One of the most serious physical complications one can experience is the stroke. The physical consequences of stroke can vary greatly, but 80% of patients are affected by hemiparesis or hemiplegia (one-sided weakness or paralysis). In addition, respiratory muscle weakness is often observed after stroke, contributing to exercise intolerance and a higher risk of poor outcome.
When looking for answers and options to treat patients who are experiencing the above complications, it is important to take a look at exactly how they are interrelated as well as how they differ in stroke patients versus other individuals. As a result, the study that we’re going to discuss in this post compares respiratory muscle strength in stroke survivors and healthy individuals, and investigates the correlation between respiratory muscle strength and exercise tolerance.
- Physical consequence of stroke often include hemiplegia and respiratory muscle weakness, limiting exercise capacity and contributing to poor outcome.
- Respiratory muscle strength was found to be reduced by 60% in stroke survivors.
- Maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) positively correlated with exercise capacity.
Based in a positive correlation, MIP can directly influence exercise capacity after stroke and improve outcome and survival.
The study examined the following throughout its duration:
- Maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP)
- Maximal expiratory pressure (MEP)
- The six minute walk test (6MWT)
The above were assessed in stroke survivors with hemiparesis or hemiplegia who were able to walk. They were also compared to an age- and sex-matched healthy control group.
MIP and MEP in stroke survivors were reduced by about 60% when compared to the healthy control group. A positive correlation between MIP and 6MWT was found by the Pearson coefficient.
In conclusion, stroke survivors with reduced mobility have significantly reduced respiratory muscle strength. A positive correlation exists between MIP and 6MWT, indicating that respiratory muscle training (RMT) can directly influence exercise tolerance in stroke survivors and contribute to better prognosis and survival. It is, therefore, an important technique and option to keep in mind for patients.
Cahalin LP, et al. Inspiratory muscle training in patients with chronic heart failure awaiting cardiac transplantation: results of a pilot clinical trial. Phys. Ther. 77(8), 830–838 (1997)Lista Paz A, et al. Respiratory muscle strength in chronic stroke survivors and its relationship with the Six-Minute Walk Test. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Oct 28.