Poorly regulated paralaryngeal tension contributes to a host of voice problems and underlies a class of disorders referred to as hyperfunctional or musculoskeletal tension voice disorders. Although paralaryngeal tension typically implicates the extrinsic and intrinsic laryngeal muscles, this tension may extend to include the jaw, tongue, pharyngeal constrictors, and the muscles of the neck and upper back. The putative effect of such tightness is foreshortening and stiffening of muscles that restrict movements of structures related to voice production. Although the precise origin of abnormal paralaryngeal muscle activity is not well understood, most voice clinicians agree that (a) chronic tightness of the larynx can lead to cramping and stiffness of the hyolaryngeal musculature and voice mutation, (b) recognizing the adverse effects of such tension is an ...

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