With Registered Osteopaths
Nikki Moss and Lyndsay Mudford
Actors – Singers – Teachers – Public Speakers – Post-Operative Throat Surgery – Radiotherapy – Stroke Sufferers
Hoarseness – huskiness – croakiness – breathiness – loss of voice – loss of vocal stamina – loss of volume – loss of pitch range – throat pain or soreness – ‘lump in throat’ – effort to swallow
These problems can be caused by muscle tension in the vocal tract. This happens when you overuse your voice or develop faulty speaking or singing habits.
Sometimes the muscle tension occurs because there is something wrong in the vocal tract affecting voice production and you unwittingly work harder when you speak or sing to make your voice sound normal.
An example of this is nodules forming on the vocal cords. These prevent the vocal folds fully closing so air escapes giving rise to a breathy, husky quality.
Poor posture with a ‘forward head’ and hunched shoulders affects the position of your neck and can contribute to vocal problems.
Take a case history from you and examine you thoroughly – your standing and sitting postures, your whole vocal tract and and how you breathe.
Identify areas that are painful, tight and restricted, and stretch and release them using various hands-on techniques. (At the end of a treatment, patients often comment that their voice sounds fuller and more resonant.)
Draw your attention to any faults in your posture and breathing habits and help you correct them.
If we suspect there is an underlying pathology we will recommend you see a laryngologist who specialises in the voice and will examine the inside of your vocal tract.
The larynx – Adam’s apple – the epicentre of the vocal tract, is suspended from the hyoid bone which sits just below the jaw and is itself suspended by various muscles and ligaments. This arrangement is designed so these structures can move freely, allowing the voice to have full resonance and a full scope of pitch, volume and expression.
If any of the controlling muscles become tight, these structures can no longer move freely and thus voice quality is adversely affected.