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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-51

Postural correction for kyphosis improves the dyspnea index and pulmonary functions in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A randomized trial over 12 weeks

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Gajanan S Gaude
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.130615

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Background: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) tend to attain forward shoulder posture and kyphosis and this affects their respiratory functions. Correcting this posture leads to straightening of the spine leading to improvement in the lung functions. The present study was carried out to evaluate the additional effect of correction of kyphosis in COPD patients. Objectives: The objective of the following study is to evaluate the effect of postural correction with respiratory muscle training in patients with COPD. Settings and Study Design: A randomized controlled prospective study in a tertiary care hospital in out-patients for 12 weeks. Materials and Methods: Confirmed cases of COPD were randomly divided into two groups by computer generated randomization: Study and control group. Study group patients received combination of respiratory muscle training and postural correction by a brace, whereas the control group received only respiratory muscle training exercises. The outcome measures evaluated were maximal inspiratory pressure, spirometry values, dyspnea scores and 6-min walk distance (MWD). Statistical Analysis: Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 16. Descriptive statistics are reported as means and standard deviation. Results: A total of 120 patients were included in the study with 60 in each group. Both groups showed a significant improvement in the inspiratory muscle strength, lung functions, dyspnea index and functional capacity at 8 weeks and 12 weeks of intervention. However, the interscapular distance, percentage of kyphotic index (KI) and grades of a plumb line (PL) measurement reduced significantly in the study group when compared to the control group (P < 0.01). There was also significant improvement in the 6-MWD and reduction of Borg scale of dyspnea when compared to the control group (P < 0.01). The pulmonary functions improvement was better in the study group after 12 weeks of therapy. Similarly, there was a significant reduction in KI % and PL grades in the study group as compared to the control group. Conclusions: The postural correction is a meaningful addition to pulmonary rehabilitation programs directed toward COPD patients in improving the overall quality-of-life.

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