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Waddell, KR. (2005) 'Chiropractic care for a patient with spasmodic dysphonia associated with cervical spine trauma', J Chiropr Med.2005 Winter;4(1):19-24.

J Chiropr Med.2005 Winter;4(1):19-24.

Chiropractic care for a patient with spasmodic dysphonia associated with cervical spine trauma

R K Waddell


Objective: To discuss the diagnosis and response to treatment of spasmodic dysphonia in a 25-year-old female vocalist following an auto accident. Clinical features: The voice disorder and neck pain appeared after the traumatic incident. Examination of the cervical spine revealed moderate pain, muscle spasm and restricted joint motion at C-1 and C-5 on the left side. Cervical range of motion was reduced on left rotation. Bilateral manual muscle testing of the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles, which share innervation with the laryngeal muscles by way of the spinal accessory nerve, were weak on the left side. Pre and post accident voice range profiles (phonetograms) that measure singing voice quality were examined. The pre- and post-accident phonetograms revealed significant reduction in voice intensity and fundamental frequency as measured in decibels and hertz. Intervention and outcome: Low-force chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy to C-1 and C-5 was employed. Following a course of care, the patient's singing voice returned to normal, as well as a resolution of her musculo- skeletal complaints. Conclusion: It appears that in certain cases, the singing voice can be adversely affected if neck or head trauma is severe enough. This case proposes that trauma with irritation to the cervical spine nerve roots as they communicate with the spinal accessory, and in turn the laryngeal nerves, may be contributory in some functional voice disorders or muscle tension dysphonia.

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