Different Effects of Aerobic Exercise and Diaphragmatic Breathing on Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pressure and Quality of Life in Patients with Reflux: A Comparative Study

Mehdi Ahmadi, Mohsen Amiri, Tahere Rezaeian, Iraj Abdollahi, Amir Mansour Rezadoost, Masoudreza Sohrabi, Enayatollah Bakhshi



 Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a worldwide disorder with an increasing prevalence. The quality of life (QOL) of the patients may be influenced by reflux disease. Diaphragmatic breathing (DB), as well as aerobic exercise (AE), may improve the symptoms of reflux disease, although it remains a controversial issue. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of AE and DB on QOL and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure of patients with moderate to severe reflux.


 This was a case-control study that was conducted for 8 weeks among patients with moderate to severe GERD. The block randomization method was designed to randomize patients into three groups (AE, DB, and control) to achieve equal sample sizes. The control group received omeprazole 20 mg once daily. The other groups, in addition to omeprazole, received AE and DB. QOL and LES pressure were measured before and after the study by Questionary and Manometry method, respectively.


75 patients were enrolled in this study. Positive effects of DB on LES pressure was approved (p=0.001). DB had significantly more effects on QOL than aerobic exercise (p =0.003). AE can significantly improve QOL in patients (p =0.02) but no significant change in LES pressure (p =0.38). There was no change in the control group for both variables.


 AE had no effects on LES pressure but can improve QOL of the patients. DB had more effects on QOL than AE, so injured or disable patients with reflux who cannot do AE, can benefit from DB to improve their reflux symptoms.


Reflux, Manometry, Diaphragmatic breathing, Aerobic exercise, Quality of life, LES

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