One challenge in dysphagia rehabilitation is the complexity of swallowing itself. Swallowing involves a series of intricate muscle movements and coordination, and it can be challenging for individuals with dysphagia to gain optimal control. Principles of motor learning can greatly enhance dysphagia rehabilitation by providing a systematic framework for optimising the (re-) learning process and improving swallowing function.
In this episode we talk to Prof. Kristan Leech, who is a physiotherapist and expert in motor learning. Kristan explains the key principles of motor learning, how we can best implement them in our clinical practice and therefore support skill (re-) acquisition of our patients. Throughout, we discover many parallels between walking and swallowing.
Articles that we discuss and further helpful literature:
- Kitago & Krakauer (2013). Motor learning principles for neurorehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-52901-5.00008-3
- Leech et al. (2022). Updates in Motor Learning: Implications for Physical Therapist Practice and Education. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzab250 Open Access
- Maas et al. (2008). Principles of motor learning in treatment of motor speech disorders.https://doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360(2008/025)
- Schmidt & Lee (2005). Motor control and learning: A behavioral emphasis
- Zimmerman et al. (2020). Motor Learning, Neuroplasticity, and Strength and Skill Training: Moving From Compensation to Retraining in Behavioral Management of Dysphagia. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJSLP-19-00088