Cardiopulmonary physiotherapy, or “chest physiotherapy” has drawn much attention, and has helped many patients with heart and lung diseases. Chest physiotherapy is an area of physiotherapy that specializes in the prevention, rehabilitation, and maintenance of patients with diseases and injuries in the heart and lungs. It helps patients in the treatment of:
- shortness of breath
- persistent cough, clearing lungs
- increased work of breathing
- the reduced ability to exercise or do daily activities caused due to diseases like asthma, bronchitis, COPD, lung fibrosis, lung injuries, before and after lung and heart surgeries, etc…
- improves Quality of Life
Chest physiotherapy helps patients to get back to their daily and occupational activities. It is an integral part of the medical team for the patients admitted in the ICU on ventilators with various diseases. These physiotherapists help the patients from when they arrive in the ICU to when they get back to their normal activities and occupation. Chest physiotherapists have dispelled the myth that patients with heart diseases, asthma, or any other lung disorders cannot live a normal life, play sports, or pursue general activities.
You may be surprised to learn that you can strengthen your lungs and heart in much the same way you strengthen the various of the body. It’s amazing to know that you can do “weight and resistance” training for your lungs and heart muscles also — safely under the continuous monitoring and supervision of a Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapist. They not only help you to improve your condition, but also assess your daily activities and help you to modify your lifestyle to maintain progress. In addition to patients with major diseases, patients with breathing difficulties from unknown causes can also be benefited with chest rehabilitation.
What if you don’t have any disease and still you feel breathless?
Many times, bad posture can pressurize or compress your lungs. Sometimes a person’s job pattern and daily activity may lead to weakness of your breathing muscles. A physiotherapist has expertise in assessing these types of issues, commonly found in school kids, housewives, computer users, those with scoliosis. etc. Correcting and strengthening posture with targeted exercises, stretches, and strength training of respiratory muscles can help patients to overcome this and reduce breathing issues.
Nowadays there is a misconception in people that breathing exercises in Yoga and physiotherapy serve the same purpose. Basic breathing patterns taught in yoga are beneficial for a person to keep the lungs healthy, but if a person is suffering from lung problems such as bronchitis, COPD, fibrosis, etc. then the wrong breathing exercises can add on to your problem. Your entire treatment protocol is planned by your chest physiotherapist according to your condition, age, lifestyle, etc.
As with all other medical branches of physiotherapy (i.e. sports injuries, neurology, and orthopedic conditions) cardiopulmonary physiotherapists are doing wonders with their patients in all age groups, from infants to seniors. They help to improve people’s quality of life and enable them to continue with their daily activities and occupations.
Dr. Samana Sayed is a renowned Physiotherapist working in Mumbai who has been serving patients for over five years. She is a Master in Physiotherapy (cardiopulmonary), Member of the Indian Association of Physiotherapy, Certified Manual therapist (spine and periphery), antenatal and postnatal trainer, acupuncturist, ergonomist, and a fitness advisor. She has eight years of experience as a senior consultant and department head in three renowned medical institutes in Mumbai. Dr. Sayed speaks internationally and nationally on physiotherapy and has contributed to several newspaper health columns. She has been awarded the National Youth Promising (Best Clinician) award. Visit her Facebook page or website at drsamana.com