Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Chest Physical Asthma Therapy

Osteopath applying massage on breast
Chest physical therapy– or also known as chest physiotherapy is a natural (home-based) treatment used for people suffering from asthma. This therapy involves several procedures that aim to strengthen the lung capacity of an asthmatic individual.

Basically, there are five procedures used for complete session of chest physical therapy. These procedures are usually done independently. However, some of the procedures may require the help of a health expert (nurse, health aide, or respiratory therapist). Trained family member can also assist their patient to perform the chest physical therapy.

What are the Five Procedures used for Chest Physiotherapy?

The therapy last for one hour. As long as the asthmatic person can tolerate the therapy, they can extend the session. However, too much exertion on the end of the patient can complicate their health problem. Ideally, it is best to observe the reaction of the patient towards the procedure.

The five procedures used for chest physical therapy are:

  1. Postural drainage involves patient having placed in different body positions. The purpose of this treatment is to loosen the thick and tenacious secretions on all portions of the lungs. The procedure should last for fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the tolerance of the patient. Ideally, the treatment requires at least three different body positions (supine, back lying, dorsal recumbent, etc.). Each position should be maintained for ten minutes.
  2. Chest percussion is like chest clapping. The hand must form a cup and slowly (but with minimal force) strike the chest to loosen the secretions at the anterior (front) part of the lungs. The procedure should last for three to five minutes.
  3. Chest vibration involves placing the palm of the hand at the chest area. The chest is rubbed by the palm to create a constant vibration effect. Similar to chest percussion, vibration works to loosen the mucus in the front part of the lungs.
  4. Coughing and deep breathing exercise. The purpose of this procedure is to strengthen the lung capacity of an asthmatic person. In here, they need to perform a deep breathing exercise by inhaling through their nose (deep inhalation) and exhaling through their mouth (in a loud and sudden blow). The exercise requires at least three to five episodes (complete inhalation and exhalation) and then cough. This way, the secretions at the bronchi and bronchioles are expectorated.
  5. Turning. The last and final procedure used for chest physiotherapy is body turning. It is usually applied for asthmatic elders, who require strict assistance for therapy. It involves body turning from left-side lying position to right lateral position. The purpose of this therapy is to dislodge the secretions in front and back portion of the lungs.
The therapy must be done before eating meals. This is to prevent possible aspiration. Ideally, right after the procedures, asthmatic individuals must perform oral care (using of mouthwash). Any expectorated sputum can leave some residues in the oral cavity.

Cleaning the mouth with plain water or using mouthwash can help prevent alteration of taste and infections. Asthmatic persons must be closely monitored before, during, and after the therapy. This is to check whether they make any progressions on the treatment of chest physical therapy process or not.

– By Edterchelle Soriano