Journal international de médecine physique et de réadaptation

Journal international de médecine physique et de réadaptation
Libre accès

ISSN: 2329-9096


Acute Effects of Velopharyngeal Resistance Training on Aerodynamic Patterns: A Pilot Study on Healthy Individuals

Youkyung Bae and Samantha D’Agostino

Objective: The use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a form of resistance training has shown some promise in strengthening velopharyngeal (VP) closure muscles in individuals with hypernasality (i.e., excessive nasal resonance perceived in speech). Systematic research on appropriate dosage, however, is largely lacking in the literature. The present pilot study explored the effects of an individual session on the speakers’ VP function.

Methods: Healthy volunteers with normal VP function participated in the study. The Exercise group (n=6) underwent 10 individual CPAP sessions with varying intranasal pressure levels as overload during speech. The Control group (n=6) underwent one session with no exercise. VP measurements including aerodynamic and pressure-flow timing variables were obtained immediately before (Pre) and after (Post) each individual CPAP session.

Results: No statistically significant differences were found between groups (Exercise vs. Control) or across varying overload levels (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 cmH2O) in Pre-Post mean changes of the VP measurements. Data rather illustrated that, despite the short-term disturbance caused by resistance training, the participants were able to maintain consistency in the control of VP function, which appeared to be further augmented by exercise with sufficient overload.

Conclusion: Results provided pilot data on the acute effects of VP resistance training on healthy speakers’ VP function using the range of overload typically employed in the established CPAP therapy protocol. Future clinical research may provide insights into adequate selection of exercise intensity for individual patients based on their working capacities of the VP mechanism.