Nothing matters if you cannot breathe. Chest tightness, wheezing, persistent dry cough and shortness of breath are some of the signs and symptoms displayed by asthma sufferers. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, but many adults are affected as well. With this condition, the airways become narrow, sending less air to the lungs and making it difficult to breathe.
Common triggers for the onset of asthma include inhaled allergens (e.g. dust mites or pollen), changes in temperature (e.g. cold air), exercise, stress, excessive laughter, cigarette smoke, pollution and upper respiratory tract infections (e.g. the common cold).
Asthma is treated by recognising and controlling its triggers. Medications, often in the form of inhalers, are useful in managing asthma symptoms and some asthma sufferers also take daily preventative medication in the form of steroid inhalers.
Physiotherapy may help provide much needed relief from asthma. Through asthma education, specific exercise prescription and monitoring of exercise as well as teaching correct breathing techniques, physiotherapy has much to offer in asthma prevention and management.
Some of the benefits to be gained from treatment of asthma with physiotherapy are:
- Improved breathing as your lungs receive more air
- Increased energy
- Increased endurance
- Reduced stress
Many asthma sufferers are afraid to exercise, for fear they might trigger an attack. However, as you begin an exercise programme, your respiratory muscles, like any other muscle, become stronger and breathing improves. We can then modify and progress your exercise programme so as to increase endurance and make exercising enjoyable once more.
Come and visit us, your physiotherapist in Ashburton and set on your way to breathing easier.
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