Is the sagittal postural alignment different in normal and dysphonic adult speakers?

Research paper by Débora D Franco, Fernando F Martins, Mário M Andrea, Isabel I Fragoso, Luís L Carrão, Júlia J Teles

Indexed on: 20 May '14Published on: 20 May '14Published in: Journal of Voice


Clinical research in the field of voice disorders, in particular functional dysphonia, has suggested abnormal laryngeal posture due to muscle adaptive changes, although specific evidence regarding body posture has been lacking. The aim of our study was to verify if there were significant differences in sagittal spine alignment between normal (41 subjects) and dysphonic speakers (33 subjects).Cross-sectional study.Seventy-four adults, 35 males and 39 females, were submitted to sagittal plane photographs so that spine alignment could be analyzed through the Digimizer-MedCalc Software Ltd program. Perceptual and acoustic evaluation and nasoendoscopy were used for dysphonic judgments: normal and dysphonic speakers.For thoracic length curvature (TL) and for the kyphosis index (KI), a significant effect of dysphonia was observed with mean TL and KI significantly higher for the dysphonic speakers than for the normal speakers. Concerning the TL variable, a significant effect of sex was found, in which the mean of the TL was higher for males than females. The interaction between dysphonia and sex did not have a significant effect on TL and KI variables. For the lumbar length curvature variable, a significant main effect of sex was demonstrated; there was no significant main effect of dysphonia or significant sex×dysphonia interaction.Findings indicated significant differences in some sagittal spine posture measures between normal and dysphonic speakers. Postural measures can add useful information to voice assessment protocols and should be taken into account when considering particular treatment strategies.