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Immediate effect of manual therapy on respiratory functions and inspiratory muscle strength in patients with COPD

Authors Yilmaz Yelvar GD, Cirak Y, Parlak Demir Y, Dalkilinc M, Bozkurt B

Received 29 February 2016

Accepted for publication 31 March 2016

Published 20 June 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 1353—1357

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S107408

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Gul Deniz Yilmaz Yelvar,1 Yasemin Çirak,2 Yasemin Parlak Demir,3 Murat Dalkilinç,1 Bülent Bozkurt4

1Department of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, 2Department of Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy, 3Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, School of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, 4Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Turgut Özal University, Ankara, Turkey

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the immediate effect of manual therapy (MT) on respiratory functions and inspiratory muscle strength in patients with COPD.
Participants and methods: Thirty patients with severe COPD (eight females and 22 males; mean age 62.4±6.8 years) referred to pulmonary physiotherapy were included in this study. The patients participated in a single session of MT to measure the short-term effects. The lung function was measured using a portable spirometer. An electronic pressure transducer was used to measure respiratory muscle strength. Heart rate, breathing frequency, and oxygen saturation were measured with a pulse oximeter. For fatigue and dyspnea perception, the modified Borg rating of perceived exertion scale was used. All measurements were taken before and immediately after the first MT session. The ease-of-breathing visual analog scale was used for rating patients’ symptoms subjectively during the MT session.
Results: There was a significant improvement in the forced expiratory volume in the first second, forced vital capacity, and vital capacity values (P<0.05). The maximal inspiratory pressure and maximal expiratory pressure values increased significantly after MT, compared to the pre-MT session (P<0.05). There was a significant decrease in heart rate, respiratory rate (P<0.05), and dyspnea and fatigue perception (P<0.05).
Conclusion: A single MT session immediately improved pulmonary function, inspiratory muscle strength, and oxygen saturation and reduced dyspnea, fatigue, and heart and respiratory rates in patients with severe COPD. MT should be added to pulmonary rehabilitation treatment as a new alternative that is fast acting and motivating in patients with COPD.

Keywords: manual therapy, COPD, inspiratory muscle strength, pulmonary function dyspnea, fatigue

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