Brief Report

Electrode position and hyoid movement in surface electrical stimulation of the suprahyoid muscle group

Sayako Shimizu, MD, Hiromichi Metani, MD, PhD, Takashi Hiraoka, MD, PhD, Sosuke Seki, MD, PhD, Kozo Hanayama, MD, PhD, Akio Tsubahara, MD, PhD
Jpn J Compr Rehabil Sci 5: 97-101, 2014

Objective: To determine the relationship between electrode position and hyoid movement for effective surface electrical stimulation in the treatment of dysphagia.
Methods: Surface electrode pairs targeted on the suprahyoid muscle group were placed in mesial, distal, or pervasive placement patterns on the skin anterior to the suprahyoid muscle group of five healthy subjects, and the vertical and horizontal movements of the hyoid induced by electrical stimulation in the three pattern groups were measured and compared.
Results: The mesial electrode-pair pattern induced significant anterior movement of the hyoid. The distal pattern showed a tendency to induce upward hyoid movement. The distance of hyoid movement induced by the electrical stimulation was about half of that found for actual water swallowing. No significant difference in electrical stimulus intensity was found among the electrode patterns.
Conclusion: Surface electrical stimulation with mesial electrode-pair placement anterior to the hyoid presumably induces contraction of the digastric muscle anterior belly and the geniohyoid muscle, and was found to pull the hyoid forward. This information and further elucidation of the relationship between surface electrode position and hyoid movement is expected to increase the range of clinical applications.

Key words: hyoid bone, surface electrical stimulation, suprahyoid muscle group, electrode position, selective stimulation

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