Because COVID-19 is a new infection, long-term research has yet to be conducted. However, this article highlights a link between inspiratory muscle performance and COVID-19.

The Risk Reduction Model in the article suggests home-based respiratory muscle training (RMT), such as POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), could be prescribed to patients with impaired respiratory performance. RMT is shown to be effective early on and therefore might help to prevent disease in at-risk patients if IMT is used at the outbreak of a viral pandemic.

This clinical trial into rehabilitation for people with COVID in ICU, sees participants starting respiratory training, including ‘cautious inspiratory muscle training’, immediately.

Recovery From COVID

As many COVID patients suffer with breathing problems, possibly leading to a stay in ICU and on a ventilator, existing research is being drawn upon to prevent at-risk patients becoming susceptible in the first place. It suggests that RMT could help to speed up recovery and consequently discharge home.

In fact, ‘Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19’ in the Acute Hospital Setting recommends the use of IMT as part of the weaning process. Also IMT may represent an important home-based COVID-19 rehabilitation strategy. And this 2023 study shows that inspiratory muscle training may be an important adjunct after COVID-19.

Long COVID Recovery

Although patients recovering from COVID are likely to experience extreme respiratory muscle weakness, this low baseline means that they are also likely to receive the greatest benefit from respiratory muscle training (RMT), such as with POWERbreathe IMT.

In 2024 new research finds that using the POWERbreathe Plus device, combined with aerobic exercise and sensory training for smell and taste, can help treat breathing and neurological problems in patients who have experienced these issues due to COVID-19.

Furthermore, another 2024 study investigated the impact of IMT on diaphragm and inspiratory muscle weakness and exertional dyspnea in individuals with long COVID, finding that, compared to sham treatment, IMT made the diaphragm and breathing muscles work better, reduced how quickly these muscles got tired, increased voluntary control of the diaphragm, and eased shortness of breath. These benefits lasted for 6 weeks after finishing the IMT.

Figure showing the incidence of new-onset hypertension post COVID-19: Comparison with Influenza

High Blood Pressure

A 2023 study found that there were more incidents of new-onset high blood pressure in COVID-19 patients than there were with flu. They therefore considered this to become a likely major health burden.

A study at the University of Colorado found that performing Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) with the drug-free POWERbreathe K3 can be as effective as medicine in lowering high blood pressure.

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