Background: Physiotherapy in bronchial asthma has given various results.
Aim: To test a new method focusing on breathing exercise and massage of the thoracic muscles.
Patients and methods: Twenty-eight adult patients with a physician-diagnosed asthma were studied during 6 weeks. All patients were prescribed asthma medication. The new method [active group, n = 17) was compared with physical training (control group, n = 12).
Results: PEF was significantly improved (p = 0.001) in the active group, however, FEV1 showed no significant change. The symptoms "tightness of the chest", "difficult breathing in", "air hunger", and the individually dominating symptom (p = 0.001) were significantly reduced in the active group. Exercise-induced breathing troubles and chest expansion were also significantly reduced.
Conclusion: Physiotherapy including breathing exercise and massage of the thoracic muscles (the Lotorp method) in patients with physician-diagnosed asthma resulted in significantly reduced respiratory symptoms during rest and exercise and increased chest expansion. The improvements may be due to an increased mobility of the chest and diaphragm.
Keywords: Asthma; Asthma symptoms; Dysfunctional breathing; Lung function test; Physiotherapy.
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