[Inspiratory muscle training for bronchial asthma].Harefuah. 1992 Feb 02; 122(3):155-9.H
In patients with asthma the respiratory muscles have to overcome increased resistance while they become progressively disadvantaged by hyperinflation. We hypothesized that increasing respiratory muscle strength and endurance with specific inspiratory muscle training would improve asthmatic symptoms. Of 8 women and 12 men, aged 17-55, with moderate to severe asthma, 10 received such training (group A) and 10 were controls who were given sham training (group B) in a double-blind, group comparative trial. Both groups trained 3 times a week in 1-hour sessions for 6 months. Inspiratory muscle strength, as expressed by the PImax at RV, increased from 72.6 +/- 3.9 to 97.0 +/- 4.6 cm H2O (p less than 0.001) and respiratory muscle endurance, as expressed by the relationship between PmPeak and PImax, increased from 70.6 +/- 3.8 to 94.6 +/- 4.6% (p less than 0.001), in group A patients, but not those of group B. This improvement was associated with significant improvement in asthmatic symptoms: night-time asthma (p less than 0.05), morning tightness (p less than 0.05), daytime asthma (p less than 0.01), cough (p less than 0.005), use of inhaled B2 (p +/- 0.05), and hospital days (p less than 0.05) and days of sick-leave due to asthma. 5 patients were able to stop oral or IM corticosteroids during training, but only 1 in the sham training group. We conclude that 6-months of specific inspiratory muscle training in asthmatic patients improves inspiratory muscle strength and endurance and results in improvement in asthmatic symptoms, hospitalizations for asthma, emergency room contacts, absence from school or work, and use of medication.