Physiotherapy is a health profession that uses a range of physical techniques to promote, maintain, and restore physical, psychological, and social well-being. While it is often associated with the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, physiotherapy can also be used to treat respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a progressive respiratory disease that affects the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. It is a leading cause of death worldwide and is typically caused by smoking or exposure to pollutants. COPD is characterized by symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, which can severely impact a patient’s quality of life.

One of the key goals of physiotherapy for COPD patients is to improve their breathing and lung function. There are several techniques that physiotherapists use to achieve this goal, including breathing exercises, chest physiotherapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Breathing exercises are a fundamental part of physiotherapy for respiratory conditions. They can help patients to improve their breathing patterns, increase their lung capacity, and reduce shortness of breath. Breathing exercises can be performed in a variety of ways, including pursed-lip breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and paced breathing. These exercises aim to slow down the patient’s breathing rate, improve their oxygen uptake, and reduce the work of breathing.

Chest physiotherapy is another technique used in physiotherapy to treat respiratory conditions. This technique involves physical manipulation of the chest wall to loosen mucus and other secretions, making it easier for the patient to breathe. Chest physiotherapy can be done in several ways, including postural drainage, percussion, and vibration. These techniques can help to clear the airways, reduce coughing, and improve lung function.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive program that combines breathing exercises, chest physiotherapy, and other interventions to improve lung function and overall health. This program typically involves exercise training, nutritional counseling, and psychological support to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to be effective in reducing hospital admissions, improving exercise capacity, and reducing symptoms of COPD.

In addition to these techniques, physiotherapy can also help COPD patients to manage their symptoms and reduce their risk of complications. For example, physiotherapists may advise patients on proper breathing techniques during daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs. They may also provide education on smoking cessation, environmental control, and medication management.


Physiotherapy can play a vital role in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as COPD. Through breathing exercises, chest physiotherapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and other interventions, Physiotherapist in Calgary can help patients to improve their lung function, manage their symptoms, and improve their overall quality of life. If you or someone you know is living with COPD, consider consulting with a physiotherapist to explore how these techniques could help.