Postdoctoral research fellow
West Park Healthcare Centre
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex multi-component condition whose clinical presentation is often complicated by co-morbidities and extrapulmonary clinical features. This presentation will highlight three of them. Affecting between 17% and 78% of people is gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Due to the possibility of pulmonary microaspiration GORD may influence lung disease severity and is a predictor of acute exacerbations. Pain is common in people with COPD, affecting 66% of individuals with moderate to very severe disease. Higher pain intensity is associated with increased dyspnea, fatigue, poorer quality of life, lower levels of physical activity and a greater number of comorbidities. Pain imposes limitations on exercise behaviour and participation in pulmonary rehabilitation. The common locations of pain are the upper and lower back and lower limbs. In COPD, postural alterations may be influenced by musculoskeletal comorbidities including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Common postural abnormalities include alterations in the degree of cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis, and altered scapula position. Postural alterations are associated with reduced pulmonary function and may contribute to exercise limitations and increased functional impairment.