Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a specialized form of electrical stimulation therapy designed to treat dysphagia. This special therapy has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and is non-invasive.
During NMES, a special device is used to deliver a small electric current to a child’s face or neck. The electrical current is delivered through specially placed electrodes on the child’s face and/or neck. The electrical current stimulates the nerves and muscles responsible for swallowing. You can learn more about neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy via sheldonwellness.com/services/neuromuscular-electrical-stimulation/.
This stimulation therapy improves the strength, coordination, endurance, sensory feedback, and timing in the muscles involved in eating, drinking, and swallowing. While the electrical stimulation is being delivered, a certified therapist helps patients train their muscles with special exercises. Over time, the child’s muscles are trained how to properly swallow food and drink.
The main goal of electrical stimulation therapy is to strengthen weak muscles and to help children gain control of their oral motor skills.
There are no associated risks known at this time. Side effects include redness and irritation to the skin which typically clears with topical moisturizer in 24 to 48 hours. The electrical current may start off as a slight tingling sensation and build to a pulling sensation.