Effortful pitch glide: A potential new exercise evaluated by dynamic MRI

Keri Vasquez Miloro, William G. Pearson, Susan E. Langmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the biomechanics of the effortful pitch glide (EPG) with swallowing using dynamic MRI. The EPG is a combination of a pitch glide and a pharyngeal squeeze maneuver for targeting laryngeal and pharyngeal muscles. The authors hypothesized that the EPG would elicit significantly greater structural excursions of anterior hyoid, superior hyoid, hyolaryngeal approximation, laryngeal elevation, and lateral pharyngeal wall medialization compared with swallowing. Method: Eleven healthy, young subjects with a mean age of 25 were recruited. The EPG was first taught and verified via laryngoscopy. Then 2-planar (coronal and sagittal) dynamic MRI acquisitions captured 10 repeated swallows and 3 EPGs. Kinematic analyses of minimum and maximum excursion of anatomical landmarks were calculated. Results: Results showed a nonsignificant difference between the 2 tasks for range of excursion with all measured biomechanics except for superior hyoid, where the swallow showed significantly greater excursion. This indicated that swallowing and EPG biomechanics were comparable, lending support for the potential use of the EPG as another nonswallowing exercise. Conclusion: Findings suggest EPG may be an effective exercise to target several important swallowing muscles, especially the long pharyngeal muscles that elevate the larynx and shorten the pharynx in swallowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1250
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic MRI
  • Exercise
  • Pharyngeal squeeze maneuver
  • Pitch glide
  • Swallow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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