Definition of Chest Physiotherapy

In this article, we will discuss the Definition of Chest Physiotherapy. So, let’s get started.

Chest Physiotherapy

Chest physiotherapy is a method of bronchial hygiene using one or more techniques to optimize the effects
of gravity and external manipulation of the thorax by postural drainage, percussion, vibration and cough.

Breathing Exercises

1. Crook lying and crook side-lying (hand on upper abdomen); Diaphragmatic breathing,

2. Crook lying (hands on sides of lower chest); lower lateral costal breathing.

3. Crook lying (hands on sides of upper chest); upper lateral costal breathing.

4. Crook lying (forearms crossed and fingers resting on chest below clavicles); Apical breathing.

5. Crook lying; general deep breathing.

Three fundamental types of breathing exercises:

• Deep diaphragmatic breathing – Slow deep inspiration followed by slow relaxed expiration.
• Passive and localized exercises – Pressure given by therapist at the end of expiration phase
• Chest expansion exercises – Inspiratory hold for 2-3 sec after deep inspiration followed by relaxed expiration.


Percussion, also called cupping or clapping, involves rhythmically striking the chest wall with cupped-hands. Mechanical devices can also be used. Percussion results in breaking up thick secretions in the lungs so that they can be more easily removed. Percussion is performed on each lung segment for 1-2 minutes at a time.


Vibration therapy is done for I min after percussion therapy or may be used instead of percussion therapy for patients who may be too sore or frail to tolerate percussion. The purpose is also to help break up lung secretions. Vibration can be performed either mechanically or manually. When done manually, the person performing the vibration places his or her hands against the patient’s chest and creates vibrations by quickly contracting and relaxing arm and shoulder muscles while the patient exhales. The procedure is repeated several times each day for about five exhalations.

Postural Drainage

Postural drainage is the drainage of secretions, by the effect of gravity, from one or more lung segments to the central airways where they can be removed by cough or mechanical aspiration. Drainage is usually done in conjunction with breathing exercises, percussion, vibration and suctioning.

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