If you’re having problems with your breathing or you’re struggling to keep your chest clear after you’ve had Covid, then additional help from a respiratory physiotherapist will help you feel more like your usual self. This could come in the form of help with airway clearance, an assessment of your breathing pattern and re-education, pulmonary rehabilitation or even individualised exercise input.
Steps you can take yourself
The key to feeling as well as possible is to follow a healthy lifestyle. There are a number of steps you can take to maintain your health:
- Stay active. It may seem like more of a challenge to do so, but having good fitness levels is important. You may not be able to do as much as you did before you had Covid, but build up your fitness levels gradually and try to do something every day if you can. You could start with gradually building up your walking bit by bit. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and listen to your body.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The general recommendation is to drink two litres of water every day, but this does vary from person to person. Bear in mind that caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol are not included in this. A good way to think about it is if your mouth feels dry, then your airways will be dry.
- Been prescribed medications? Then continue to take them for the entire course.
- Perform your airway clearance exercises. This is very important if you have a lung condition which means you produce excess secretions to help prevent the risk of infection which can cause further damage to your lungs. Keeping your chest clear of any secretions, especially over the forthcoming winter months where the risk of picking up a chest infection is greater, is essential.
Focus on airway clearance
If you have a lung condition, it’s important to focus on keeping the chest clear while the pandemic continues. Having a clear chest allows more oxygen to enter into your lungs and helps you feel less breathless. It also means there’s less mucus present which is the breeding ground for bacteria to develop.
There are a number of different techniques we can use to help you with airway clearance, and our aim is to always find the method that works better or is most comfortable for you. We will show you exactly how to do them, and tell you how often you should do them each day.
Before you start…
To maximise the effect of your airway clearance exercises, try to do the following before you begin:
- Have a drink and some tissues to hand. This means you won’t have to interrupt the exercises in mid flow.
- Take a look at your posture. Having the right posture from the start will means that the muscles you engage for breathing will work at the optimum level and your lungs will fill properly. It will also avoid you developing joint pain if your posture is right, and if you suffer from stress urinary incontinence it will limit the downward pressure onto your pelvic floor muscles.
- Clear your upper airway. Blow your nose and cough up any sputum at the back of your throat. You may find this makes the breathing exercises easier to perform.
Air Physiotherapy is here to help with your post-Covid recovery and to help those with existing lung conditions such as Bronchiectasis. Book your first appointment online via our booking page or drop us an email if you’d like to find out more at hello@airphysiotherapy.