Effect Of Exercises On Swallowing And Neck Dysfunction Post Radiotherapy/Chemotherapy In Head And Neck Cancer Patients

Research Article
Paramjot Kaur, Jaineet Sachdeva, Aman Pannu and Sandeep Singh
Head and Neck Cancer, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Neck Disability Scale, Gugging swallowing scree

Background: Head and neck patients experience treatment-related complications that may interfere with health related quality of life. Cancers of head and neck include malignant tumors of the buccal cavity, larynx, pharynx, thyroid, salivary glands, and nose/nasal passages. Swallowing and neck disability, impaired neck movements, and, eating, or swallowing contribute to decrements in functional status of an individual. Materials and Methods: The purpose of this study was to study the effect of swallowing and neck exercises on 40 outpatients after a course of radiotherapy (RT) /chemo-radiotherapy (CXRT) for cancers of Head and Neck. Data was collected in follow up cases from 0 week to 3 week, 3 week to 6 week post RT/CXRT patients using GUSS (Gugging Swallowing Screen), NDI (Neck Disability Index).In this for swallowing home exercise of tongue are taught to the patients and for neck disability isometrics of neck and neck range of motion exercises are taught to patients. Results and Conclusion: The mean age of the patients was 58 ± 14 years, in which 35 (85%) were males. The mean NDI score decreased significantly over the next 6 weeks while mean GUSS scores increased significantly over the same time period suggesting improvement in both neck and swallowing dysfunction with our intervention. Significant effect of exercises was seen with NDI scale, wilks Lambda = .578, F (2, 38) = 13.89, p = <0.0001. Similarly, significant effect of exercises was seen with GUSS scale, wilks Lambda = .212, F (2, 38) = 70.83, p = <0.0001. To conclude, the physical therapy plays an essential role in restoring function of the neck and swallowing in patients treated with chemo radiotherapy.