POWERbreathe Medic helps patients with breathing problems AND saves NHS money and resources

Health bosses announced back in October 2014 that the NHS in England needed extra money and an overhaul to services in order for patient care not to suffer.

When it comes to respiratory care the NHS could save both money and resources if they prescribed POWERbreathe Medic Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) for patients with medical conditions such as COPD, Heart Failure, Asthma, Thoracic Surgery, Ventilator Weaning, Cystic Fibrosis and Neuromuscular Disease.

In a 2005 study of the benefits of a 12-month programme of POWERbreathe RMT, researchers observed significant reductions in the use of healthcare resources.1

POWERbreathe RMT for COPD

Accordingly to Professor Peter Calverley (Lung Report III. British Lung Foundation), in the average PCT serving 250,000 people, there would be 14,200 GP consultations per year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 9,600 inpatient bed days. Reducing length of hospital stay is an NHS productivity indicator.

POWERbreathe reduced hospital bed days by 29% and GP consultations by 23% compared with placebo (see table above).

POWERbreathe RMT for Asthma

In another study, Weiner et al2 observed an 86% reduction in hospitalisations/emergency room visits following respiratory muscle training in moderate/severe asthmatics (from 1.4 to 0.2 per 3 months per patient).

And in three separate studies, Weiner et al. observed an average 51% reduction in β2-agonist consumption (from 3.9 to 1.6 puffs per day)2,3,4 after respiratory muscle training, and in one study3, corticosteroid use decreased ~80%.

How POWERbreathe Medic could save NHS money & resources

In 2005 when this study was conducted, the total potential annual savings derived from POWERbreathe Medic prescription per average PCT due to reduced hospital bed days and medication consumption (not including savings due to reduction in GP consultations) were substantial.

The POWERbreathe Medic offers an evidence-based, drug-free treatment for patients with medical conditions such as COPD, Heart Failure, Asthma, Thoracic Surgery, Ventilator Weaning, Cystic Fibrosis and Neuromuscular Disease. It is the only Inspiratory Muscle Training device for RMT available for prescription that has been used in research into the benefits of IMT for a variety of medical conditions and prescribed by medical professionals as either a standalone intervention or as part of a rehabilitation programme.

For respiratory care professionals there is a POWERbreathe Medic Try-Before-You-Prescribe demonstration kit; an educational tool designed to help healthcare professionals and patients understand and experience the effect POWERbreathe Medic has on the respiratory muscles.

Since the approval of the POWERbreathe Medic for prescription in 2006, POWERbreathe has introduced the revolutionary, electronic POWERbreathe KH1, intended for use by healthcare professionals for respiratory muscle training and assessment in patients with dyspnoea, including patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injury.

The POWERbreathe KH1 is also suitable for use with disposable TrySafe filters and can be used bedside, on the ward, as part of a pulmonary program, or for single patient use at home under medical supervision.

Launched after the POWERbreathe Medic, following the latest technological advances in research and design, is the next generation POWERbreathe Medic: the POWERbreathe Medic Plus for patients to use at home, straight out of the box, with improved airflow dynamics and a more comfortable user experience. And for healthcare professionals (and their patients), is the new POWERbreathe KH2 with Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software.


  1. Beckerman M, Magadle R, Weiner M, Weiner P. The effects of 1 year of specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with COPD. Chest. 2005 Nov;128(5):3177-82.
  2. Weiner P, Azgad Y, Ganam R, Weiner M. Inspiratory muscle training in patients with bronchial asthma. Chest. 1992;102(5):1357-61.
  3. Weiner P, Berar-Yanay N, Davidovich A, Magadle R, Weiner M. Specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with mild asthma with high consumption of inhaled beta(2)-agonists. Chest. 2000;117(3):722-7.
  4. Weiner P, Magadle R, Massarwa F, Beckerman M, Berar-Yanay N. Influence of gender and inspiratory muscle training on the perception of dyspnea in patients with asthma. Chest. 2002;122(1):197-201.

Lack of asthma testing could risk careers of young footballers

The nature of an athlete means that they will always push their body to the limit, with breathing demand increasing as a result.

Dr Kippelen, Senior Lecturer (Exercise Physiology) of Brunel University London suggests that youth football players could be jeopardising their health and sporting potential because they aren’t getting tested for asthma early enough in their career.

Professional senior footballers and Team GB athletes are tested for asthma, so Dr Kippelen is asking why not the same for younger players.

