Yoon W.L., Khoo JKP, Liow SJR. Chin Tuck Against Resistance (CTAR): New Method for Enhancing Suprahyoid Muscle Activity Using a Shaker-Type Exercise. Dysphagia (2014) 29: 243-248.
I was beyond excited to pick up my newest edition of the Dysphagia journal. I’ve never said I wasn’t a nerd. There was an article in the journal about chin tuck against resistance. I’ve always used what I call Modified Shaker exercises. My patients are generally elderly. Most have heart conditions or COPD. They are unable to do the Shaker as it was intended.
Most of my patients either use the Neckline Slimmer (available on Amazon) which offers 3 different levels of resistance through springs. They complete exercises exactly as if they were completing the Shaker, but don’t have to lie on the floor and struggle to get up.
This article looked at using Chin Tuck Against Resistance (what I would call a Modified Shaker) to improve activation of the suprahyoids.
Look at patients with dysphagia from Pharyngoesophageal Segment (PES) dysfunction, we look at strengthening the suprahyoid muscles. These muscles assist in hyolaryngeal excursion and therefore play a part in esophageal opening.
CTAR vs Shaker: Both have a component of isometric versus isokinetic. The isometric portion fo the Shaker is holding the head up for 1 minute with a minute rest x 3 repetitions. The difference is, with CTAR, the patient is holding a 12 cm inflatable rubber ball and performing a chin tuck against it while seated. The Shaker the patient is lying flat on the floor and lifting their head only as if they were looking at their toes.
The isokinetic portion is 30 repetitions of up and down head movement 3 times.
This study used 40 healthy individuals (20 male, 20 female) 21-39 years of age. All participants completed the Shaker and CTAR both isometric and isokinetic as indicated above. Data was collected over one session.
What the researchers found:
CTAR: The Chin Tuck Against Resistance was less strenuous than the traditional Shaker, with increased sEMG values during isometric and isokinetic movement. There was a significant increase for the isometric portion of the exercise. These patient had greater muscle activation using the rubber ball and a chin tuck!
Effort was required for the chin tuck, but not for the release. The authors felt is might benefit to have the patient release compression of the ball slowly.
There was greater muscle activation for the isokinetic movement than for the isometric movement during the traditional Shaker. The Shaker also yielded considerable greater effort to lower the head to the mat.
“Clinical trials are now needed, but the CTAR exercises appear effective in exercising the suprahyoid muscles and could achieve therapeutic effects comparable to those of Shaker exercises, with the potential for greater compliance by patients.”
Overall, CTAR was an effective in exercising suprahyoid muscles in healthy participants.
This looks promising in giving us an alternative for our patients for the Shaker exercise!!