“Will using POWERbreathe IMT help with COVID-19?”, is a question many of you are asking.

A little history first

POWERbreathe International Limited have a team working on creating solutions that ultimately help to improve everyone’s breathing, worldwide. POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) is one such solution, for improving breathing muscle strength, stamina and reducing breathing fatigue.

Its creation is the result of work by leading UK sports scientists. In the 1990s they began to recognise that breathing not only presents a limitation to athletes, but also impacts on the exercise tolerance in patients with respiratory illness and healthy people. Following this revelation, the group undertook pioneering research, resulting in positive outcomes and the initial product design. Now, POWERbreathe IMT is in its 30th year of development, helping everyone who breathes.

Will using POWERbreathe IMT help with COVID-19?

As a company, we are not medically qualified personnel and cannot give medical advice. We also advise that if you do have a medical condition you should always consult your Doctor. Also, COVID-19 is a new coronavirus, so there are no studies at this moment in time. However, we can explain how POWERbreathe IMT works.

Breathing and the respiratory muscles

The majority of the population do not breathe correctly. We have respiratory muscles that are only capable of meeting the current demands we place upon them. Not breathing correctly may be due to a sedentary lifestyle, medical condition or even the type of work we do. Even slumping over a laptop restricts our breathing and we become lazy, breathing from our chest in a shallow manner.

When we push our respiratory muscles beyond their current limitations, these muscles will fatigue and we experience this as breathlessness. This may happen for example when running for a bus or walking up steep stairs. The same thing happens if a person is short of breath due to asthma, COPD or other breathing related problems.

How POWERbreathe IMT works

With thirty years of scientific research and development behind it, the efficacy of POWERbreathe IMT is proven. Findings in both sports and medical studies show that it improves the strength of the respiratory muscles. As a result, breathing stamina improves and breathing fatigue reduces.

POWERbreathe IMT trains the inspiratory muscles that inflate the lungs.

POWERbreathe IMT – pre-op, post-op, ICU

Patients are using the most advanced, intelligent, electronic POWERbreathe K-Series preoperatively to improve post-operative outcomes. As a result, this is reducing atelectasis, time in ICU and pneumonia. Also, a large multi-centre, preoperative study in the NHS is using the POWERbreathe K-Series in its Inspire Study.

If these patients are being asked to increase their respiratory fitness prior to major surgery, then it seems logical to increase our own respiratory fitness now. By doing so, this precautionary measure improves our “buffer” should we become unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19; but there are no guarantees.

IMT in World Physiotherapy Guidelines

In the recently issued World Confederation for Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19 in the Acute Hospital Setting: Recommendations to guide clinical practice, Inspiratory Muscle Training is recommended as part of the weaning process.

This unexpected period of lockdown provides the ideal opportunity for getting as fit and healthy as possible. This includes regular exercise, impeccable hygiene and good nutrition. Also essential is to improve the ‘fitness’ i.e. the strength and stamina of our inspiratory muscles with POWERbreathe IMT.