VA Research and Development LOGO

Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 42 Number 2, March/April 2005
Pages 211 — 224

Abstract - Implications of expiratory muscle strength training for rehabilitation of the elderly: Tutorial

Jaeock Kim, MS;1* Christine M. Sapienza, PhD, SLP2

1-2Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 2Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Gainesville, FL
Abstract — With age, physical functions decline, which influences respiratory performance. One of the physical changes associated with aging is sarcopenia, a reduction in muscle strength and power. Sarcopenia has been extensively studied in the elderly with regard to limb function but less with regard to respiratory function. Elderly individuals experience reduced muscle mass and strength in respiratory musculature, which may hinder the ability to generate adequate expiratory driving force for both ventilatory and nonventilatory activities. Increasing expiratory muscle strength may enhance an elderly individual's ability to generate and maintain the expiratory driving force critical to cough, speak, and swallow. Previous studies demonstrate that expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) improves ventilatory and nonventilatory functions. This paper discusses the potential impact that EMST can have on the rehabilitation of respiratory muscle decline, particularly in the elderly. This tutorial reviews an EMST paradigm, its physiological underpinnings, and its potential outcomes.
Key words: cough, elderly, expiratory muscle strength training (EMST), maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), muscle, rehabilitation, sarcopenia, speech, strength, swallow.

go to Contents Page for Volume 42, No 1
go to HTML version of this article
go to PDF version of this article