, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 30–36 | Cite as

The Influence of Orolingual Pressure on the Timing of Pharyngeal Pressure Events

  • Catriona M. Steele
  • Maggie Lee Huckabee


This study explored the influence of two methods of effortful swallow execution on the timing of pharyngeal pressure events. Participants were asked to either emphasize or minimize tongue-to-palate contact during performance of the maneuver. Twenty healthy participants were evaluated using concurrent submental surface electromyography (sEMG), orolingual manometry, and pharyngeal manometry. Each subject performed three repetitions of three counterbalanced tasks (noneffortful dry swallows, effortful dry swallows with tongue-to-palate emphasis, and effortful dry swallows with tongue-to-palate de-emphasis). Four variables were measured: Onset Lag vs. sEMG Peak, Peak Lag vs. sEMG Peak, Total Duration, and Percent Rise Time to Peak. Compared to noneffortful swallows, the effortful swallow task elicited significantly earlier onsets and peaks of pharyngeal pressures relative to the submental sEMG peak. Total pressure event durations were greater and rise times were significantly shorter. When comparing the two methods of effortful swallow execution, a longer latency to peak proximal pharyngeal pressure was found in the tongue-to-palate emphasis condition. These results support the interpretation that the effortful swallow maneuver involves generation of higher velocity bolus driving forces that propel the bolus into and through the pharynx with greater efficiency and that pressure is then sustained to facilitate more complete bolus clearance.


Pharyngeal Upper esophageal sphincter Effortful swallow Pressure Deglutition Deglutition disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toronto Rehabilitation InstituteTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Speech-Language PathologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Communication DisordersUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.Van derVeer Institute for Parkinson’s and Brain ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand
  5. 5.Toronto Rehabilitation InstituteTorontoCanada

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