Updated: Aug 29, 2021
So what is it?
Chest physiotherapy was conventionally defined as techniques used to help clear phlegm and secretions more effectively but has since expanded to include exercises to build up and improve lung function.
The purpose of chest physiotherapy is:
To facilitate removal of retained or profuse airway secretions.
To optimize lung compliance and prevent it from collapsing.
To decrease the work of breathing.
To optimize the ventilation-perfusion ratio/ improve gas exchange.
Normal airway clearance involves coughing, but when the mechanism of mucus clearance is affected due to issues such as a disease, various techniques must be employed to aid in airway clearance.
Who needs it?
Anyone from athletes to those with weak lungs can benefit from respiratory muscle training, which is accomplished by breathing against a resistance such as a threshold device or a mask. This in turn helps to ease breathing, and regular training can reduce breathlessness.
Sufferers of asthma or altered breathing patterns can get more out of each breath by learning normal mechanics with breathing exercises on how to breathe better and more efficiently.
How does it work?
Gravity is used to facilitate secretion drainage, together with skills and devices designed to improve cough strength, this is especially helpful for those with a decreased ability to cough and can speed up recovery from chest infections.
Build a Better Engine!
The benefit of chest physiotherapy can extend from any activities of daily living to elite athletic performance. Stronger breathing muscles can now contract more forcefully and resist fatigue, boosting endurance and enhance one's quality of life.