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Cystic Fibrosis has many side effects that are also important. The team of physical educators of the Respiralia Foundation works reversing the consequences of CF at the physical level of the users of the Endurance program. In this new informative capsule, recorded in “Físic, espai de salut integral“, we tell you about it.
Consequences of Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis has many side effects that are also important, among others, dorsal kyphosis, loss of muscle and bone mass, osteopenia, osteoporosis and possible urine leakage, especially in women.
For dorsal kyphosis, Joan teaches us a good strength exercise for the scapulae to perform a compensatory work and allow us to relieve pain in the upper trunk. In addition, this exercise works on the expansion of the rib cage, allowing the lungs to have more space to expand and, consequently, to increase their capacity.
Raise the arms, making sure that the shoulders are anchored down and do not accompany the upward movement. Note that the shoulder blades are trying to come together and make sure that the shoulder does not come into contact with the ear.
To decrease the difficulty of this exercise, it can be performed lying on the floor face up, so that, by extending the arms above the head, we try to push a wall.
Finally, to increase the difficulty of the exercise, you can take two water bottles or two dumbbells and perform the exercise with weight.
Loss of muscle mass
For the problem of muscle mass loss, Joan uses hypertrophy strength exercises, working on a variety of exercises (weighted squats, pull-ups, deadlifts, push-ups, etc.) with weights between 60% and 80% of maximum strength.
Loss of bone mass
To recover bone mass, apply impact exercises, vibrations or maximum strength. This means doing the same exercises as for recovering muscle mass but with weights that only allow us to perform a maximum of 3 to 5 repetitions. These maximum strength exercises favor the increase of bone mass and help prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Strength exercises are appropriate in Cystic Fibrosis
These reflections leave us with a very clear concept: In Cystic Fibrosis, strength exercises can help improve lung capacity and prevent other problems derived from the disease.
Pelvic floor problems
Regarding the pelvic floor, it should be noted that, being located below the abdominal area, it is exposed to the pressures produced by breathing. When we make a physical effort, the abdominal area contracts, so there are pressures in the horizontal and vertical axis.
If, in addition to these pressures, we do the exercise and breath in at the moment of exertion, the diaphragm lowers and exerts more vertical pressure, so the only escape route for these pressures is the lower part where the pelvic floor is.
These pressures can cause distension of the soft tissues in that area and, therefore, urine leakage and other possible complications, especially in women.
How to prevent urine leakage problems
When performing an exercise, we will always take in air before making the effort and release it when we apply the force. In this way, the diaphragm rises and leaves space for the pressure to be distributed in the vertical axis and not only go to the lower part.
A good rule of thumb is to breathe in when we go for gravity and breathe out when we go against it, which is the moment when the force is applied in the exercise.
Other aspects to consider regarding the consequences of CF
In Cystic Fibrosis it is very important to control blood oxygen saturation by means of a pulse oximeter while exercising. Although the blood oxygen saturation margins in people without any pathology should be between 96% and 100%, in people with Cystic Fibrosis may be below these levels, so Joan Llobera indicates that you can work above 91% but not below.
Regarding the diabetes caused by Cystic Fibrosis in many cases, it is necessary to control it as long as physical exercise is performed, without letting it be below 75 of sugar measure.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic, serious and degenerative disease that to date has no cure.
It mainly affects the respiratory, digestive, reproductive and sweat glands.
The treatment for Cystic Fibrosis includes antibiotherapy, a healthy and hypercaloric nutrition and respiratory physiotherapy combined with endurance exercises.
Currently, more than 2000 mutations are known in the gene that is defective in people with Cystic Fibrosis, although only about 150 mutations are described as causing the disease.
Statistics show that 1 in 5,000 people in Spain has Cystic Fibrosis (1 in 6,400 in the Balearic Islands) and 1 in 35 people is a carrier of a gene that causes the disease (1 in 40 in the Balearic Islands).
In the Balearic Islands there are 76 known diagnosed cases, but statistics speak of between 85 and 90 possible cases.
The awareness project of the Respiralia Foundation aims to raise awareness of this disease in order to discover those cases of people who have Cystic Fibrosis but have not yet been diagnosed.