Cross-over comparison between respiratory muscle stretch gymnastics and inspiratory muscle training

Intern Med. 2002 Oct;41(10):805-12. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.41.805.


Objectives: To compare the effect of respiratory muscle stretch gymnastics (RMSG), proposed as a possible additional form of rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with that of inspiratory muscle training (IMT).

Patients: Twelve naive outpatients with COPD at a university hospital.

Method: The patients performed IMT (2 sessions of 10 minutes of training at 30% of PImax, daily) for 4 weeks and RMSG (3 sessions of 5 RMSG patterns 4 times each, daily) for 4 weeks, in randomized order, with a 4-week washout period between the two interventions.

Measurements and results: PImax increased with IMT (mean 66.1 to 79.1 cmH2O), but not with RMSG (mean 66.0 to 69.4 cmH2O). RMSG and IMT similarly increased maximum chest wall expansion. FRC was significantly decreased by 158 ml with RMSG, but not with IMT. There were no significant changes in VC, FEV1, or PEF nor in arterial blood gases with either form of rehabilitation. Six-minute walking distance was more significantly increased with RMSG (mean 383 to 430 m), than with IMT (mean 386 to 412 m).

Conclusions: RMSG may have clinically significant benefits, which may be somewhat different from the benefits of IMT, in patients with COPD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gymnastics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology*