Inspiratory muscle training in exercise-induced paradoxical vocal fold motion

J Voice. 2005 Dec;19(4):635-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2005.03.005. Epub 2005 Aug 19.


The purpose of the study was to determine if inspiratory muscle training (IMT) would result in increased inspiratory muscle strength, reduced perception of exertional dyspnea, and improved measures of maximal exercise effort in an athlete with exercise-induced paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM). The participant, an 18-year-old woman, had a 2-year history of acute dyspnea with exertion during soccer games. Spirometry, transnasal flexible laryngoscopy, and patient history supported a PVFM diagnosis. The ABAB within-subject withdrawal design study comprised IMT treatment and withdrawal phases, each lasting 5 weeks. The participant trained 5 days per week, completing five sets of 12 breaths at 75% maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) per session. Data consisted of MIP, exertional dyspnea ratings, and maximal exercise measures. IMT resulted in increased MIP and decreased dyspnea ratings across both treatment phases. No change in MIP or dyspnea ratings occurred in response to treatment withdrawal. The maximal exercise test revealed minimal changes across phases. At end of the study, the participant reported experiencing no PVFM symptoms when performing the outcome measurement tasks and when playing soccer. Transnasal flexible laryngoscopy, after strenuous exercise and during rapid breathing and phonation tasks, revealed normal laryngeal findings. The findings suggest that IMT may be a promising treatment approach for athletes with exercise-induced PVFM.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inspiratory Capacity
  • Laryngeal Diseases / etiology
  • Laryngeal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Laryngeal Diseases / therapy*
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Spirometry
  • Treatment Outcome