Physiotherapy For Emphysema!

Written and reviewed by
MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy)
Physiotherapist, Delhi  •  12 years experience
Physiotherapy For Emphysema!

Emphysema is a lung disease, where the walls of the air sacs are destroyed completely and the lungs lose their elastic gradually. This makes it inconvenient for the person to breathe in/out as the size of the lungs lessens. This, in turn, increases the breathing rate and finally, you may end up with breathlessness. If proper care is not taken, it can also lead to heart enlargement which may further increase your chances of having a heart failure.

Causes of Emphysema:

Some of the common causes of Emphysema are:

  1. Irrespective of whether you are exposed to direct or second-hand smoking, chemical fumes, pollution you can still be affected by Emphysema. Although one of the main and most common reasons for Emphysema is Smoking. The tobacco smoke has almost 4000 chemicals in it. These chemicals will first destroy the airways, then the elastic sacs and finally the elastic fibers.
  2. Another reason for Emphysema is protein deficiency, but this is a very rare reason. Only one or two percent of the people will be affected by Emphysema due to this reason. A protein called AAT deficiency can damage the elasticity of the lung structure and can cause lung damage.
  3. Aging is also a cause of Emphysema. As you grow older, lungs also start aging and hence that can damage the elasticity of the lungs.

Physiotherapy treatment for Emphysema:

When you meet your physiotherapist, you will have a discussion in order to find the actual symptoms of Emphysema. Based on the symptoms, the physiotherapist will analyze how it is affecting your lifestyle. A physiotherapist will make sure to provide the best and specialized treatment for the symptoms of Emphysema. Your treatment will be decided and started based on the severity of your symptoms.

Breathing techniques:

Your physiotherapist will work on controlling the respiratory rates, Diaphragmatic breathing, reduction of breathing volume and exercises related to relaxation breathing. These techniques will help in retraining your breathing.


Secretion clearance:

The physiotherapist will work on productive and effective coughing techniques, manual assistance which includes shaking and vibrating and postural drainage. They will help in removing the mucus out of the airways as they block the airways. This way you will be able to keep your airways as hygienic as possible. This will also help in reducing any kind of infections that may be caused due to the excessive mucus.

Educating the patients:

Your physiotherapist will help you understand the causes of Emphysema, how the allergens and environment are responsible for it, how to manage your medication and how to identify the possible asthmatic attacks. With the help of physiotherapy, Emphysema sufferers will be able to lead a normal life as much as possible.

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