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Osteopathic approach to Reinke's edema



Reinke's edema is an irreversible chronic inflammatory disease of the vocal cords. This disease is a predilection for smokers, it mainly affects between 40 and 60 years of age and without significant difference between the two sexes, although other factors such as voice abuse and gastroesophageal reflux can also favor it.


As with other vocal pathologies, a timely laryngoscopy performed when it is realized that the vocal disorders persist over time, allows an early diagnosis.


Over time, nicotine determines the apposition of a nodular gelatinous collection on the vocal cord, precisely in the space between it and the mucosa. This phenomenon, in most cases bilateral, creates a coating and weighting of the vocal cords which causes the voice to become more hoarse over time due to the simultaneous vibration from the nodular formation and the cords during phonation and breathing. An accessory consequence of chordal heaviness is that to be able to reproduce the sounds that require chordal adduction, it becomes necessary to resort to accessory muscles, such as the muscles of the cervical tract and the cords with consequent hypotonic cord degeneration, and greater phonatory effort. Sometimes these gelatinous clusters become so large that they obstruct the airways.