Effect of inspiratory muscle training in patients with multiple sclerosis

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Jul;84(7):994-9. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(03)00133-3.


Objective: To evaluate whether inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improves inspiratory muscle strength, respiratory capacity, fatigue, and subjective perception of physical endurance in patients with advanced multiple sclerosis (MS).

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Outpatient clinic in Sweden.

Participants: Fifteen severely disabled patients with MS, randomized to a training or control group.

Intervention: Seven patients trained with a Threshold inspiratory muscle trainer, twice every other day, with 3 sets of 10 loaded inspirations (40%-60% of patients' maximal inspiratory pressure [Pimax]) over a 10-week period.

Main outcome measures: Spirometry, Pimax, maximal expiratory pressure (Pemax), clinical assessments, and questionnaires on the patients' fatigue severity and physical endurance were evaluated.

Results: After training, the Pimax (P<.008) and Pemax (P<.02) increased in the training group. The improvement in Pimax after 10 weeks of training was higher than the improvement in the control group (P<.01) and was maintained 1 month after the training period ended. The training affected neither respiratory function nor the patients' symptoms.

Conclusions: IMT had a beneficial effect on inspiratory muscle strength in patients with MS and is recommended as a complement to ordinary physical training.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / complications*
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Physical Endurance
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / rehabilitation*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vital Capacity