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Inspiratory Muscle Training Affects Proprioceptive Use and Low Back Pain

Why you should pay attention to this:  This study looked at the ability of inspiratory muscle training to help restore normal posture control in patients with chronic low back pain.  Patients with chronic low back pain are known to rely on their ankles rather than core muscles to help maintain balance and control of posture.  They also show a greater tendency for diaphragm fatigue compared with patients who do not have low back pain.  Patients with chronic lung disease also demonstrate faulty postural control, suggesting an important role for inspiratory muscle function in low back pain.  As patients with back pain exercise and become more breathless, it is possible that this is actually contributing to a further loss of proper postural control and core stability.

Patients in this study had at least three episodes of back pain in the preceding six months.  They were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of either standard inspiratory training (Thirty breaths against resistance twice daily) or sham training.  Following training, patients were evaluated for postural control on an unstable surface.  Patients in the inspiratory training group were more successful than controls at using their back muscles for postural control, relying less on their ankles.   Low back pain severity was also significantly improved in the inspiratory training group.

This study is useful because it shows that bad postural habits in patients with low back pain can be reversed with the use of inspiratory training.  Inspiratory training is a great tool for athletes, because it is cheap, takes little time each day, and seems to be effective to improve performance.  If you have back pain and are interested in incorporating inspiratory training into an eventual home exercise routine, give us a call at (515) 221-1102.  We’d be glad to work with you.

Respiratory muscle training, available through Stadia, improves back function in patients with chronic back pain.

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