A technique for increasing the intrathoracic and intra-abdominal pressure by trying to breathe out forcibly (using the diaphragm and abdominal muscles) when the glottis (the opening between the vocal cords) is closed. It was named after the Italian anatomist A. M. Valsalva (1666–1723).The manoeuvre is often performed during isometric exercises and weight-lifting. Air is trapped and pressurized in the lungs, causing blood pressure to rise. The great veins may collapse, reducing the flow of blood returning to the heart. Immediately after the manoeuvre, a reflex bradycardia can occur that may cause dizziness and fainting. Valsalva's manoeuvre is potentially dangerous. It can cause a heart attack in people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.