Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mystery Voice Pain / Tightness

I am a 22-year-old female who has never had any voice problems till 8 months ago, when I did an hour of singing a day for a week. I had to stop singing because of pain and tightness in my throat/voicebox. Since then, the pain/tightness hasn't totally gone away. Now even talking hurts. It feels like my throat is raw. The ENT says my throat looks healthy and the speech therapist says my voice sounds normal and I don't have any major bad habits. I have tried total voice rest for 5 days twice, cut out singing, yelling, throat clearing, etc., and reduced my amount of talking. But still the problem lingers on, becoming, if anything, worse. What else can I do? What could be wrong? Will I ever be able to talk and sing again without pain?

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies... 
It is unclear from your email whether or not your speech pathologist prescribed an exercise regimen to address the muscular tension and pain you feel, rather than just addressing the sound of the voice. If not, a second opinion might be helpful. Adjuvant therapies might also be helpful, namely, physical therapy to address upper torso and neck tension, and/ or myofascial release, a technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the connective tissue to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Good luck!

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