WHO Recognises use of POWERbreathe IMT in COVID Recovery
As the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is offering guidance on the clinical management of the COVID-19 pandemic. One recommendation for COVID recovery includes increasing exercise and fitness with Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), such as POWERbreathe
The WHO’s COVID recovery management plan includes a series of courses developed specifically for healthcare workers that covers essential knowledge for the ‘Rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19’.
Rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19
The courses provide the latest guidance and evidence for safe and effective COVID-19 patient care. Needs such as cognitive impairment, physical deconditioning and weakness are addressed in their guidance for recovery from COVID. In addition to these needs, respiratory impairment is also common after a long spell in hospital, and is responsible for the difficulty in breathing and fatigue, consequently affecting the ability to be physically active.
Breathing difficulties and fatigue can result in a patient becoming easily breathless during their recovery rehab sessions. What’s more, this can leave them feeling anxious which will only make their breathlessness worse. In fact, the WHO reports fatigue and breathlessness as being commonly reported during COVID recovery, along with impairment to their lung functioning if they’ve been critically unwell.
To address this, the WHO’s Course 6, ‘Rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19’ includes a section on Exercise and Fitness in which it states:
POWERbreathe IMT helps with recovery from COVID
POWERbreathe is an Inspiratory Muscle Training device that is drug-free and backed by science. There are research papers, original studies and review articles that prove the efficacy of POWERbreathe IMT for medical conditions, including recovery from COVID. One such article that explores ‘Respiratory Muscle Performance Screening for Infectious Disease Management Following COVID-19’ concludes,
Medical professionals are enrolling patients into the use of POWERbreathe IMT in Pre-op, Post-op and in ICU. This is because an unwelcome consequence of prolonged mechanical ventilation, such as in critically unwell COVID patients, is the fast development of respiratory muscle weakness resulting from ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction.
In this review article, The COVID-19 pandemic and physical activity authors propose that,
The POWERbreathe K-Series is the intervention being used in a current, large, multi-centre, NHS study called the Inspire Study. This sham-controlled randomised controlled trial is looking into the ‘Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of INSPIRatory musclE training (IMT) for reducing postoperative pulmonary complications.
Globally recommended rehabilitation interventions from WHO
Because the World Health Organisation is the global guardian of public health, their recommendations for rehabilitation interventions for the clinical management of the COVID-19 pandemic apply to all countries and include, as stated:
POWERbreathe IMT exercises the main breathing muscle – the diaphragm, which is located just below the lungs and heart. It uses the principles of resistance training to strengthen the breathing muscles. As a result, patients are able to breathe in more deeply to fully fill the lungs.
Physical exercise and fitness
Inspiratory muscle training increases respiratory muscle strength and endurance; decreases dyspnea; and improves quality of life and exercise tolerance. This therapy can be used alone or in combination with physical training, especially in patients with inspiratory muscle weakness.
This not only supports the case and need for pulmonary rehabilitation in post-COVID patients but also the potential that adopting POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training as a ‘preventative’ measure may provide those patients who do contract the disease and become critically ill a better chance of survival.
NHS Paramedic uses POWERbreathe IMT for recovery from COVID
NHS paramedic Gary Thornton reports improvement in his breathing, a return to work and back to cycling 20 miles after using his POWERbreathe Medic Plus IMT device as part of his recovery from COVID-19. You can read a full statement from Gary Thornton below: