J Med Assoc Thai 2009; 92 (4):556

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Effect of Lower Extremity Exercise on Muscle Strength and Physical Capacity in COPD Patients
Santiworakul A Mail, Jarungjitaree S , Jalayondeja W , Chantarothorn S , Supaibulpipat S

Objective: Investigate the effect of lower extremity exercise on maximum lower extremity muscle strength and
physical capacity in COPD patients.

Material and Method: Twenty moderate to very severe COPD patients were allocated into trained and control
groups. The trained group received eight weeks of lower extremity functional exercise including forward step
up, lateral step up, heel raise, and lunge at home. Maximum muscle strength and Six Minute Walk Distance
(6MWD) assessments were performed at pre-training, week 4, and week 8 in hospital settings.

Results: There was no significant difference between trained and control groups in maximum muscle strength
and 6MWD at the beginning of the program. However, there was a significant improvement in 6MWD after
eight weeks of training, whereas there were no significant differences in the control group.

Conclusion: Functional exercise may improve physical capacity in moderate to very severe COPD patients. It
is beneficial and easy to perform at home.

Keywords: Exercise test, Exercise tolerance, Lower extremity, Muscle strength, Pulmonary disease, Chronic
obstructive, Walking

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