Musculoskeletal patterns in patients with voice disorders

J Voice. 2007 Jul;21(4):477-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2005.02.001. Epub 2006 Apr 19.


This study correlated the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and physiotherapy input on 26 patients who presented with voice problems and were found by the ENT surgeon to have a degree of musculoskeletal issues. It also looked for patterns of musculoskeletal findings. Although all patients referred were found by the physiotherapist to have musculoskeletal abnormalities, the correlation proved to be excellent among the subgroup of performers, but only fair-to-good among the other voice professionals. Certain patterns of musculoskeletal abnormalities were frequently encountered, including a high held larynx, a shortening or contraction of the stylohyoid and sternocleidomastoid muscles, and a weak deep flexor mechanism. In this small group, most patients seemed to improve, although it must be noted that management was not limited to physiotherapy. In summary, physiotherapy input proved helpful in the evaluation and management of this group of patients presenting with voice problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hoarseness / diagnosis
  • Hoarseness / physiopathology
  • Hoarseness / therapy
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Speech Therapy / methods*
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Voice Disorders / therapy
  • Voice Training