Roy N, Ford CN, Bless DM
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Excessive activity of the extralaryngeal muscles affects laryngeal function and contributes to a spectrum of interrelated symptoms and syndromes including muscle tension dysphonia and spasmodic dysphonia. Recognition of the role of extralaryngeal tension is helpful in ensuring proper diagnosis and selection of appropriate treatment. This report demonstrates the application of manual laryngeal musculoskeletal tension reduction techniques in the diagnosis and management of laryngeal hyperfunction syndromes. The manual technique consists of focal palpation to determine 1) extent of laryngeal elevation, 2) focal tenderness, 3) voice effect of applying downward pressure over the superior border of the thyroid lamina, and 4) extent of sustained voice improvement following circum-laryngeal massage. The clinical utility of this innovative approach is discussed.