A case report evaluated the effect of a year-long respiratory intervention, which included inspiratory muscle training and positive expiratory pressure therapy, for a person with C3-C4 tetraplegia. The intervention improved both inspiratory muscle force and pulmonary function values. Respiratory infections, frequency of suctioning and physiotherapy treatment time decreased progressively throughout the intervention. There were no admissions to the acute care hospital after the interventions began. This intervention improved the participant’s health and well being and reduced costs to the health care system1.
Results of another study indicated that training of the respiratory muscles results in an enhanced endurance capacity of these muscles and a concomitant increase in the aerobic exercise performance2.
And in another study findings suggest that Resistive Inspiratory Muscle Training (RIMT) can enhance the respiratory muscle strength and endurance of chronic tetraplegia and further ameliorate the sleep-induced breathing disorder. Therefore, RIMT is suggested as a home program for patients with sleep-disordered breathing3.
1 Respiratory training for a person with C3-C4 tetraplegia
2 Training of the respiratory muscles in individuals with tetraplegia
3 Resistive inspiratory muscle training in sleep-disordered breathing of traumatic tetraplegia
Any condition that prevents normal physical activity can lead to inspiratory muscle weakness, and in addition to asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), such as with POWERbreathe, has been found to be helpful for managing other medical conditions, including chronic heart failure, postoperative pulmonary complications and inspiratory stridor.
Specific Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) of the muscles we use to breathe, such as with POWERbreathe, has been demonstrated to increase their strength, resistance to fatigue and reduce breathlessness, as well as being helpful in managing medical conditions including:
“Injury to the cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord disrupts function of inspiratory and expiratory muscles, as reflected by reduction in spirometric and lung volume parameters and static mouth pressures. In association, subjects with tetraplegia have decreased chest wall and lung compliance, increased abdominal wall compliance, and rib cage stiffness with paradoxical chest wall movements, all of which contribute to an increase in the work of breathing.”
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