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Respiratory muscle strength in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis


The aim of the study was to assess the respiratory muscle strength in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (IS), conservatively treated using exercises by Dobosiewicz [1].

Study design

The study group included eighty-one subjects (65 female, 16 male) aged 7 to 17 years (mean age 14.3 ± 2.3 years) with thoracic scoliosis (n = 44) and double major scoliosis (n = 37). Mean Cobb angle was 39 degrees (SD 17.8) and mean apical vertebral rotation (AVR) was 12 ± 7.1 degrees.


Vital capacity (VC) was measured using Jaeger's spirometer and values were compared to Zapletal's recommendations [2]. Maximal static respiratory pressures including maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP), were measured according to W. Tomalak's recommendations for Polish children [3]. Measurements were made using a portable, digital pressure meter equipped with the Omega PX25 pressure transducer (ZETA product – model MMM2).

Results and conclusion

The maximal static respiratory pressures (percent predicted value) in children with scoliosis conservatively treated using exercises by Dobosiewicz were normal (MIP mean 119.1 ± 40.25%). For MEP, values (mean 164.9 ± 35.96%) were even higher than predicted, which may be related to age (the norm of adolescents is extrapolated) and/or the effect of rehabilitation on physical performance.


  1. Dyner-Jama I, Dobosiewicz K, Niepsuj K, Niepsuj G, Jedrzejewska A, Czernicki K: Effect of asymmetric respiratory exercise therapy on respiratory system function; evaluation using spirometric examination in children with idiopathic scoliosis. Wiad Lek. 2000, 53: 603-610. Polish

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  2. Zapletal A: Lung function in children and adolescents. Methods, Reference Values. Progress in respiration research. Edited by: Zapletal A, Samanak M, Paul T. 1987, Basel: Karger, 114-218.

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  3. Tomalak W, Pogorzelski A, Prusak J: Normal values for maximal static inspiratory and expiratory pressures in healthy children. Ped Pulmon. 2002, 34: 42-46. 10.1002/ppul.10130.

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Correspondence to Jacek Durmala.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Durmala, J., Tomalak, W. Respiratory muscle strength in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis 2 (Suppl 1), S4 (2007).

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