Most activity during a football match is sub-maximal, but intermittent sprints are supra-maximal. This pattern of exertion places extreme demands upon a footballer’s breathing because these activities are anaerobic and generate high levels of lactic acid. Lactic acid stimulates breathing to increase as part of a compensatory strategy to overt fatigue of other muscles, such as the legs, which inevitably will impair performance.

POWERbreathe IMT (Inspiratory Muscle Training) would be a useful addition to youth football training as not only will it help to alleviate the demand and stress on their lungs by improving the strength and stamina of their breathing muscles, but also because it’s drug-free it can be used by people with asthma, and in studies IMT improved symptoms of asthma by up to 75% in 3 weeks.

Read article, Lack of asthma testing could risk the careers of young footballers


Reliability of K-Series for Assessing Pulmonary Function in Post-Stroke Patients


Reliability of an Electronic Inspiratory Loading Device for Assessing Pulmonary Function in Post-Stroke Patients

Kyeong-Bong Lee, Min-Kyu Kim, Ju-Ri Jeong, Wan-Hee Lee

This recently published clinical research undertaken at the Graduate School of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, was to examine the inter- and intra-rater reliability of an electronic inspiratory loading device for the assessment of pulmonary functions: maximum inspiratory pressure, peak inspiratory flow, and vital capacity.

Maximum inspiratory pressure, peak inspiratory flow, and vital capacity for pulmonary functions were assessed using an electronic inspiratory loading device – the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback software.


After assessment the researchers concluded, “The intra- and inter-examiner reliability of the pulmonary function measurements, maximum inspiratory pressure, peak inspiratory flow, and vital capacity, for the post-stroke patients was very high. The results suggest that the electronic inspiratory loading device would be useful for clinical rehabilitative assessment of pulmonary function.”

Read the full research paper, Reliability of an Electronic Inspiratory Loading Device for Assessing Pulmonary Function in Post-Stroke Patients

Breathing Pattern Disorder Course, Bangalore

RECOUP Hospital in Bangalore have conducted a post-graduate course for Rehabilitation and Pain Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists entitled ”The Palette of Breath” – Breath Support for movement, function, performance and expression in health and disease.

The course focused on evaluation and treatment of breathing pattern disorders (BPD, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal dysfunction and hyperventilation syndrome), as well as secondary lung dysfunction (Stroke, Spinal Cord Injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, LMN disorders (Myasthenia Gravis, ALS), Spine surgeriesa and Arthroplasties).

As part of the course, respiratory muscle function evaluation and treatment were addressed. Supporting this part of the course Uri and colleagues from POWERbreathe Israel along with Mr Sanil Simon and colleagues from POWERbreathe India organised and conducted a POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training workshop, as can be seen in the photos.

Ms. Irena Paiuk, MscPT, BPT, Cert., expert in respiratory and breathing dysfunction disorders at Asaf Harofe MC, TAU, said of the POWERbreathe workshop,

“I would like to thank POWERbreathe representatives in Israel and in Bangalore for their kind support in organizing and conducting a workshop in RECOUP Hospital, Bangalore, this summer… This kind of collaboration is very helpful to health professionals! Thanks POWERbreathe.”

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: Review and New Hypotheses


Failed back surgery syndrome: review and new hypotheses
Bruno Bordoni, Fabiola Marelli

Dove Medical Press published this Open Access Full Text Article from the Journal of Pain Research about Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS), asking if diaphragm dysfunction plays a bigger part in persistent chronic lower back pain than previously thought.

The commentary says that the dysfunction of the diaphragm muscle is not even considered when trying to understand the causes that lead to FBSS i.e. texts in literature do not mention the subject.

In conclusion:

The commentary concludes saying “the diaphragm itself could be a source of pain, due to the change of its proprioceptors or irritation of the phrenic nerve and the vagus nerve. If scientific research were to prove that the diaphragm muscle plays an important role in FBSS, the therapeutic approach might provide an additional step toward improving the clinical condition and quality of life in this patient population.”

Read the full Commentary in pdf here >

Respiratory Muscle Training and Cognitive Function Exercising at Altitude


Respiratory Muscle Training and Cognitive Function Exercising at Altitude
Quackenbush J, Duquin A, Helfer S, Pendergast DR.

