains four distinct phases: the Oral Preparatory phase, the Oral phase, the Pharyngeal phase and the Esophageal phase.

The Oral Preparatory phase takes place when food first enters the mouth. To keep food in the mouth, the lips must possess appropriate strength. The tongue and jaw work together to hold the food in place until the next phase begins.

The Oral phase is the tongue’s time to shine. It begins anterior and posterior movement, pushing food to the back of the throat. The back of the tongue rises as food begins its trip down into the pharynx.

The Pharyngeal phase begins with the soft palate rising to meet the posterior pharyngeal wall and the larynx rising towards the base of the tongue. Openings to the trachea and larynx are covered by passive movement, and the muscles of the pharynx contract to bring the food towards the muscles at the top of the food tube (the cricopharyngeal sphincter).

The Esophageal phase involves — you guessed it — the esophagus. The cricopharyngeus muscle relaxes, allowing the food to pass into the esophagus. A quick wavelike contraction of the muscles in the esophagus pushes food down towards the stomach.

By understanding the phases of the swallow, it’s easier to see how a number of things could cause problems during it, resulting in dysphagia. If you or a loved one have difficulty swallowing, oropharyngeal strengthening with the SwallowSTRONG may be able to help.

Check out more information about Swallow Solutions here.

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Respected Academic Journal Reports Evidence Supporting SwallowSTRONG Therapy

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) recently published an article entitled Effects of Device-Facilitated Isometric Progressive Resistance Oropharyngeal Therapy on Swallowing and Health-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Dysphagia

The article discusses a effects of a study during which 56 patients with dysphagia completed lingual strengthening using the device by Swallow Solutions. It discusses the positive impact the therapy has on health outcomes, as well as significant cost-savings for facilities.

Here are the highlights:

Patients health and wellbeing were followed for up to 17 months.

Decreased pneumonia diagnoses. Incidence of pneumonia decreased 67%. 

Decreased hospital admissions. Hospital admissions decreased 61%. 

Patients increased lingual strength. Swallowing disorders occur in older patients due, at least in part, to weakening lingual musculature. After 8 weeks, patients were significantly stronger. As they became stronger, patients reported that they had less difficulty swallowing and improved quality of life.

They noted increased desire for food, improved mental health, improved social wellbeing, and less fatigue.

 

Decreased bed days, cost savings. Bed days decreased 56% resulting in overall savings of over one million dollars. 

The results speak for themselves. Lingual strengthening using the Swallow Solutions device works. Learn more by visiting the Swallow Solutions website.

The full study is available here.

 

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