An investigation into the immediate effect of rib mobilization and sham laser application on chest wall expansion and lung function in healthy asymptomatic males : a pilot study
Optimal ventilation of the lungs is essential to the function of the human body. Our lungs can be expanded and contracted by the elevation and depression of the ribs. This causes an increase and decrease of the anteroposterior diameter of the chest cavity and the lungs are then expanded by raising the rib cage. There are several different dysfunctions which the ribs are subjected to. These dysfunctions consist of restrictions in either inhalation or exhalation and are associated with increased tone of the intercostals muscles between the ribs. Therefore, if the chest wall movement is restricted in any way, this will cause decrements in pulmonary function and exercise capacity. Furthermore, there is a significant increase in oxygen cost associated with external chest wall restriction, which is directly related to the level of chest wall restriction. Mobilization of the ribs aims to restore mobility and function but no investigations into the immediate effect of rib mobilization on chest wall expansion and lung function have been conducted. Therefore this study aimed to test whether chest wall expansion and therefore lung function can be influenced in ten minutes following a mechanical intervention.