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Effect of RMT on Exercise-Induced Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion

Exercise induced paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) leads to acute dyspnea during exertion. This means that individuals who experience PVFM tend to experience exercise intolerance, which can lead to a significant decline in quality of life as well as various other health issues and disorders. It is important, therefore, to explore options for improving PVFM in order to lead to better outcomes and prognosis for patients. To do this, today we’re going to look at a study where inspiratory muscle training (IMT) was tested as a means to improve PVFM.

Key Findings

  • Exercise-induced paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) leads to acute dyspnea during exertion.
  • 5 weeks of respiratory muscle training (RMT) increased respiratory muscle strength and reduced dyspnea in a soccer player with PVFM.
  • The effects of RMT were maintained over a 5 week withdrawal period.

Patient Impact

RMT effectively improves cough and swallowing function in people with dysphagia.

Study Methods

The variables measured during the study include:

  • Maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP)
  • Exertional dyspnea ratings
  • Maximal exercise measure

All of the above were assessed before and after five weeks of IMT, and then again after a five week withdrawal phase, in an individual soccer player with PVFM.

Study Results

IMT resulted in increased MIP and decreased dyspnea ratings across both treatment phases (IMT treatment and withdrawal phases). No change in MIP or dyspnea ratings occurred in response to treatment withdrawal. Transnasal flexible laryngoscopy, after strenuous exercise and during rapid breathing and phonation tasks, revealed normal laryngeal findings.

IMT improves increased respiratory strength and reduced dyspnea, and may be a promising treatment approach for athletes with exercise-induced PVFM.

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