ABSTRACT Objective: Abdominal weights was used to strengthen the diaphragm of a C6 ASIA (A) tetraplegic subject with the aim of studying the long term effect of the technique as a part of respiratory rehabilitation. Setting: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. Study Design: Prospective case study. Material and methods: The peak EMG amplitude of the diaphragm (DIA), intercostals (INT) and sternoclidomastiod (SCM) were assessed using a surface EMG and inspired lung volume (ILV) was assessed using an adjustable portable spirometer. The measurements were repeated after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of inspiratory muscle training for a period of 15 minutes daily, 6 days a week for 12 months. Results and discussion: Peak amplitudes recorded by the EMG of DIA and SCM muscles showed a progressive increase, INT muscle did not show a consistent change. INV showed a gradual rise from 1772ml to 2760 ml over the study period. These values have the following significance: 1) Use of abdominal weights as a part of respiratory rehabilitation has beneficial long term effects; 2) In patients with tetraplegia, respiratory muscles in particular the diaphragm, are trainable in terms of muscle efficiency; 3) The improvement in the muscle efficiency obtained during the early rehabilitation can be maintained or improved using simple non sophisticated exercises like abdominal weights post discharge. Conclusions: Abdominal weights can be used as an effective adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation in improving the efficiency of diaphragm on a long term basis, thereby reducing the risks associated with pulmonary complications.
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nullWinser, S. , Stanley, P. and Tarion, G. (2010) Respiratory rehabilitation with abdominal weights: a prospective case study. Health, 2, 407-411. doi: 10.4236/health.2010.25061.
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