Influence of IMT in morbidly obese individuals: a pilot study

This new research article has just been released by Disability and Rehabilitation – An international, multidisciplinary journal.

Research Article

The influence of inspiratory muscle training on diaphragmatic mobility, pulmonary function and maximum respiratory pressures in morbidly obese individuals: a pilot study


Purpose: To investigate whether 12 week inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has any impact on pulmonary function, maximum respiratory pressures and diaphragmatic mobility (DM) in morbidly obese subjects.

Method: Thirty-one morbidly obese individuals were assessed. Volunteers were randomised into two groups. The IMT group (n = 16) followed an IMT protocol for 12 weeks, with a training load of 30% of maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax). The control group (CG) (n = 15) followed the same protocol but without inspiratory load.

Results: A total of 14 subjects performed IMT for 12 weeks. Significant increases in PImax (−86.86 ± −20.70 cmH2O versus −106.43 ± −32.97 cmH2O, p < 0.05) and maximal voluntary ventilation (97.84 ± 37.06 L/min versus 115.17 ± 34.17 L/min, p < 0.05) were observed in the IMT group when compared to baseline. However, only FIV1 significantly differed between the IMT group and the CG after the 12 week protocol (3.35 ± 0.96 L versus 2.22 ± 1.07 L, respectively; p < 0.05). No significant differences were found in DM after the IMT protocol was performed.

Conclusion: IMT improved PImax and altered the FIV1. These results suggest that the improvements in muscular respiratory efficiency were insufficient to mobilise the diaphragm and modify ventilation mechanics. Pre-operative IMT may be a valuable approach in obese patients for preventing post-operative pulmonary complications. — NCT01449643 — The Influence of IMT on Diaphragmatic Mobility in Morbidly Obese.Implications for Rehabilitation Morbid Obesity

Implications for Rehabilitation

  • Morbid obesity is a disabling condition that has a serious negative impact on lung function, respiratory muscle function and quality of life.
  • Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) is a technique which aims to improve pulmonary expansion and to prevent post surgery complications on morbid obese individuals.
  • This study shows significantly increased on maximal inspiratory pressure, maximal voluntary ventilation and promoted changes on spirometric variables after IMT.

Links to IMT clinical trials and medical research can be found listed in The Research tab on the POWERbreathe for medical conditions page.


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