Effect of Spinal Sagittal Alignment in Sitting Posture on Swallowing Function in Healthy Adult Women: A Cross-Sectional Study

Dysphagia. 2022 Jun 28. doi: 10.1007/s00455-022-10476-8. Online ahead of print.


Swallowing function is both directly and indirectly related to postures, such as head and cervical angle and body position. However, the effects of different sitting postures on oropharyngeal swallowing have not been investigated. This study aimed to investigate whether the change in thoracolumbar alignment affected the oropharyngeal swallowing. A total of 58 healthy adult women (mean age 22.2 ± 1.67 years) without dysphagia were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Participants were positioned in three sitting postures: comfortable sitting (CS), thoracic upright sitting (TUS), and slump sitting (SS). In each sitting posture, the kyphosis index (using a flexicurve), head and cervical angles (using a digital camera), swallowing speed (100-ml water swallowing test), and oral and articulatory function [by maximum tongue pressure (MTP) and oral diadochokinesis (ODK)] were evaluated. SS showed the largest kyphosis index and was associated with a greater anterior translation of the head. Swallowing speed was significantly decreased in SS compared with CS (p = 0.002) and TUS (p = 0.020) and ODK was significantly decreased in SS compared with other postures, for both /ta/ (p = 0.004) and /ka/ (p < 0.001) syllables. Further, MTP tended to decrease in SS compared with TUS (p = 0.064). Our results suggest that changes in sitting posture with different thoracolumbar alignments affect swallowing speed and oral and articulatory function. Consequently, adjustments to reduce sitting postural kyphosis may improve swallowing speed and oral and articulatory function.

PMID:35763121 | DOI:10.1007/s00455-022-10476-8

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