Better Breathing Blog

Respiratory Muscle Training Device for Healthcare Professionals

Posted by Carolyn Morse

Jul 20, 2017 7:30:00 AM

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For those in the healthcare profession, and especially those working with patients who may benefit from respiratory training, a respiratory training device can be a useful tool.

There are a variety of uses for a Respiratory Training device, including:

  • Performance athletes
  • Recreational athletes
  • Patients moving from a ventilator
  • COPD
  • Musicians
  • Firefighters
  • Those who simply wish to improve their stamina and exercise capabilities

Why it Works

Respiratory training devices work like any other strength training equipment, by providing resistance to respiratory muscles.  This increases the abilities of the muscles involved in respiration—the diaphragm and intercostals—to work efficiently (and with less effort) to help the patient breathe better.  This efficiency allows more oxygen to be available to other working muscles in the body.

The addition of inspiratory training means that the muscles are strengthened in both inhaling and exhaling activities.  The diaphragm is fully engaged in both aspects of breathing, encouraging maximum use of the lungs.

Types of Training Devices

There are two distinct types of respiratory muscle training devices, each focusing on a separate method for improvement:

  1. Flow Restriction. Some devices train by restricting the flow of air, either by the utilization of various opening sizes or balls to prevent airflow.  This can encourage users to breathe more in the chest, like breathing through a straw.  This type of device is designed for either inhalation or exhalation, but it is not capable of training both.
  2. Progressive Threshold Resistance. Another method of respiratory muscle training involves the use of resistance like that experienced while lifting weights.  A set resistance on the dial allows for a steady load; by breathing against this load, the muscles are strengthened.  Some devices are designed for either inhalation or exhalation, while the PowerLung device is designed to provide the resistance during both aspects of breath training.

Why Healthcare Providers

With a variety of options available, healthcare professionals are ideally suited to choosing a device which fits the needs of the potential user.  For those patients working with the device under the care of a physician or respiratory therapist, the psychological preparation and professional support helps increase the success rate of patients.  For athletes or those in a breathing-dependent occupation, the purchase of a device with the supervision of a professional ensures proper use and explanation of how to add the device to an existing training program.

Studies Show

We think of breathing as an involuntary action, with no real need to “train.”  However, several studies have shown how utilizing the PowerLung increases respiratory capabilities, increasing available oxygen and energy for athletic events, reducing respiratory muscle fatigue, slowing the increase in heat rate, and resulting in improved endurance during cardiovascular activities.

Respiratory Muscle Training Device

The premier respiratory muscle training device, PowerLung’s targeted progressive threshold resistance targets both inhalation and exhalation abilities.  The variety of models available means that patients, athletes, and those simply wanting to improve their physical abilities can all benefit from improved health and athletic capabilities.

PowerLung Therapy Experts Program

You can learn more about the PowerLung program by participating in our Therapy Expert program. Designate someone in your practice to represent your organization, purchase and try out the device, and then obtain your demonstrator set.  This will enable you to help your patients choose the device which best fits their respiratory needs.

Find out how to add PowerLung to your respiratory training tools today!

Become a PowerLung® Therapy Expert™

Topics: Better Breathing, PowerLung, Health and Fitness