Chest Physiotherapy & Tracheostomy Care
For patients COVID-19 survivors, or patients with difficult removing phlegm or secretion from their lungs during a rehabilitation from critical illness, Chest Physiotherapy is used to help clear secretions and prevent the build up of bacteria. These programs are designed to improve daily function, reduce symptom severity and improve quality of life.
What is Chest Physiotherapy?
Chest Physiotherapy is for individuals who have difficulty removing phlegm or secretion from their lungs.
It incorporates several physiotherapy treatment techniques to improve drainage of phlegm, ability to cough and reduce effort required to remove phlegm and secretions.
Why Chest Physiotherapy?
Mucus is produced in your mouth, nose, throat, sinuses and lungs, to protect your airways. They trap bacteria and other particles you breathe in which may make you sick.
When the lungs are functioning normally, mucus in the airways can be cleared via coughing or swallowing. If you have weak respiratory muscles which limits the ability to fully expand your rib cage, you will struggle to take a big breath in and force air out to produce an effective cough.
Mucus will get stuck in the lungs, along with all the bacteria it has trapped, leading to an increase risk of repeated chest infections. Other common lung conditions where lung function is impaired would include:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Neuromuscular disorders, which include muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome
Lung infections, such as pneumonia, which may arise due to long periods of immobility such as prolonged bed rest during critical illness.
Thus, the need for chest physiotherapy where different treatment techniques are used to remove the mucus and build up of bacteria.
What is Tracheostomy Care?
A tracheostomy is an opening created by an incision through the neck into the trachea. A tracheostomy aids breathing by shortening the pathway through which air enters the lungs.
Patients with a tracheostomy will require guidance on how to clean and manage their tracheostomy tube. Family members and caregivers may be scared to touch the tracheostomy tube, and not feel confident to perform suctioning and/or airway clearance.
Who needs Tracheostomy Care?
Patients who require tracheostomy care may experience symptoms like difficulty coughing out phlegm, bleeding tracheostomy tube, tracheostomy tube being blocked, stiff neck, and a dirty tracheostomy tube.
A physiotherapist can help to alleviate such fears in the patients and their loved ones, and to:
Reassure, explain and guide the family every step of the way on how to handle a tracheostomy tube and associated respiratory equipment
Advise on various methods of suctioning/airway clearance techniques, and provide comprehensive caregiver training to family/carers
Educate and teach on what to look out for and how to trouble bleeding/blocked tubes
Educate and teach on how to clean and tracheostomy tube
Teach exercises to prevent stiff neck
What can I expect at my sessions?
Our physiotherapists first start with an assessment on the needs of the patient. Thereafter, we will chart the treatment plan with the patient and their loved ones, and provide caregiver training to ensure consistency in standards and safety in the patient’s care.
At Thrive Healthcare, our physiotherapists can visit you at your home, providing safe and convenient home therapy for patients with difficulty leaving the home. With home physiotherapy, we can help you to optimize the home environment, to help you to learn how to continue to perform activities of daily living in a familiar environment.