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Lindsey Hines, a speech language pathologist at Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness, a multispecialty rehabilitation practice is now offering specialized dysphagia therapy. 
Hines recently joined the Kinetic staff in August, after moving from the Greensboro area. With her, she brings almost 10 years of experience working with infants, children, and adults in outpatient, hospital, and nursing home settings. She received her bachelors’ and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, and is currently working towards her PhD in Speech Language Pathology.   
One of her specialty areas has been in the treatment of swallowing disorders, or dysphagia. Dysphagia can affect as many as 1 in 17 people during their lifetime, and is one of the most common problems affecting the elderly. Hines is a certified VitalStim provider, a relatively new technology to assist patients who have trouble swallowing. That can include patients who have had a stroke, head and neck cancer treatment, traumatic head or neck trauma. VitalStim is a non-invasive therapy, in which electrodes are placed on the throat or face to stimulate muscle contractions, stimulating inactive or weakened swallowing muscles.  This is used in conjunction with traditional therapeutic approaches to improve a patient’s ability to eat and drink. VitalStim requires special certification, with continued training to maintain certification.
 
Says Hines, “I have seen many people go from not eating or drinking anything to being able to go out to eat with their families and friends.”  Problems in swallowing can often result in social isolation, unplanned weight loss, and other associated health risks.   Untreated, dysphagia can result the need for alternative means for nutrition, recurrent or unresolved pneumonia, and the possibility of fatalities.  Since achieving FDA approval in 2002, people have experienced improved quality of life as a result of the outstanding outcomes of VitalStim.
 
Hines is now accepting referrals in the outpatient clinic at Kinetic Physical Therapy and Wellness.