Osteopathy and the voice

I had a very interesting consultation a couple of weeks ago. A lady approached me, not knowing if I could help, and feeling a little desperate. She was having trouble with her voice. It was croaky, it was weak and both of these irritations were fairly new to her.

Her doctor had been very thorough and she several hospital appointments, including a scan , but to no avail We can be very grateful of the wonderful NHS for providing full health-checks to patients for all-round reassurance. However, no-one could explain her voice problems. I was feeling a little apprehensive that I would be able to help either.

On examination of her head, neck and upper back there was little to note. Her hyoid bone was however was very different. It wasn’t sore, it wasn’t injured.

The hyoid bone is a little horse-shoe shaped bone at the front of the upper throat. It doesn’t have boney joints but is held in place by muscles and ligaments. It is important to breathing swallowing and speech.

The position of the hyoid bone was very uneven, perhaps influences the tension on the larynx, leading to the vocal changes On discussing these findings with the patient we decided it might be worth trying to alleviate the tensions and see if it would help.

Happily her voice was greatly improved after treatment and I can add this to the experience list! It’s amazing what osteopathy can achieve – it just requires a little listening to the patient and a little attention to the relevant tissues. Throughout the body mechanics strongly influence health and function.