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Phys Ther. 1992 Nov;72(11):763-9.

A comparison of two breathing exercise programs for patients with quadriplegia.

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  • 1New York Medical College, Valhalla 10595.


This study compared the use of abdominal weights (AbWts) to inspiratory resistive muscle training (IMT) on selected measures of pulmonary function. Eleven patients, aged 16 to 41 years (mean = 27.8, SD = 8.3) with complete cervical injuries were randomly assigned to either an AbWts or IMT treatment group. Subjects in both treatment groups received daily treatments (five times weekly) for 7 weeks. Forced vital capacity (FVC), inspiratory capacity (IC), maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), and inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) were measured weekly. Analysis of variance for repeated measures showed no difference between the AbWts and IMT treatments; there were significant differences within each respective treatment group for all five variables. Although the data did not support the effectiveness of one method of training over the other, the larger increase in MVV with the IMT protocol may be indicative of an endurance training effect with this protocol. Future research should compare the effects of breathing exercise training to spontaneous recovery of the respiratory muscles in control subjects.

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