Lower Blood Pressure with POWERbreathe IMT

The University of Colorado Boulder is using the POWERbreathe K-Series in their independent research. They are investigating the effects of just 30 breaths of inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST). Specifically, they are looking to see if it could lower blood pressure and reduce heart attack risk. They are also investigating whether it could help you think more clearly and boost sports performance.

Lower blood pressure

One of the key findings of the research so far is that 30 breaths of IMST (about five minutes) will lower blood pressure. Crucially, with about half the tests completed, researchers report significant drops in blood pressure and improvements in large-artery function. In fact, their findings show that about 5-minutes of IMST lowers blood pressure as much as aerobic exercise and more than some medications.

Other preliminary findings

The research findings also suggest that just 5-minutes of IMST may also boost cognitive function. Furthermore, their findings show that it may also improve fitness and increase sports performance. In fact, these improvements are already proven in previous research studies. However, this study reiterates such findings.

With the help of the university’s new National Institute on Ageing grant, researchers are launching a clinical trial.

The research

Research subjects will either be a part of a sham group (using low/no IMST) or the IMST group. The IMST group will perform 30 breaths of inspiratory muscle strength training (taking approximately 5-minutes). IMST is strength training for the muscles you use to inhale. Both groups will be performing their version of IMST over a period of 6 weeks. Researchers are hoping that by doing this for 5 minutes a day in the comfort of their own home, people will get health benefits they otherwise might not get.

The tests

Researchers will be performing tests to evaluate:

  • Vascular function – how healthy the blood vessels are
  • Cerebral vascular function – how healthy the blood vessels in the brain are
  • Cognitive function
  • Physical performance – VO2 max testing assesses this
  • Motor function

Results so far are showing that the IMST group, compared to sham subjects, are lowering their blood pressure and improving blood vessel health. Also, the IMST group is performing better on certain cognitive and memory tests. In addition, the IMST group are able to keep their heart rate and oxygen consumption lower during exercise. Consequently, subjects are also showing an increase in exercise tolerance time too.

Positive outcomes

With all this evidence, researchers hope that by using IMST, people may be able to get their blood pressure under control, decrease their risk of chronic conditions and live healthier lives.

S-Index assessment improves inspiratory muscle performance

S-Index stands for Strength-Index. It is one of the POWERbreathe K-Series’ test modes. Its purpose is to calculate inspiratory muscle strength based upon peak inspiratory flow.

Peak Inspiratory Flow (PIF)

We can evaluate improvements in inspiratory muscle strength by monitoring changes in a person’s peak inspiratory flow.

Peak Inspiratory Flow is a measure which reflects the ability of the inspiratory muscles (the muscles we use to breathe in) to contract rapidly and overcome the inherent resistance and elastance of the respiratory system.

Another of the K-Series’ test modes is the measurement of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). In fact, MIP is the most common measure in use for gauging inspiratory muscle strength. It is used as a diagnostic tool and an independent predictor of all-cause mortality.

Purpose of study

Currently, the most common test for assessing inspiratory muscle performance is the maximum ‘quasi-static’ inspiratory pressure (PImax).

However, the K-Series’ S-Index test has since become available for ‘dynamically’ evaluating the maximum inspiratory pressure.

In fact, it is suggested that the S-Index might be more appropriate for measuring inspiratory muscle performance than PImax.

Therefore, this study investigates this premise. It also assesses its reliability and whether an inspiratory muscle warm-up effects strength—index assessment.

Measurement validity of the K-Series

There are, in fact, current studies that have independently verified the measurement validity of the K-Series. Consequently, findings from these previous studies demonstrate its accuracy to measure dynamic inspiratory muscle pressure 1,2.

Therefore, this study feels that a proper assessment and the reliability of the S-Index should be addressed. In particular, it investigates the variability in response to repeated measurements. Furthermore, it evaluates whether an inspiratory muscle warm-up effects strength-index assessment. It is investigating whether using strength-index assessment improves clinical outcomes by reducing the bias effect.

Reliable values of the S-Index

What this study demonstrates is that at least 8 inspiratory manoeuvres are necessary to reach maximum and reliable values of the S-Index. Moreover, it also shows that specific inspiratory muscle warm-up could improve inspiratory muscle performance.

The authors believe this to be the first study to evaluate S-Index reliability in healthy subjects. Furthermore, they believe it to be the first study to investigate the effect of inspiratory warm-up in strength-index assessment.

In conclusion, inspiratory muscle warm-up should be used for detecting the true maximum values of the S-Index to evaluate the performance of inspiratory muscles for any intervention.

Assessment of Maximum Dynamic Inspiratory Pressure >

References

  1. Measurement validity of an electronic inspiratory loading device during a loaded breathing task in patients with COPD
  2. Repeated-Sprint Cycling Does Not Induce Respiratory Muscle Fatigue in Active Adults: Measurements from The POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Trainer 

Hospitalised Patients Benefit from POWERbreathe IMT

A new clinical trial in Brazil has found that POWERbreathe IMT improves inspiratory muscle strength and shortens the length of stay in hospitalised patients.

Objective

The aim of this double-blind randomised controlled trial is to assess the impact of IMT on hospitalised patients. IMT stands for Inspiratory Muscle Training. It trains the inspiratory muscles (the ones we use to breathe in) to become stronger and more resistant to fatigue. IMT is undertaken using the POWERbreathe Plus IMT device.

Proposed Outcomes for Hospitalised Patients

Hospitalised patients, with no existing respiratory issues, may encounter inpatient complications.

The clinical trial believes that, if implemented early, POWERbreathe IMT could prevent in-hospital adverse outcomes. These may, or may not, be directly associated with the loss of respiratory muscle mass inherent to a prolonged hospital stay.

Trial Method

Subjects are randomly assigned to either an IMT intervention group or an IMT sham group. Both groups were also to undergo conventional physiotherapy interventions.

The IMT intervention group performs IMT using the POWERbreathe Plus. Each patient trains against a load equivalent to 50% of their maximum inspiratory pressure. Maximum inspiratory pressure, or MIP, is a marker of respiratory muscle function and strength. All they need to do is breathe in through the device for 30 breaths. And they do this twice a day for 4 weeks.

Trial Results

Results show that patients in the IMT intervention group had a significantly shorter length of stay in hospital. They also show a lower risk of endotracheal intubation, muscle weakness and mortality.

Findings

The trial’s findings demonstrate that POWERbreathe IMT is a safe addition to physiotherapy. Results also show that it improves inspiratory muscle strength and functional status, as well as a shortened length of hospital stay.

Conclusion

This clinical trial shows that early implementation of POWERbreathe IMT is effective at preventing complications due to prolonged hospitalisation. It is also effective at reducing associated in-hospital mortality rates. Its therapeutic use is safe and well-tolerated in the hospital environment, providing respiratory gain and improving functional capacity.

Full details of this clinical trial are freely available for all to read on the internet. Safety and efficacy of inspiratory muscle training for preventing adverse outcomes in patients at risk of prolonged hospitalisation.

Four Weeks of Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Self-Paced Walking Performance in Overweight and Obese Adults

“The objective of this study was to examine whether a programme of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improves accumulative distance of self-paced walking in overweight and obese adults.”

Conclusion:

“This study indicates that IMT may provide a practical, inexpensive, and minimally intrusive intervention to augment both inspiratory muscle strength and walking distance among overweight and obese adults. The beneficial effects of this treatment were similar to those previously reported from vigorous, supervised training among hospitalised obese patients. Our findings indicate similar effects could be expected without the need for hospitalisation and indicate that IMT via an inspiratory resistance device can easily be performed in the home environment. IMT therefore appears a useful strategy to enhance walking performance in overweight and obese individuals which may prove a meaningful priming intervention with which to stimulate performance adaptations and future engagement with physical activity.”

