Respiratory physiotherapy is a core specialty within the physiotherapy profession and occupies a key role in the management and treatment of patients with respiratory diseases. It aims to unclog the patient’s airways and help them return to physical activity and exertion. The respiratory physiotherapist employs many diverse interventions, including pulmonary rehabilitation, early mobilisation, and airway clearance techniques, all having beneficial effects on the symptoms associated with respiratory diseases.
Breathlessness is a symptom of the lung disease emphysema. Alveoli, the lungs, air sacs, suffer damage in those with emphysema. The air sacs; inner walls deteriorate and tear over time, resulting in the creation of fewer, larger air gaps as opposed to more, smaller ones. As a result, less oxygen enters your bloodstream because of a reduction in lung surface area.
Emphysema is primarily brought on by chronic exposure to allergens in the air, such as:
Dust and chemical fumes
Breathlessness is the primary symptom of emphysema, and it often develops gradually because you might begin to avoid activities that make you feel out of breath, the symptom might not be a concern until it starts to interfere with everyday activities. Shortness of breath inevitably develops, even when you're at rest.
Pulmonary rehabilitation, which involves education, nutrition counselling, learning specific breathing methods, assistance with quitting smoking, and beginning an exercise routine, is a crucial component of the treatment of emphysema. Emphysema patients frequently have physical limitations, thus they may avoid engaging in any physical activity.
WHEN DOES THE PATIENT REQUIRE RESPIRATORY PHYSIOTHERAPY ?
Inability or reluctance of the patient to change body position. (eg, mechanical ventilation, neuromuscular disease, drug-induced paralysis).
Poor oxygenation associated with the position (eg, unilateral lung disease).
Potential for or presence of atelectasis.
Presence of artificial airway.
Difficulty clearing secretions with expectorated sputum production greater than 25-30 mL/day (adult).
Evidence or suggestion of retained secretions in the presence of an artificial airway.
Presence of atelectasis caused by or suspected of being caused by mucus plugging.
Diagnosis of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, or cavitating lung disease
Presence of foreign body in the airway.
Patient with copious sputum or with central consolidation.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RESPIRATORY PHYSIOTHERAPY ?
Respiratory therapy can shorten the recovery time from acute conditions, such as a respiratory infection, allergy related breathing issues, and influenza. Respiratory therapy can work along with other treatments to expedite the healing process and get patients back to their normal activities.
Here are five benefits that prove how valuable respiratory therapy is,
Improved Immune Function
Return to Daily Activities