VitalStim Plus Electrotherapy and sEMG Biofeedback System

VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus
VitalStim Plus

Chattanooga®

VitalStim Plus Electrotherapy and sEMG Biofeedback System

Delivering optimized dysphagia patient outcomes through education and technology.

VitalStim provides dysphagia patients with the treatment they deserve and therapists with the support they need. Research shows that the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) relieves patients of the emotional, physical, and financial burdens of feeding tubes—allowing a return to normalcy. It also creates an opportunity for therapists to not only manage their patients’ difficulties, but also to overcome them.

To find a VitalStim sales representative, please contact us or call 800-506-1130

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  • Overview
  • Videos
  • Features & Benefits
  • Specifications
  • Resources
  • Documents
  • FAQs

The Power of Combined Therapy

The VitalStim® Therapy System is an adjunctive modality to traditional exercise that unites the power of electrical stimulation with the benefits of swallowing exercises. Combining VitalStim and traditional therapy allows clinicians to help accelerate strengthening, restore function, and help the brain remap the swallow. Research supports the combination of these therapies to improve treatment outcomes.

The use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in the treatment of dysphagia is one of the most researched dysphagia therapy interventions. VitalStim Therapy is supported by compelling clinical data published in the peer-reviewed literature.

Since its inception, VitalStim has been the leader in NMES dysphagia treatment. VitalStim was the first NMES device cleared by the FDA for use in dysphagia therapy and continues to provide leading technology with the VitalStim Plus. VitalStim Plus enhances therapy with surface EMG biofeedback technology. This allows therapists to customize treatment plans per patient needs and engages patients during therapy sessions. Another outstanding feature of the VitalStim brand is its top of the line certification process through Ciao Seminars. Ciao is the only accredited course of its kind, offering CEU’s and on-going support for therapists.

With over 27,000 providers in 40 countries, VitalStim continues to grow as the industry leader due to its superior products and support. Our mission is simple: optimized results. Our leading technology and education, along with continued customer support, turn your goals into realities.

Register to earn your VitalStim Specialty Certificate

The VitalStim Specialty Certificate program (formerly the VitalStim Therapy Certification program) is an accredited assessment-based certificate program that focuses on the competent and safe administration of the VitalStim Therapy protocol. The program is an intermediate level course offered independently from DJO Global by CIAO Seminars. This intermediate level course requires prior experience in the treatment of dysphagia. It consists of an online educational program followed by a 2-day onsite competency program. It reviews important clinical and anatomical considerations in the treatment of dysphagia as a foundation upon which to build competence in the use of VitalStim Therapy. The program educates the healthcare professional on the indications, contraindications, and the importance of electrode placement. A certificate is awarded by CIAO Seminars following successful completion of the program, after which participants may be listed on the VitalStim Registry of VitalStim Providers.

Professional regulatory bodies require healthcare providers to be able to show evidence of having received training in the safe and skilled use of any modality utilized in practice. Successfully completing the VitalStim Specialty Certificate program satisfies this requirement.

CIAO Seminars offers two types of VitalStim Specialty Certificate courses: Adult Focused and Pediatric Focused. (Providers will be qualified to treat both populations after attending either the adult focused or pediatric focused course).

For information on registration, fees, and course dates and locations, visit the CIAO website:

  • Click here for details about the Specialty Certificate Course - Adult Focus
  • Click here for details about the Specialty Certificate Course - Pediatric Focus
  • Click here for details about the VitalStim Certification – International Course

Contact CIAO Seminars ( www.ciaoseminars.com ) today to get started! 

Applicants for the course must satisfy the following entry requirements:

  • Have a majority of dysphagia patients on current caseload, a significant past caseload of dysphagia patients, or a demonstrated knowledge of dysphagia theory and treatment to be determined by CIAO via a clinical interview.  Sufficient experience is defined as having been solely responsible for the evaluation, treatment plan and discharge of a minimum of 50 dysphagic patients, and 3 years of at least a 25% dysphagia caseload.
  • Have the skill to evaluate and interpret the results of instrumental dysphagia evaluations and/or reports.
  • Should the applicant not meet the requirements above, a clinical interview with CIAO staff will determine whether there is a base knowledge that qualifies the applicant for entry.   CIAO can be contacted at 888.909.2426.
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VitalStim Plus - Introduction Video

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VitalStim Plus - Channels and Remote

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VitalStim Plus - VMS Mode

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VitalStim Plus - sEMG Biofeedback

VitalStim Treatment

The VitalStim waveform is delivered in Co-Contraction mode up to four separate channels deliver stimulation concurrently and pause at the same time.

VMS Treatment

You are in control! Customize your treatment protocol by adjusting the parameters of your choice, such as phase duration, frequency, and work and rest time. VMS treatment offers even more flexibility by allowing you to sequence the stimulation in the various channels to more closely match the natural swallowing sequence.

sEMG Treatment

Electrical signals in the muscle are measured and displayed on a screen and are amplified into sounds that patients can hear. This feedback increased patient effort and participation, and provides the data and documentation required to measure patient outcomes and quantify progress.

sEMG + Triggered Stim

The patient initiates the swallowing exercise with the assistance of sEMG biofeedback. When the set threshold is reached, VitalStim Plus will switch to stimulation mode to increase the effort and exercise load.