Read Four Weeks of Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Self-Paced Walking Performance in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial >

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

‘Breathing Training Improves Sleep And Cardiovascular Health In Obstructive Sleep Apnea’

“Unfortunately, the gold-standard of treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), has discouraging compliance rates. Here, we report on inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) as a potential new treatment for OSA.”

Conclusion:

“Results support inspiratory muscle strength training as a treatment that can improve the cardiovascular and sleep quality parameters in individuals with mild-moderate OSA.”

Read Breathing training improves sleep and cardiovascular health in Obstructive Sleep Apnea >

IMT Improves Lung Function And Reduces Exertional Dyspnoea In Mild/Moderate Asthmatics

“Weiner et al. (1992) have reported improvements in lung function, asthma symptoms and reductions in usage of medication following six months of pressure threshold inspiratory muscle training (IMT). Where interventions require compliance with a programme of training, it is important that patients perceive benefits rapidly if compliance is to be maintained. This study examined the changes induced by 3 weeks of IMT in mild/moderate asthmatics.”

Conclusion:

“Data are consistent with those of Weiner et al. (1992) and confirm their hypothesis that improvements in MIP and lung function translate into a reduction in exertional dyspnoea. In addition, the data suggest that where appropriate training regimens are used, these changes are observed within 3 weeks of commencement of IMT and lead to an increase in patients’ motivation to take exercise.”

Read Inspiratory muscle training improves lung function and reduces exertional dyspnoea in mild/moderate asthmatics >

The Effects Of 1 Year Of Specific Inspiratory Muscle Training In Patients With COPD

“The aim of this study was to assess the long-term benefits of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on inspiratory muscle strength, exercise capacity, the perception of dyspnea, quality of life, primary care use, and hospitalizations in patients with significant COPD.”

Conclusion:

“The study showed that during IMT in patients with significant COPD, there is an increase in exercise capacity, improvement in quality of life, and decrease in dyspnea. The study also provides evidence that long-term IMT can decrease the use of health services and hospitalization days.”

Read The effects of 1 year of specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with COPD >

Inspiratory Muscle Training In Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program In COPD Patients

“Most pulmonary rehabilitation programs do not currently incorporate Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) in their pulmonary rehabilitation programs for COPD patients. The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of adding IMT to the patients already involved in a rehabilitation program.”

Conclusion:

“IMT provides additional benefits to patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation program and is worthwhile even in patients who have already undergone a general exercise reconditioning (GER) program.”

Read Inspiratory muscle training in pulmonary rehabilitation program in COPD patients >

Abdominal Surgery

‘Pre-Operative IMT Preserves Postoperative Inspiratory Muscle Strength Following Major Abdominal Surgery’

“The aim of this pilot study was to assess the effect of pre-operative inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on respiratory variables in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.”

Conclusion:

“Pre-operative specific IMT improves (maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) pre-operatively and preserves it postoperatively. Further studies are required to establish if this is associated with reduced pulmonary complications.”

Read Pre-operative inspiratory muscle training preserves postoperative inspiratory muscle strength following major abdominal surgery – a randomised pilot study >

Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Exercise Tolerance in Asthmatic Individuals

“The aim of this study was to determine the effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on exercise tolerance, inspiratory muscle fatigue, and the perception of dyspnea in asthmatic individuals.”

Conclusion:

“This study has shown that 6 wk of IMT in individuals with mild to moderate asthma significantly increased inspiratory muscle strength, reduced inspiratory muscle fatigue, improved exercise tolerance, and reduced the perception of dyspnea during cycling exercise at È70% V ̇O2max to the limit of tolerance. These data suggest that IMT may be a helpful adjunct to asthma management and has the potential to improve participation and adherence to exercise training in this group. However, it should also be noted that the perception of breathlessness is also an important signal of bronchoconstriction, and thus, caution should be exercised if this symptom is abnormally low.”

Read Effect of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Exercise Tolerance in Asthmatic Individuals >