Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation
Deep pharyngeal neuromuscular stimulation (DPNS) is a noninvasive, electrical stimulation therapy for people with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Therapists are certified to perform this therapy.
During DPNS, iced lemon glycerin swabs are used to put deep pressure within the oral cavity to areas of the mouth (tongue, palate, etc.) to stimulate the nerves in the brain that help with swallowing.
The goal of this therapy is to improve swallowing skills to allow the patient to eat a normal diet again. DPNS trains the brain and increases the strength of the muscles and range of motion to help the patient swallow the way they did prior to their swallowing problems.
The effectiveness of DPNS varies from patient to patient. During therapy sessions, the therapist evaluates the patient’s response to the therapy and will determine if sessions should continue or not based on this progress.
Sometimes DPNS is conducted in conjunction with Vitalstim® therapy.