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Respiratory Treatment

Respiratory treatment for a Ulloa Physical Therapy is an exciting and challenging area in which we work, with frequent new ideas and developments. Rarely are two patients the same. Given that improving the breathing action can improve the quality of life  and will allow us to perform other types of treatment that could withstand.

What is respiratory physiotherapy?

Respiratory physiotherapy involves a thorough assessment, identification of the problem and a variety of treatment and management techniques including education, exercises and controlled activity, and adjuncts such as intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB), continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), non-invasive ventilation, suction, flutter device, and positive expiratory pressure mask.

In general, however, physiotherapists focus on three main areas - decreased lung volumes, increased work of breathing and retained secretions.

Lung volume

Reduced lung volumes respond well to increasing patient mobility. This may consist of upper limb exercise in bed for the immobile patient, transferring patients to chairs, walking on the spot or climbing a flight of stairs. It is a simple yet effective treatment technique. For patients who are unable to sit out of bed, lower thoracic expansion/deep breathing exercises may be taught instead, in conjunction with good positioning.

Changing a patient's position can increase lung volumes by choosing one that will allow better excursion (movement) of the diaphragm.

Sputum retention

Clearance of sputum is commonly seen as a cornerstone of physiotherapy practice. Sputum may not be a problem if it is not compromising a patient's oxygen saturations or respiratory rate and he or she is able to expectorate it independently - for example, some patients with COPD. However, if the cough is weak or ineffective or there is an overwhelming volume or tenacity of sputum ventilation may deteriorate, leading to respiratory failure.

Management of breathlessness

Breathlessness is a subjective and frightening experience for patients, and they need to be given techniques to manage this. There is little relationship between blood gases and breathlessness (Hough, 1997), so patients can be profoundly hypoxic with minimal breathlessness or very short of breath with little change to their oxygen saturations. As a result, telling patients to 'just relax' or 'just breathe slowly' is rarely effective. Rather, they need to be shown positions that decrease breathlessness and advised on how to cope with breathlessness on exercise.



I had been suffering for a couple of months from pain in my neck and shoulder when I finally took my wife’s advice and scheduled an appointment with Jorge (he had treated my wife for an ankle injury). On my first visit Jorge diagnosed the most probable causes as poor posture when using the c...

Edwin Johnson
Dec 18, 2015


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Jorge Ulloa
Cel. +52 (1) 333 190 0642
Hidalgo #44 Int. 103 (Fracc. Riberas del Pilar)
C.P. 45906 - Chapala, Jalisco, México
Tel: +52 (376) 108 1532

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