We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Physiotherapy for Cystic Fibrosis?

By Marisa O'Connor
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis is a broad term that describes different methods used to treat symptoms of the disorder and prevent problems from occurring. Active cycle of breathing techniques, conventional chest physiotherapy, and flutter are all effective methods of helping the lungs function properly by clearing the thick mucous buildup that is symptomatic of cystic fibrosis. Autogenic drainage, high-frequency chest wall oscillation, and physical exercise are also commonly used and effective physical therapies.

Active cycle of breathing techniques are one type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. This type of physical therapy involves working with the patient to increase lung capacity. It involves chest expansion exercises, which increase lung capacity, allowing air to get behind the thick mucous secretions blocking airways. The air is then forced out of the lungs with some pressure, mobilizing the mucous and clearing the airways. These techniques have proved to be a very effective type of physiotherapy and improve overall lung function.

Conventional chest physiotherapy is another type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. This type of physiotherapy is at the core of newer methods of chest therapy. It involves breathing exercises with forced exhalation to clear the airways and is performed in different gravity-assisted positions. This therapy used to require medical assistance, but can now be taught to patients so they can do the exercises in their own home, when they most need it.

Flutter is a commonly used type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. The flutter is a small, curved, pipe-shaped device that generates positive pressure when exhaling. This positive pressure creates a sort of fluttering, or vibrating effect, in the lungs, which helps clear mucous from the lungs.

Autogenic drainage is also a commonly used type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. This type of physiotherapy involves a three-phase breathing exercise in order to clear the most mucous with the least amount of effort. The lungs are expanded to low-, moderate-, and high-volume capacity, depending on the location of the mucous buildup. The air is exhaled with force to move the mucous out of the airways. This method has proved to be as effective as conventional chest physiotherapy and flutter techniques. It is also effective in treating airway hyper-activity.

High-frequency chest wall oscillation is a type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. This is a very helpful treatment when manual breathing has become very labored. It involves a machine attached to a vest, which is worn by the patient. Air is pumped into the vest to rapidly inflate and deflate the chest, creating chest expansion and contraction. The way this therapy works is similar to unclogging a toilet, where pressure is applied in and out of the lungs, clearing the blockage and improving lung function.

Physical exercise is also a type of physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis. When lung dysfunction is present for any reason, including cystic fibrosis, exercise can be dangerous, so always consult a doctor about the specifics of an exercise regimen before beginning. Regular exercise, combined with other physiotherapy techniques, can improve lung function.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.