Vocal physiotherapy encompasses the vocal physiotherapy treatment of myofascial, muscular and cartilaginous structures of the larynx and the surrounding perilaryngeal region to produce efficient vocal fold vibration and voice production. Vocal physiotherapy endeavours to act as a neuromuscular cycle breaker to enhance the performance voice and to alleviate the pathological voice. It assists voice users to break their ‘maladaptive voice cycle’ and retrain their voice and body with neuromuscular re-education to achieve the most efficient voice production possible.
In simplistic terms, our voice is produced not only by the vibration of the vocal folds but also by the complex coordination of our breath, muscle tone and recruitment and posture. Commonly known as the “Power – Source – Filter” model. The Power-Source-Filter model in conjunction with the anatomy of the larynx displays the inter-relationship and dependency of the voice on the rest of the body. Therefore, vocal physiotherapy not only assesses and treats the local laryngeal and perilaryngeal region but also assesses voice production holistically.
Treatment and assessment is individualised to reflect the individuality of voice production and each person’s individual vocal demands and goals.
Your assessment and treatment may include the following areas:
Posture (head, neck, lumbopelvic
TMJ (Temporomandibular joint commonly known as the jaw
Breathing patterns (deep abdominal musculature
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Vocal physiotherapy is for all voice users both professional and amateur and those with vocal issues. Most commonly, Vocal Physiotherapy is beneficial for singers, actors, people experiencing voice quality issues, increased effort with vocalisation, pain with vocalisation, tongue tension and throat pain of a muscular origin.
Professional voice users (anyone who uses their voice for work such as teachers, barristers, radio announcers. singers (classical, pop, contemporary or musical theatre performers) often report an effortful voice that may fatigue with the nature of their profession. This group often present to Performance Medicine for a “tune up” to maintain their laryngeal mobility and tissue health.
Treatment is regularly in conjunction with their vocal coach, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) or voice therapist. Those who have been diagnosed with a voice issue, such as dysphonia, by their ENT specialist or speech pathologist are often referred to us for vocal physiotherapy.
Treatment will have a team approach with their physiotherapist working together with the referring ENT or speech pathologist.