Patient Data

Treatment data on stimulation and sEMG can be stored, displayed or exported to a PC to track patient progress and generate reports.

Bluetooth Technology

Screen monitoring technology projects your live treatment onto a computer or tablet screen. This allows you to guide therapeutic exercise activities and increase patient engagement.

Education Videos

A complete education tool at your fingertips. VitalStim Plus includes videos that help demonstrate key therapeutic exercises, such as the Masako Exercise, the Mendelsohn Maneuver, the Supraglottic Maneuver, and various electrode placement options.

Anatomical Library

VitalStim Plus includes a dysphagia image library of anatomy, pathology, and therapeutic treatment options to assist in educating your patient.

Ordering Information

Download VitalStim Order Form

Part Number Description
25-8080 Vitalstim Plus Snap Lead Wires
5923-3 Vitalstim Plus Electrotherapy System

Standard Accessories

Part Number Description
13-8075 Vitalstim Plus Battery Door
13-8083 Vitalstim Plus Reference Emg Lead Wire
13-8085 Vitalstim Plus Hand Switch
13-8088 Vitalstim Plus Stand
13-8089 Vitalstim Plus Stylus
13-8090 Vitalstim Plus Rubber Sleeve

Optional Accessories

Part Number Description
13-8082 Vitalstim Plus Reference Emg Electrode
59000 Vitalstim Adult Electrodes, 12 Pack
59042 Vitalstim Adult Electrodes, 30 Pack
59043 Vitalstim Adult Electrodes, 50 Pack
59044 Vitalstim Adult Electrodes, 100 Pack

Clinician Resources

VitalStim is committed to supporting therapists in their treatment of dysphagia patients.   A multitude of clinical services and dysphagia resources are available free of charge to certified VitalStim® Therapy System providers.

Click here to access Clinician Resources

All Clinical Content to support VitalStim Providers has been moved to a new site administered by CIAO Seminars, the Continuing Education company administering all VitalStim education.

Visit: http://www.vitalstimregistry.com/resources.cfm or call 888-909-2426.

Software Download

VitalStim Plus PC Software

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is defined as difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of dysphagia can include coughing while swallowing or after swallowing, choking on food or liquid, the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat, pain during swallowing, shortness of breath during feeding and onset of pneumonia.

What is the VitalStim® Therapy System?

A therapeutic intervention for the management of dysphagia and difficulty swallowing. The VitalStim® Therapy System uses small electrical currents to stimulate the muscles responsible for swallowing. At the same time, trained specialists help patients "re-educate" their muscles through rehabilitation therapy.

How does it work?

A small, carefully calibrated current is delivered to the motor nerves of the patient's throat through specially designed electrodes causing the muscles responsible for swallowing to contract. At the same time, a dysphagia specialist guides the patient through active swallowing therapy to re-educate normal swallow function.

How is VitalStim different from conventional swallowing therapy?

Conventional therapy for dysphagia typically employs both compensatory strategy techniques (diet changes, head positioning or modifying bolus size) and specific techniques aimed at improving the coordination and strength of the swallowing muscles (thermal stimulation, biofeedback, mendelssohn maneuver or supraglottic swallow). The VitalStim® Therapy System is the use of electrical stimulation for activation of muscles. Research shows that the combination of electrical stimulation and traditional treatment techniques is very effective at restoring swallowing function.

How long is a treatment session?

Treatment sessions usually last an hour.

How many sessions of VitalStim treatment before my swallowing improves?

This depends a lot on the underlying medical problem causing the dysphagia. In many patients, improvement in the swallowing function starts almost immediately. Patients often see good results in 6 to 20 treatment sessions.Your therapist can give you more information about how long your therapy with VitalStim might take.

Does this work with all forms of dysphagia?

One of the most common forms of dysphagia is oropharyngeal dysphagia which affects stroke survivors, patients with progressive neuromuscular disorders, head and neck cancer survivors and the elderly.

Does VitalStim hurt?

No. The VitalStim® Therapy System is a non-invasive, painless treatment.

Who can receive VitalStim?

VitalStim is effective for both sexes and all ages.

Who cannot receive VitalStim?

The VitalStim® Therapy System should not be used directly over an active neoplasm or infection. It should be used with caution in patients with seizure disorders and patients with implanted electronics (e.g., pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, deep brain stimulators). Some patients may not respond well to VitalStim. This may include patients with significant lower motor neuron damage and patients with severely impaired cognition. A certified VitalStim clinician can give you more information about candidacy for this treatment.

What about patients with pacemakers?

Caution should be used with patients who have cardiac demand pacemakers.

What are the side effects of VitalStim?

The only problematic issue found during the study was the occasional occurrence of skin irritation as a result of the adhesive used to secure the stimulation electrode to the anterior portion of the neck.

What medical specialists provide VitalStim?

Medical specialists that commonly specialize in swallowing disorders include Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists.

Does insurance cover VitalStim?

Medicare recognizes and provides reimbursement for the treatment of swallowing dysfunction provided the treatment is medically necessary and delivered by a qualified professional.

Where can I find a facility that offers VitalStim?

Click on this link http://www.vitalstimregistry.com/home.cfm. Type in your zip code and a list of current VitalStim providers will appear.