When your breathing muscles are weakened from disease or surgery it can have a devastating impact on daily life. Impaired breathing may hamper your ability to do physical activity, including walking, climbing stairs, and even sleep. Speech and swallowing can also be affected. Respiratory muscle training (RMT) strengthens the respiratory muscles and improves your ability to perform these activities.
Strength Training for Your Respiratory Muscles
Duke speech pathologists offer RMT to strengthen breathing muscles weakened by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injury, among others. Respiratory muscle training is also used to speed ventilator weaning and strengthen breathing muscles following tracheostomy. In addition to increasing respiratory muscle strength, respiratory muscle training may be beneficial for other activities such as speaking, swallowing and coughing, which use related muscles.
Personalized Treatment Plans
Our speech pathologists evaluate your condition, and design a treatment plan that’s right for you. When appropriate, we can combine respiratory muscle training with traditional communication and swallowing therapies to ensure we provide you with the most complete care for your condition. With our intervention and guidance, you will strengthen your respiratory muscles, and improve your breathing.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Comprehensive Communication Evaluation
Speech, language, and cognition are tested with physical examination, questionnaires, practical and functional information gathering and standardized testing based on your individual needs.
Respiratory Pressure Manometry
Our maximum inspiratory (breathing in) and expiratory (breathing out) pressures are tested by blowing and sucking into a hand held device.
Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study
Video X-rays visualize your mouth, throat and upper esophagus as you swallow foods and drinks of different textures and consistencies, mixed with barium (a liquid visible on X-rays). Evaluates your swallowing process, if food or liquid is entering your airway (aspiration), which types of food and liquid are safe for you to swallow, and if any modifications in position or food consistency makes swallowing safer.
Fiber-Optic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing
A flexible tube with a small, lighted camera at its tip is passed through your nose to view your throat while you swallow brightly colored foods and liquids. You may be asked to try different swallowing positions, such as tilting your head or tucking your chin, to see which work best.