• Lung Care Foundation
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  • lung@lcf.org.in



Patient Support
Breathing Exercises

Physiotherapy plays a major part for patients suffering from various lung diseases. Lung damage restrict the flow of air in and out of the lungs and causes breathlessness. So, physiotherapy in addition to the prescribed medications proves to be a very effective cure to the loss lung suffered.

There are some physiotherapy techniques which are common in almost all the lung disease. These techniques are:

Breathing Exercises

Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing):

It engages the diaphragm. The steps in which this can be done are shown in the image.

Pursed lips breathing:

This technique opens up your airways and hence slowing down your breathing by improving the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Physical Exercise

Respiratory Muscle Training

Physical training should be prescribed by the physiotherapist and should not avoided.

Physical exercise is advised to increase the cardio respiratory performance and fitness by reducing the symptoms of breathlessness and improving quality of life.
An external device is used which makes respiratory muscles forced to work harder, increasing muscle strengths thus making it breathing easier.

Postural Drainage


In this technique with the help of gravity and clapping on chest or back thick and sticky mucus in lungs is loosen out and removed by coughing.

Unclogging the airways is the key to keeping lungs healthy. It also consists of positioning and turning.

Educating well by the physiotherapist about the correct posture and positioning in standing and standing is very important for those people suffering from various lung diseases. The aim is to expand the chest so that lung can function well.

These are common physiotherapy management techniques, there are some separate techniques individually for each lung disease which you can find below or in the lung disease section.


The aim of physiotherapy for an asthmatic person are:

  1. To prevent the occurrence of asthma attacks.
  2. To maintain a normal breathing pattern.
  3. To remove excess sputum and prevent further symptoms of asthma.


A.  Breathing Retraining Techniques

Breathing retraining techniques is to normalise breathing patterns. There are several components of this technique

B. Buteyko Breathing Technique
  1. Breath through nose for few minutes.
  2. Breathe out, and hold your breathe by shutting then nose using fingers
  3. Count and release on first need to breathe
  4. Wait for 3 minutes
  5. Repeat the process and hold for as long as possible



Exercise Capacity

It includes various other activities to make COPD patient’s condition better and also test their capacity.


1.  6 Minute Walk Test

This test measures the ability of a person’s to perform daily physical activity by walking a distance for 6 minutes on a flat, hard surface.

2.  Beep Test

It involves running between two lines that are generally 20 metres apart

3. Shuttle walk test (SWT)

It measures the ability of the person to sustain a given sub-maximal exercise capacity.

2 cones are kept at 0.5m from either end. The patient is asked to walk a 10m course. At the start they are instructed to do warm up with slower speed for 90 seconds. At the end of warm up the patient are instructed to increase their walking speed at the next signal.

Lung Cancer

Exercise Training

Aerobic exercise and resistance training plays a positive role by reducing the airflow obstruction leading to better functioning of the lungs. It is recommended that at least 150 minutes in a week of moderate intensity exercise an adult with cancer should engage

Cycle Ergometer (For Senior Citizens)

Due to balance problem which the old patients suffer from cycle ergometer is a more appropriate exercise device than a normal treadmill exercise.

Cycle ergometer is a stationary exercise which includes a bicycle quipped with an ergometer which measures the amount of physical work done by a human body during a specific activity.


1. Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT)

A combination of various breathing techniques that help clear mucus from lungs in three phases.

Phase 1 : Relaxation of the airways

Phase 2 : Get air behind the mucus and clears it.

Phase 3: Forces the mucus out of the lungs

2.Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing (IPPB)

With the help of mouthpiece or mask the volume of inspiration is increased which act as mechanical ventilation.

It clears the sputum from lungs and help and support those weak inspiratory muscles.
This therapy is also used in case of Pneumonia patients.

Common Cold

Massage Therapy

A massage helps in relieving tension by getting rid of sinus pain and headaches.


1. To reduce difficulty in breathing

2. To improve ventilation

3. For sputum mobilisation