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Chest physiotherapy is done to improve respiratory efficiency, promote expansion of the lungs, strengthen breathing muscles, and eliminate secretions from the respiratory system making it easier to breathe in general and speeding up recovery after contracting lung diseases.
Patients that may benefit from such treatment may include patients suffering from : Cystic fibrosis, Guillan-Barré syndrome, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonay disease (COPD), Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Post-operative pain, Asthma
Hands-on management can be done in acute or infective stages of lung conditions and will include nebulizing, postural drainage, percussions and vibrations. It can be helpful to teach family members or friends of people living with chronic conditions to assist in continuing treatment at home.
Physiotherapists can be valuable teachers of self management techniques. This may include breathing control which allows airways to relax and relieve symptoms of tightness and wheezing. When sputum is difficult to clear, deep breathing exercises will assist in clearing sputum from smaller airways. Forced expiration techniques proves to be a more energy efficient way of clearing secretion as well.
Patients suffering from chronic lung conditions have good results when consciously making effort to increase lung capacity and incorporate general cardiovascular exercises into their routines which will in turn improve the efficiency of oxygen up-take in muscles.
Combining these and getting a physiotherapist to create a patient specific respiratory exercise programmeme will help management of long-term conditions.