Diaphragm paralysis and the role for IMT

This presentation took place at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s National Congress (June 18-20) where physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants met up to learn and discuss scientific advances and professional issues and dialogue about challenges and achievements, with colleagues from across the country.

P018: Diaphragm Paralysis – it is Not Always Permanent. The Role for Inspiratory Muscle Training

Judy L. Kay, BScPT, Clinical Specialist, Cardiorespiratory Eastern Health, St. John’s, NL

Diaphragm paralysis associated with phrenic nerve injury can leave patients with an impairment in their breathing, ranging from mild shortness of breath to severe dyspnoea, depending on their circumstances, and it may be temporary or permanent. When the diaphragm becomes impaired, activation in other muscles increases to make up for the loss, yet when phrenic nerve function recovers, diaphragm recruitment doesn’t necessarily automatically dominate again and requires activation. Targeted, progressive diaphragm muscle training can be prescribed effectively for a cross section of patients.

The intention of this presentation was to:

1. Identify the range of causes of diaphragm paralysis.
2. Complete a physiotherapy specific assessment of diaphragm function.
3. Prescribe an inspiratory muscle training program that can be completed in either an in or outpatient setting.

“IMT is a very important adjunct to the overall management of patients with diaphragm dysfunction in a variety of contexts.”

You can read the presentation here in this extract taken from ‘Abstracts Scientific papers, education sessions to be presented at the June 18–20, 2015 Halifax, Nova Scotia’

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