Dyspnoea in COPD: Can inspiratory muscle training help?

Kylie Hill, Sue C. Jenkins, David R. Hillman, Peter R. Eastwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive, common and costly condition. Dyspnoea frequently limits activity and reduces health-related quality of life. In addition to impaired lung function, peripheral muscle deconditioning and respiratory muscle dysfunction also contribute to dyspnoea and reduced exercise capacity. Pulmonary rehabilitation using whole body exercise training improves peripheral muscle function and reduces dyspnoea but does not improve respiratory muscle function. Providing that adequate training intensities are utilised, specific loading of the inspiratory muscles with commercially available hand-held devices can improve inspiratory muscle strength and endurance. Several studies have investigated the effects of inspiratory muscle training on dyspnoea in COPD subjects. Results of these studies are conflicting, most likely reflecting methodological shortcomings including insufficient training load, insensitive outcome measures, and inadequate statistical power. This paper describes the origin of dyspnoea in COPD, with particular attention given to the role of inspiratory muscle dysfunction in its genesis and its possible amelioration through inspiratory muscle training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Physiotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors thank the following disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Careand care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary individuals for their contribution: Kelly Shepherd, Danielle Medicine152: S77–S120. Philippe, Dr Martin Phillips, Dr Daniel GreenT, omD r van Cherniack M (1959):T he oxygen consumption and fiecfiency of der Touw, Gavin Sturdy and Nola Cecins. This review was the respiratory muscles in health and emphysemJao.u rnal of supported by National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Investigations38: 494–499. (Australia) Grant No. 212016.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Breathing exercises
  • COPD
  • Dyspnoea
  • Physical therapy (specialty)


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