Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 12

The immediate effect of soft tissue manual therapy intervention on lung function in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Cruz-Montecinos C, Godoy-Olave D, Contreras-Briceño FA, Gutiérrez P, Torres-Castro R, Miret-Venegas L, Engel RM

Received 15 November 2016

Accepted for publication 16 January 2017

Published 21 February 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 691—696


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Carlos Cruz-Montecinos,1–3 Diego Godoy-Olave,4 Felipe A Contreras-Briceño,5 Paulina Gutiérrez,4 Rodrigo Torres-Castro,2 Leandro Miret-Venegas,3 Roger M Engel6

1Laboratory of Biomechanics and Kinesiology, San José Hospital, Santiago, Chile; 2Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 3Unit of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy, San José Hospital, Santiago, Chile; 4Departamento de Kinesiología, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago, Chile; 5Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; 6Department of Chiropractic, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Background and objective: In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), accessory respiratory muscles are recruited as a compensatory adaptation to changes in respiratory mechanics. This results in shortening and overactivation of these and other muscles. Manual therapy is increasingly being investigated as a way to alleviate these changes. The aim of this study was to measure the immediate effect on lung function of a soft tissue manual therapy protocol (STMTP) designed to address changes in the accessory respiratory muscles and their associated structures in patients with severe COPD.
Methods: Twelve medically stable patients (n=12) with an existing diagnosis of severe COPD (ten: GOLD Stage III and two: GOLD Stage IV) were included. Residual volume, inspiratory capacity and oxygen saturation (SpO2) were recorded immediately before and after administration of the STMTP. A Student’s t-test was used to determine the effect of the manual therapy intervention (P<0.05).
Results: The mean age of the patients was 62.4 years (range 46–77). Nine were male. Residual volume decreased from 4.5 to 3.9 L (P=0.002), inspiratory capacity increased from 2.0 to 2.1 L (P=0.039) and SpO2 increased from 93% to 96% (P=0.001).
Conclusion: A single application of an STMTP appears to have the potential to produce immediate clinically meaningful improvements in lung function in patients with severe and very severe COPD.

Keywords: expiratory reserve volume, plethysmography, residual volume, inspiratory capacity

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]