Exercises for coughs and congestion

photo of a poorly woman on the sofa coughing and holding a mug.

Did you know that in hospitals, physiotherapists are often found working on wards and in clinics with respiratory patients. Respiratory physiotherapy is a vital part of the healthcare plan for many lung conditions, and in 2020 JRM Physiotherapist Esther Gallick was deployed to work within the local hospital providing physiotherapy to many of the covid patients on the wards. In this post she demonstrates how some simple exercises you can do at home can help to ease chest congestion and reduce the risk of infection.

Physiotherapy advice: Exercises for coughs and congestion

So it’s that time of year again where colds and flu are rife!

Do you find it difficult to clear your chest when you are poorly or struggle with clearance due to a respiratory condition such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or bronchiectasis?

How can Physio help?

Physiotherapy can help with chest clearance with some manual techniques, postural drainage, and simple breathing exercises to help you clear your chest more easily and effectively.

Chest infections are also a common side effect of having rib fractures or abdominal surgery as it is often painful to cough, sneeze or take a big breath.  As a result, we do not regularly fill our lungs to their capacity and just take short shallow breaths. This allows bacteria to accumulate in the bases of our lungs which can then cause an infection. As physiotherapists we can advise, treat, and help you reduce the risks of brewing an infection.

Exercises and self-help

I find that the active cycle of breathing technique is a simple exercise that is an effective non-invasive way of clearing a productive chest as well as reducing the risk of developing a chest infection following rib injury or abdominal surgery. Watch the short video below to learn this simple technique.

As physiotherapists, we can also devise a rehabilitation programme to help you recover from an injury/surgery/sickness that has reduced your cardiovascular and respiratory fitness. We are trained and experienced in developing evidence-based progressive rehabilitation, and there to patiently offer advice, support, and ecouragement. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Esther Gallick is a full time physiotherapist at JRM Physiotherapy in Meltham, West Yorkshire. photo of physiotherapist Esther Gallick

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