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      Evaluation of effects of shoulder girdle training on strength and performance of activities of daily living in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have some limitations during activities of daily living that involve the arms. There is little information on the benefits of shoulder girdle training and its repercussions for activities of daily living in patients with COPD. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether shoulder girdle training with diagonal movements increases upper limb muscle strength and improves performance of activities of daily living in patients with COPD.


          Thirty-five patients with moderate to severe COPD (forced expiratory volume in one second 1.22 ± 0.49 L) and aged 36–80 years were recruited. Endurance time, maximal sustained weight, oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiratory rate, dyspnea, and arm fatigue were evaluated during an incremental upper limb test and eight simulated activities of daily living before and after an 8-week exercise training program.


          A significant gain was observed for upper limb strength ( P < 0.05). At the peak of the upper limb incremental test, the respiratory rate dropped from 33 to 27 breaths per minute, the Borg dyspnea score decreased from 2 to 0.5, and the upper limb fatigue score decreased from 3 to 2 ( P < 0.05). No change was seen in any of these parameters during performance of activities of daily living.


          Although shoulder girdle training increased upper limb strength, no improvement was detected in performance of activities of daily living.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Borg’s perceived exertion and pan scales

           G BORG,  G Borg,  GA Borg (1998)
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            Functional status and quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Exertional dyspnea often causes patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to unconsciously reduce their activities of daily living (ADLs) to reduce the intensity of their distress. The reduction in ADLs leads to deconditioning which, in turn, further increases dyspnea. Both dyspnea and fatigue are important factors affecting health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The functional status of patients relates to how well they perform ADLs. Activities, however, may not be severely limited until the disease becomes advanced. The elimination of an ADL depends on the necessity or desirability of that activity and the intensity of the associated symptoms. HRQOL is measured using symptoms, functional status, and a rating of their impact on the individual. The Pulmonary Functional Status Scale (PFSS) and the Pulmonary Functional Status and Dyspnea Questionnaire (PFSDQ) are 2 COPD-specific functional status questionnaires. Pedometers or accelerometers can quantify the levels of activity of patients with COPD. HRQOL is measured with validated multidimensional questionnaires that cover symptoms, physical, psychological, and social domains. Ideally, these instruments are discriminative (i.e., separate degrees of impairment) and evaluative (i.e., detect small changes after therapy). HRQOL questionnaires may be generic (e.g., Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 [SF-36]) and can measure favorable changes after intervention, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, or they can be disease specific with disease-related domains, e.g., Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ) with domains of dyspnea, fatigue, emotion, and mastery; and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) with domains of symptoms, activity, and psychosocial impact. A case is presented that depicts how these tools may be used to evaluate improvement with intervention in a patient with COPD.
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              Dyssynchronous breathing during arm but not leg exercise in patients with chronic airflow obstruction.

               J Rassulo,  B Celli,  B Make (1986)
              Some patients with chronic airflow obstruction experience dyspnea with mild arm exercise but not with more-intense leg exercise. To investigate why these patients have limited endurance during arm exertion, we studied ventilatory responses to exercise with unsupported arms in 12 patients with chronic airflow obstruction (mean [+/- SD] forced expiratory volume in one second, 0.68 +/- 0.28 liters). Unloaded leg cycling was also studied for comparison. In the five patients who had the most severe airflow obstruction, arm exercise was limited by dyspnea after 3.3 +/- 0.7 minutes, and dyssynchronous thoracoabdominal breathing developed. In the other seven patients, arm exercise was limited by the sensation of muscle fatigue after 6.1 +/- 2.0 minutes (P less than 0.05), and dyssynchronous breathing did not occur. None of the 12 patients had dyssynchronous breathing during unloaded leg cycling. Maximal transdiaphragmatic pressure, a measure of diaphragmatic fatigue, declined similarly after arm and leg exercise in both groups. During unsupported arm work, the accessory muscles of inspiration help position the torso and arms. We hypothesize that the extra demand placed on these muscles during arm exertion leads to early fatigue, an increased load on the diaphragm, and dyssynchronous thoracoabdominal inspirations. This sequence may contribute to dyspnea and limited endurance during upper-extremity exercise.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                09 April 2013
                : 8
                : 187-192
                Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center, Federal University of São Paulo/Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente (Unifesp/AACD), Brazil
                Author notes
                Correspondence: José R Jardim, Respiratory Division, Unifesp, Rua Botucatu 740-3º, andar 04023-062, São Paulo, Brazil Tel +55 11 5572 4301 Fax +55 11 5572 4301 Email jardimpneumo@
                © 2013 Velloso et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                upper limb training, rehabilitation, pulmonary disease


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