Respiratory physiotherapy has two main roles.
There are many techniques to help clear pulmonary secretions. Clapping and vibrations on the thoracic cage are techniques often used in pneumonia cases. These techniques are mostly useful with patients who have trouble expectorating their secretions like children and the elderly. However, they can also be useful among people who suffer from chronic pulmonary conditions like the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During a crisis, air exchanges are less effective. Physiotherapy can then help along with medication.
Respiratory physiotherapy helps gas exchanges through the pulmonary membrane to enhance blood oxygenation. Breathing exercises and manual techniques to increase thoracic mobility can be used for that purpose. In cases like asthma, advice and exercises help decreasing the respiratory frequency. Oxygen can then transfer through blood more easily. These techniques can also calm the person during a crisis.
A proper breathing pattern can also relieve tension in the neck and thoracic areas because accessory breathing muscles mostly attach in these areas. People who have a more apical breathing pattern tend to have more tension in the neck. Respiratory physiotherapy can play a role in decreasing these tensions through re-education of the breathing pattern.
• Cystic fibrosis
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Bronchial congestion
• Pain while breathing