Effects of head flexion posture in patients with dysphagia

Hirotaka Nagura, Hitoshi Kagaya, Yoko Inamoto, Seiko Shibata, Megumi Ozeki, Yohei Otaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The chin-down posture is often used as a compensatory manoeuvre for patients with dysphagia. This posture presumably involves flexion of the head and/or neck, but this is not clearly defined. Objective: This study aimed to assess the effects of head flexion posture in a retrospective study of videofluoroscopic examination of swallowing (VF). Methods: A total of 73 patients who underwent VF both with and without head flexion posture in the lateral projection were included in the analysis. The head and neck angles at the initiation of the swallowing reflex, penetration–aspiration scale (PAS), nasopharyngeal closure time, stage transition duration, duration of laryngeal closure, time from swallowing reflex to laryngeal closure and to the opening of upper oesophageal sphincter (UES), duration of UES opening, location of the bolus leading edge at swallowing reflex, and bolus transition time were evaluated. Results: The head flexion angle increased (p < 0.001), but the neck flexion angle did not change in the head flexion posture. Moreover, PAS improved (p < 0.001), aspiration was reduced (p < 0.001), the time between the swallowing reflex and the onset of laryngeal closure was shortened (p = 0.006), and the leading edge of the bolus at swallowing reflex became shallower (p = 0.004) in the head flexion posture. Other parameters did not significantly change. Conclusion: The head flexion posture resulted in earlier laryngeal closure and a shallower position of the leading bolus edge at swallowing reflex, resulting in PAS improvement and decreased aspiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-632
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 06-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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