This study, published in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance (AMHP), formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, examined the effects that voluntary isocapnic hyperventilatory training of the respiratory muscles (VIHT) has on selected measures of executive functioning, including working memory and processing speed at simulated altitude up to 12,000 ft.

The study concluded VIHT improved processing speed and working memory during exercise at altitude.

Read the full article here >

Effects of High-Intensity IMT Following a Near-Fatal Gunshot Wound


Effects of High-Intensity Inspiratory Muscle Training Following a Near-Fatal Gunshot Wound


A man who sustained a gunshot wound (via the left axilla which exited from the right side of the abdomen) during armed combat left him with severe thoracic and abdominal injuries. After five months he still reported severe dyspnoea on exertion and so a program of high-intensity, interval-based threshold inspiratory muscle training (IMT) was undertaken.

Discussion points and observations:

The subject tolerated well the high-intensity IMT. “It was associated with improvements in maximum forced inspiratory flow and changed the locus of symptom limitation during high-intensity exercise from dyspnea to leg fatigue.”

The purpose of this case study was to ensure every effort is made to optimise physical function following such injuries, so that individuals may continue in active service.

Effects of IMT and Calisthenics-and-Breathing Exercises in COPD


Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training and Calisthenics-and-Breathing Exercises in COPD With and Without Respiratory Muscle Weakness.

Published in Respiratory Care (Nov 10 2015), the aim of this study was to “compare the effects of inspiratory muscle training and calisthenics-and-breathing exercises associated with physical training in subjects with COPD as an additional benefit of strength and endurance of the inspiratory muscles, thoracoabdominal mobility, physical exercise capacity, and reduction in dyspnea on exertion.”


Both the inspiratory muscle training group and the calisthenics-and-breathing exercises group increased their exercise capacity and decreased dyspnea during physical effort.

Inspiratory muscle training however was more effective in increasing inspiratory muscle strength and endurance which could result in a decreased sensation of dyspnea. Also, subjects with respiratory muscle weakness who performed inspiratory muscle training showed higher gains in inspiratory muscle strength and endurance but not of dyspnea and submaximal exercise capacity.


Non-Asthma Related Breathing Problems In Athletes

This BASES Expert Statement looks into exercise respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, tight chest, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and coughing which are commonly reported by athletes.

These non-specific symptoms need to be assessed in order to confirm or eliminate the presence of cardio-pulmonary causes.

There is a high prevalence – 70% – of asthma and exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in sports with high breathing requirements, and it has been assumed that exercise-induced respiratory symptoms in these athletes is due to asthma or exercise-induced-asthma (EIA).

Symptoms however are misleading and this Expert Statement looks at these differential causes of exercise respiratory symptoms: Exercise-Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO) and Dysfunctional Breathing.

Interventions are then discussed which include breathing pattern retraining and inspiratory muscle training and finally conclusions are made.

You can read the full Expert Statement here, Assessment and Management of Non-asthma Related Breathing Problems in Athletes.

Causes Of Inspiratory Muscle Weakness

Weak inspiratory muscles can be the result of a number of causes, including disease, but the amount of ‘exercise’ they receive has a huge influence upon their condition.

We use the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ to describe the best way to off-set problems that come with ageing, such as completing crosswords to keep the brain active, but it applies equally well to the inspiratory muscles. For instance if you start getting out of breath when climbing the stairs then next time you’ll choose to take the lift instead. The consequence of this is that your inspiratory muscles receive less ‘exercise’ and become weaker.

As your inspiratory muscles become weaker, the level of physical activity that makes you feel out of breath gets lower, so you avoid anything that makes you feel out breath even more, such as using the stairs, and it becomes a vicious cycle of shortness of breath, lack of exercise and inspiratory muscle weakness.

Also, if you have a condition such as asthma or emphysema, the use of oral steroid medication (not inhaled steroids*) to control lung inflammation has been shown to cause weakness of the inspiratory muscles. This weakness can impair lung function but it can be counteracted by inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe.
* Inhaled steroids do not cause inspiratory muscle weakness

So remember this simple exercise principle: USE IT or LOSE IT!

Use your POWERbreathe according to the scientifically established training regimen and you will see improvements. However stop using it and all benefits will be lost.

By training your inspiratory muscles daily with POWERbreathe, the following will be achieved:

  • Increase in resistance to fatigue (you can do a physical activity for longer with less effort)
  • Improved efficiency (less oxygen is required by the lungs and can therefore be used by your working muscles, such as the legs)

And the result… increased performance!