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What is respiratory physiotherapy?

Respiratory physiotherapy is physiotherapy for those with breathing problems. This includes:

  • helping those who have lung or breathing conditions by alleviating their symptoms and supporting them to live an active and independent lifestyle,
  • aiding recovery from an acute illness such as pneumonia or COVID-19,
  • facilitating recovery and return to normal activity for those following heart or lung surgery

Respiratory physiotherapists have extensive experience in the respiratory field and have chosen to specialise in the respiratory system to help those with breathing issues.

Which conditions does respiratory physiotherapy support?

The main lung conditions that respiratory physiotherapy supports are:

  • COPD
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Other conditions include:

  • Long-COVID
  • Recurrent chest infections
  • Breathing pattern disorders
  • Hyperventilation Syndrome
  • Exercise induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO)
  • Cough hypersensitivity
  • Excessive dynamic airway collapse (EDAC)

For full details on the services offered by Air Physiotherapy and how they can help you please visit their website.

What are the benefits of respiratory physiotherapy?

The Air Physiotherapy team at OneWelbeck are friendly and approachable. Their aim is to help their patients live an active and independent lifestyle.

Respiratory physiotherapy has the following benefits:

  • Reduced levels of perceived breathlessness
  • Improved physical activity and exercise tolerance
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced anxiety

Why might I be referred to see a physiotherapist?

There are several reasons why you may be referred to a respiratory physiotherapist however it will typically fall in to one of three categories:

  1. You require help to keep your airways clean and clear of phlegm, to prevent infection and ease any restriction to your breathing;
  2. You require help to optimise the way you are breathing, perhaps due to a condition you have/have had, or if you have a breathing pattern disorder.
  3. You require specialist guidance to improve your physical activity – you may have recently had surgery and require help mobilising, or you may have a long-term condition that makes it hard to exercise.

What does a treatment plan typically entail?

This will depend on what you are being seen for and whether you are being seen face-to-face or virtually.

The team at Air Physiotherapy have been carrying out virtual consultations via Zoom since March 2020, and have developed thorough assessment and treatment strategies to ensure all patients are evaluated as accurately as possible. Zoom assessments will include taking a full medical history, as well as a physical assessment and prescription of treatment. Your physiotherapist will talk you through this, all you need is a good camera position and microphone so they can see and hear you properly.

Face-to-face appointments will consist of medical history, a physical examination, and an introduction to your respiratory physiotherapy exercises to get you started on your treatment.

Whether your appointment is virtual or face-to-face, your physiotherapist will tailor your treatment plan to your exact needs, and will provide a variety of exercises and advice for you to practise at home before your follow-up appointment.

Meet our respiratory physiotherapy team

OneWelbeck Lung Health has partnered with London’s leading respiratory physiotherapy specialists, Air Physiotherapy, to provide a complete service for those suffering from breathing problems.

The team consists of four specialist respiratory physiotherapists who deliver face-to-face clinics, home visits and virtual consultations. Each physiotherapist is a specialist within the respiratory field and has extensive experience in world class institutions such as the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals.

You can find out more about the Air Physiotherapy team by visiting their profile page.