Laryngeal Manual Therapy: A Preliminary Study to Examine its Treatment Effects in the Management of Muscle Tension Dysphonia

Published:November 26, 2007DOI:


      The objectives of this study were to determine appropriate acoustic and outcome measures for the evaluation of a method of laryngeal manual therapy (LMT) used in the treatment of patients with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD). The effects of this technique were also investigated. The study was based on the hypotheses that the vertical position of the larynx in the vocal tract would lower, that the quality of the voice would normalize, and that a reduction in any vocal tract discomfort (VTD) would occur after LMT. This was a small, prospective, repeated measures pilot study in which each member of the research team was “blinded” to all other stages of the study and during which all data were anonymized until the final stage of data analysis. Ten subjects presenting with MTD completed outcome measures and provided audiorecordings immediately before, immediately after, and 1 week after LMT. The Kay CSL 4150 was used for signal acquisition and for some acoustic measurements. Spectrographic evaluation was accomplished with Praat. A new perceptual, self-rating scale, the VTD scale, and a new proforma for use by the clinician for palpatory evaluation, were developed for the study. Relative average perturbation during connected speech was significantly reduced after LMT, indicating a reduction in abnormal vocal function. The severity and frequency of VTD was shown to have reduced after LMT. This pilot study showed positive evidence for LMT as a method of therapy in the treatment of hyperfunctional voice disorders. Its effects were shown to be measurable with both acoustical analysis and the VTD scale.

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