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The effect of manual therapy on pulmonary function in healthy adults

Wall, B.A., Peiffer, J.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-3331-1177, Losco, B. and Hebert, J.J. (2016) The effect of manual therapy on pulmonary function in healthy adults. Scientific Reports, 6 . Article number: 33244.

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Manual therapy is suggested as a potentially therapeutic intervention that may improve pulmonary function. However, this form of therapy is largely based on clinical observations and hypothetical models rather than mechanistic knowledge. This study examined the influence of a single session of manual therapy applied to the thoracic spine and thorax on dynamic pulmonary function over an extended time frame in healthy adults. 21 healthy individuals (14 males) aged 19-35 (mean [SD] age = 23 [3.9], BMI [SD] = 22.97 [2.41]) completed one experimental testing session consisting of five pulmonary function tests and the delivery of a manual therapy intervention. Pulmonary function was measured at baseline and 1 minute, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes following the intervention. Baseline mean (SD) forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expired volume in 1 second (FEV 1) and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) were 5.55(1.23 L), 4.64(0.92 L) and 165.7(40.0L min â '1) respectively. The mean (SD) FEV 1 /FVC ratio was 0.84(0.07). There were no statistically significant changes in any of the pulmonary function measures following the manual therapy intervention. Our findings do not support the use of manual therapy to provide a short-term benefit in respiratory function to healthy adults.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2016
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