Breathing exercises for COPD
For breathing exercises in COPD the lip brake is a crucial element. Here, one breathes consciously against the resistance of the slightly opened lips. This increases the pressure in the upper airways.
The problem with COPD is that the airways become narrower, especially during exhalation, making it difficult for air to escape. The increased pressure caused by the lip brake keeps the bronchi open and allows air to escape. In addition, a better oxygen circulation can be achieved and thus breathing difficulties are reduced.
This plays a major role in patients with advanced COPD, as they often feel that they are losing control of their breathing. This feeling can be reduced by using the lip brake. Other breathing exercises include deepening breathing and reducing the work of breathing, e.g. by training abdominal breathing, as well as exercises to promote mobility of the thorax Another important technique is diaphragmatic breathing.
This is an attempt to actively concentrate on breathing with the diaphragm, i.e. mainly with the abdomen. In this way, other breathing muscles can be relieved and the diaphragm is strengthened at the same time. This can be combined well with the lip brake.
Many patients with COPD also find it helpful to adopt the carriage seat position, i.e. to support the elbows on the thighs. This stimulates other muscles to support breathing. The muscles in the back are relaxed and therefore less oxygen is used. and breathing exercises in COPD
Breathing exercises for asthma
Since the respiratory muscles are under great strain in asthma due to frequent coughing, it is important to stretch them with breathing exercises. For this purpose it can help to twist the upper body against the lower body while standing and to breathe with the help of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is trained and the distance between the ribs is stretched.
This supports the breathing function and strengthens the diaphragm as an important breathing muscle. A crucial part of the breathing exercises for asthma is learning how to cough properly. Asthma often leads to a chesty cough, which can cause the bronchial tubes to cramp and thus weaken.
Therefore, a morning bronchial toilet is recommended for asthma. This means coughing after getting up in order to cough up any remaining mucus that has accumulated in the lungs during the night. Deep inhalation is followed by a slight clearing of the throat with some of the air being exhaled.
The remaining air remaining in the lungs is used to cough slightly. This should be repeated several times to completely clear the airways. In addition to lip-braking, breath-relieving techniques are also used, such as the “carriage seat”: Here the affected person sits upright with arms resting on his legs or on the table.
The fixation of the arms ensures that the so-called respiratory assistance muscles are used and thus the regular breathing muscles are relieved. Abdominal breathing and chest stretching exercises also play an important role in asthma. For detailed instructions, please refer to videos on the Internet (for example from the German Allergy and Asthma Association).