Chest physical therapy, also known as CPT or chest PT, is part of the daily treatment plan of people with cystic fibrosis. It is a technique to clear the airways that can help drain the lungs.
Chest physical therapy consists of a series of exercises that can help improve many symptoms and complications of cystic fibrosis. Chest physical therapy for a person with this condition may include using deep breathing and vibration.
Read on to find out more about chest physical therapy. This article discusses its benefits, when someone might need it, what it involves, and more.
Chest physical therapy consists of techniques that can help keep the airways clear. It is an important part of the daily treatment that people with cystic fibrosis may need.
Chest physical therapy exercises may include:
- deep breathing
- percussion or clapping
Doctors can recommend the frequency and the type of exercises that individuals with cystic fibrosis may need to perform. This may vary depending on certain factors and a person’s needs.
Chest therapy plays
Chest physical therapy includes a range of exercises and techniques that can help people with cystic fibrosis relieve their symptoms and manage potential complications of this condition.
Draining the lungs from the excess mucus
Doctors can advise when someone with cystic fibrosis should start chest therapy. They can assess the physical conditions of each person and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.
Not every chest physical therapy is the same. The exercises and the duration of the daily treatment can vary depending on various health and lifestyle factors.
People with cystic fibrosis can generally receive chest therapy at home. A clinician can teach a relative or caregiver on how to perform the techniques so that they can perform them on the individual at home.
People with babies with cystic fibrosis may need training from their doctor to learn how to perform chest therapy on their child. However, when children grow up, they can typically perform some of these exercises on their own with adult monitoring. Learn more about cystic fibrosis in children.
Most teenagers and adults can receive chest physical therapy at home with the help of a caregiver. However,
During these meetings, doctors can inform people with cystic fibrosis how to optimize their exercises and teach them new techniques.
The way to perform chest therapy may vary depending on the age and physical conditions of the person with cystic fibrosis.
Chest physical therapy exercises may include the following.
People can use their hands to gently clap on the chest wall. This will produce vibrations that can help lead the mucus out of the lungs into the bigger airways, where it is more easily coughed.
People need to keep their hands in a cupped position and use the palm of their hands face down to clap on their chest wall.
This procedure usually lasts 3–5 minutes in each area of the lung, and people can follow this exercise with vibration techniques. People should also try to cough to help expel any extra mucus from their lungs.
While performing percussion exercises, people should avoid hitting parts of the body that can cause an injury over time, including:
- the breastbone
- the spine
- the lower ribs
- the stomach
Vibration therapy involves placing a firm hand on the wall of the individual’s chest. By tensing the arm and shoulder muscles, it creates a shaking motion to create the vibration.
This vibration exercise typically lasts about 15 seconds or 5 exhalations.
People can also purchase vibrating devices to perform chest physical therapy. Doctors
While performing deep breathing, a person should breathe using their diaphragm. This can help them breathe deeper. Deep breathing can help move the loose mucus and may cause coughing.
When a person breathes with their diaphragm, their stomach moves outward when they breathe in and sinks when they breathe out.
Each session of chest physical therapy for cystic fibrosis typically takes between 20 and 40 minutes. However, it may take longer if a person is congested or producing large quantities of mucus.
Doctors usually recommend sessions of chest physical therapy early in the morning and before going to bed. It may also be beneficial to perform the exercises throughout the day.
Doctors may also recommend avoiding performing chest physical therapy for a couple of hours after eating a meal. This is to reduce the risk of vomiting.
The number of times a person with cystic fibrosis needs to perform chest physical therapy can vary from person to person. Doctors can recommend the most appropriate exercises and the number of times someone should perform them throughout the day.
Chest physical therapy is an important part of the daily treatment and management of symptoms in people with cystic fibrosis. It consists of a series of exercises that can help drain the airways from excess mucus. Removing the mucus can help prevent infections as it may contain bacteria that can cause infection of the airway and lung tissues.
People with cystic fibrosis can perform some chest physical therapy at home. Doctors can train relatives or caregivers to perform chest physical therapy.
It usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes to perform chest physical therapy. People may need to perform the treatment multiple times a day. However, the frequency, types, and length of the exercises may vary from person to person.