What is Bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung condition characterized by the abnormal and irreversible dilation of the bronchial tubes, where the elastic and muscular tissue is destroyed by acute or chronic inflammation and infection. This damage impairs the natural drainage of bronchial secretions, leading to an accumulation of mucus which can become chronically infected resulting in mild to moderate airway obstruction. If poorly managed, this condition can lead to a cycle of mucus retention, recurrent infections, and progressive damage to the airways.


Symptoms of Bronchiectasis

Patients often present with:

  • Chronic productive cough (coughing up mucus)
  • Frequent or recurrent chest infections
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheeze
  • Chest pain
  • Haemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Fatigue and exercise limitation

How Breathing Works helps people with Bronchiectasis

Management of bronchiectasis involves addressing the underlying cause, controlling infections, and improving mucus clearance. This multifaceted approach usually requires input from your GP and or Respiratory Specialists. Antibiotics are crucial for controlling bacterial infections, while bronchodilators and corticosteroids may be used to reduce airway inflammation and improve airflow.

Physiotherapy also plays a pivotal role in the management of bronchiectasis, primarily focusing on airway clearance, breathing exercises, and physical conditioning. The goals of physiotherapy include improving mucus clearance, enhancing lung function, reducing the frequency of exacerbations, and improving your overall quality of life.

We will:

  • Teach you airway clearance techniques to help more effectively move mucus secretions, conserving energy through the avoidance of excessive coughing and preventing secondary chest infections.
Techniques include:
    • Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT)
    • Oscillatory Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) Therapy- using the  POWERbreathe Shaker device
    • Manual chest physiotherapy 
    • Postural drainage
  • Educate you about your condition, check you have correct inhaler technique, help you recognise early signs of infection and ultimately empower you with self-management skills to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life. 
  • Use breathing retraining strategies to teach you to breathe well at rest and during movement and exercise
  • Teach you rescue breathing techniques, relaxation and recovery positioning for times of increased breathlessness
  • Assist with your exercise programmes. Regular physical exercise enhances cardiovascular fitness, strengthens respiratory muscles, and improves overall endurance. Activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming are beneficial and can be tailored to your fitness level
  • Strengthen your breathing muscles to reduce breathlessness and fatigue through the use of Inspiratory Muscle Training
  • Teach you effective speech control
  • Address any musculoskeletal maladaptation such as overuse of the neck and shoulder muscles in breathing, which can lead to neck pain and tension 
  • Offer involvement in our online Pulmonary Rehabilitation exercise classes


Get in touch with the team today to start your assessment and treatment! 


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