Chest Wall Mobilization Techniques Improves Respiratory Muscle Function in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Diseases (COPD)

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)PosterAcademic researchpeer-review


Accelerated decline in pulmonary function is a hallmark for COPD patients. Clinical trial demonstrated that pulmonary function was correlated with reduction in chest wall expansion in COPD patients. Decrease in chest wall expansion affects rib cage mobility and forces respiratory muscles to work in a non-optimum functional length contributing to poor respiratory function.

Investigate the effectiveness of chest wall mobilization in improving respiratory function in patients with COPD

Twenty-two patients (mean age: 74±6.85) suffered from severe COPD were randomly divided into 2 groups. Both groups received educational class and performed walking exercise as usual COPD management. In experimental group, patients additionally participated in a chest wall mobilization program. Respiratory muscle strength, thoracic excursion and thoracic range of movement (ROM) were evaluated at pre- and post-program and 3 months’ reassessment.

Significant time group interaction was observed. Experimental group showed significant increase in maximum inspiratory pressure (53.36±12.08 to 63.00±12.35; p<0.001), maximum expiratory pressure (81.36±12.36 to 93.45±17.54; p<0.001) in line with significant increase in thoracic excursion (upper thoracic: 2.29±0.82 to 2.72±0.61; p=0.015; lower thoracic: 2.68±1.27 to 3.64±1.11; p<0.001) and thoracic flexion and extension (flexion: 24.27±2.20 to 28.13±2.20; p<0.001; extension: 13.77±2.39 to 17.49±2.32; p<0.001) after intervention and well maintained at 3 months’ reassessment.

Additional chest wall mobilization can effectively improve chest expansion which further enhance respiratory muscle function.

Enhancement of musculoskeletal function in thoracic region should be promoted as a component in pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with COPD.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - Jun 2022
EventWorld Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress 2022 - , Hong Kong
Duration: 18 Jun 202220 Jun 2022


CongressWorld Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress 2022
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


  • Chest Wall Mobilization Techniques Respiratory Muscle Function Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Diseases (COPD)

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