Physical Therapy for Chest Infections

Physical Therapy for Chest Infections

Physical Therapy for Chest Infections

In order to help defend against germs, our lungs make mucus. It is when this mucus gets accumulated in the lungs, infections can occur. Infections cause inflammation or swelling of the lungs. Both infections and inflammation cause more mucus to be formed. More mucus in the lungs can lead to more infections. The cycle of infection, inflammation and more mucus can hurt the lungs and lower the lung functionality.

Chest physiotherapy is a group of physical techniques that improve lung function and help you breathe better. It helps expanding the lungs, strengthening breathing muscles, and loosening and improving drainage of thick lung secretions. Chest physiotherapy also keeps the lungs clear to prevent pneumonia after surgery and during periods of immobility. Chest physiotherapy is the only method that is used to treat respiratory diseases.

Types of Chest Physiotherapies:

The aim of physiotherapy and other exercise therapies is to help you to cough up and clear the mucus and to improve your overall lung fitness. This is called airway clearance therapy. This can help prevent build-up of infected mucus, which may prevent chest infections. A physiotherapist will advise on the different airway clearance techniques available and the one that may suit you best. Typically, for those people who have chest infections, physiotherapists encourage them to perform their chosen airway clearance therapy for 20-30 minutes, once or twice a day.

Healthcare professionals use different kinds of chest physiotherapy together including:

  • Deep Breathing Exercises to help expand the lungs and draw more air into all areas of the lungs.

  • Controlled Coughing Techniques help break up lung secretions so your caregiver can suction them out or you can expectorate them.

  • Postural Drainage to help drain lung secretions.

  • Vibration Technique helps break up lung secretions. 

  • Incentive Spirometry to help improve lung function by inhaling strongly using a special device. You may use it after surgery to re-expand your lungs and prevent pneumonia.

  • Positioning and Turning From Side to Side helps improve lung expansion and drainage of secretions. This is important for patients who are bedridden or hospitalized.

​Doctors generally recommend one or more other treatments to manage respiratory disease and breathing problems. Treatments vary depending on the specific disease, the severity of the disease, your medical history, your age, and other factors. It’s crucial for smokers to stop smoking and passive smoking in order to reduce the formation of more mucus in the lungs. If you’ve been suffering from any kind of chest infection, get in touch with our professional chest physiotherapists, they will outline a plan to help you get rid of the chest infections.