After a stroke, patients often suffer from speech impairment conditions like dysphagia, dysarthria, and aphasia. When patients’ speech gets affected by stroke, their ability to communicate diminishes. Not only speech impairment, stroke patients also struggle to read, write and understand. 

Moreover, patients are also unable to control the facial muscles, lips, and tongue. As a result, the speech also becomes slurred or slow, making it difficult for others to understand them.

Hence, there is a need for speech therapy for stroke patients. Also, stroke survivors require swallow therapy to overcome swallowing difficulty. 

Necessity of speech therapy for stroke patients

Recovering from speech impairment after a stroke needs speech therapy. Speech language pathologists examine the conditions of the patients and prepare a proper treatment plan accordingly. SLPs use various techniques like cognitive language exercise, neuromuscular exercise, and swallowing muscles to improve speech impairment in patients and help them with word retrieval. 

Some of the common exercise which SLPs suggests:

  • Moving your tongue side-to-side and up and down 
  • Practice smiling to improve oral motor skills
  • Repeating consonants and vowels
  • Practice pronunciation of complete sentences 

SLPs advise patients to practice these exercises regularly to help them with their speech clarity. 

Speech-language pathologists also conduct group therapy with stroke survivors to increase and improve their communication skills and help them convey their words and thoughts. 

Necessity of swallow therapy for stroke survivors

After a stroke, you might notice patients have difficulty in swallowing. They suffer from a condition known as dysphagia. Most of the cases of dysphagia are treated by swallow therapy, said the best speech therapist in Kolkata

Swallow therapy includes various exercises and techniques to help stroke patients overcome dysphagia. Some of the common swallowing exercises which patients need to practice, as suggested by speech language pathologists. 

  • Tongue push up and down to restrain your tongue and increase your ability to swallow.
  • Ways to control your Adam’s apple 
  • Effortful swallow to improve the contraction of the throat muscles
  • Shaker exercise to strengthen the suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscles and improve the functioning of the upper esophageal sphincter.

These swallow therapy exercises mainly focus on improving the control over the muscles that help in swallowing. 

Along with manual swallow therapy, SLPs can provide Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) to reeducate the swallowing muscles by using Vital Stim therapy and Vital Stim Plus therapy.

Speech language pathologists help patients with speech impairment and swallowing difficulty after stroke.