Sinus and Chest Treatments
SinusitisSinusitis is defined as an infection of the sinuses, secondary to obstruction of normal sinus outflow. This happens when there is an undrained collection of pus (a fluid product of inflammation) in one or more of the sinuses.
- allergic rhinitis or vital respiratory infections - swelling of membranes that prevents fluid drainage
- fluid trapped in sinuses become infected - water from swimming or showering
- dental infections such as a tooth abscess may spread into the sinuses and infect it
- Inflammation and pressure in the sinuses cause pain and discomfort around the eyes and can cause headaches, earache, a sore throat and mouth, and fever.
- avoid stimulants and irritants like smoke, dairy, preservatives and additives
- drink lots of water and fluids to “wash” out the body
- use a nasal spray daily to wash out the sinus cavities
- use a nebuliser to “steam” the sinuses - loosens pus/phlegm and helps with drainage
- pressure, massage and ultrasound around the eyes relieves the pain and puffiness on the face
- mobilization of the scalp and the upper cervical muscles and vertebral joints also help relieve the pain and discomfort in the face and head and stimulates the drainage of the fluid
Lung TreatmentThe physiotherapist uses different techniques to help get rid of phlegm in a patient's lungs, depending on the disease and condition of the patient:
- a nebulizer is used to turn medication into a “steam” that is inhaled by the patient. This helps open the lungs and makes the phlegm more fluid so that it is easier to cough out.
- when it is safe for the patient, postural drainage is used to help the phlegm drain from the lungs. The patient is placed over pillows in different positions so that the phlegm can drain from the bottom of the lungs to the throat - it is like taking a bottle of tomato sauce, tipping it over and giving it a few taps - and then it is easier to cough out. Postural drainage can not be used for people who are unable to tolerate the position required, those taking anticoagulation drugs, those who have recently vomited up blood, those who have had a recent rib or vertebral fracture, or those who have severe osteoporosis. Postural drainage also should not be used for people who are unable to produce any secretions.
- percussion and vibrations are massage techniques that are used on the rib/chest area to vibrate the lungs to help move the secretions. The physiotherapist's hands are cupped, so it should not be painful but is done with caution when a patient has fractures or osteoporosis.
- suction of the secretions with a sterile plastic tube is only done when the patient can not cough the secretions out by himself. A small plastic tube is introduced through the nose and extended a few centimeters into the windpipe (trachea). A gentle vacuum sucks out the secretions that cannot be coughed up.
- breathing exercises are used to strengthen and relax the breathing muscles around the rib cage, which helps the lungs to function better. Exercises are also used to improve the exercise tolerance of the patient, so that the patient has more “breath” to function better. Diaphragmatic and pursed lip breathing is also taught . This increases the pressure in the airways and prevents them from collapsing. Pursed lip breathing is when you exhale against partially closed (pursed) lips, as if preparing to whistle.