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 be physically active and may make walking, climbing stairs, and even sleeping difficult. Speech and swallowing can also be affected. Respiratory muscle training (RMT) strengthens your 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:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord injury
- And other conditions
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 can also help improve 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 a physical examination, questionnaires, practical and functional information gathering, and standardized testing based on your individual needs.
Respiratory Pressure Manometry
Maximum inspiratory (breathing in) and expiratory (breathing out) pressures are tested by blowing and sucking into a handheld device.
Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study
Video x-rays show 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). This test looks at your swallowing process, indicates whether food or liquid is entering your airway (aspiration), determines the types of food and liquid that are safe for you to swallow, and identifies any modifications in position or food consistency that may make swallowing safer.
Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing
A flexible tube with a small, lighted camera at its tip is passed through your nose to show your throat as you swallow brightly colored foods and liquids. You may be asked to swallow in different positions, such as tilting your head or tucking your chin, to see which work best.
In addition, Duke University Hospital is proud to be named the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 10 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.