Which breathing exercises can prevent pneumonia?
After operations and in other situations that require extended bed rest, pneumonia prophylaxis (=prevention of pneumonia) is often taken. Pneumonia prophylaxis is also used in cases of immune deficiency and lung congestion due to heart failure. It consists of targeted breathing exercises, which are usually demonstrated by a physiotherapist.
The aim of the exercises is to cough up secretions from the lungs, which accumulate in the lungs when the patient is predominantly supine and provide an optimal breeding ground for bacteria. In addition, the ventilation of all lobes of the lung should improve the blood circulation in the lungs, which in turn helps to prevent infection. In addition to the early mobilisation of the patient and rubbing the lungs with breath stimulating substances, a so-called flutter is used. During this breathing exercise the patient breathes against a resistance in the device, so that a positive pressure remains in the airways, through which the mucus is loosened and can be breathed more easily. In principle, the same effect can be achieved without accessories by using the lip brake described under COPD.
Breathing exercises to improve the lung volume
The improvement of lung volume is very important for a more comfortable and healthy breathing and can be achieved through various breathing exercises. One possible exercise begins in an upright position with deep inhalation and simultaneous stretching of the arms, first forward and then upward over the head. When breathing out afterwards, the entire upper body bends forward, you go down to your knees and grasp the ankles of your feet with your hands.
To get all the air out of the air, the exhalation can be supported by making a sound. This exercise should be performed for several minutes. In another exercise, the arms are stretched backwards.
When exhaling you go down to your knees and bend your upper body forward, with your head towards your knees. The hands are folded behind the back. When breathing in afterwards, the hands are taken apart again, but remain behind the back. The upper part of the body straightens up again and you come back to an upright position. This exercise should be repeated at least 10 times, preferably several times a day.
Breathing exercises for lung cancer
In lung cancer, regardless of the type and spread of the cancer, it is important to strengthen the lungs and improve breathing itself. For this purpose, the lip brake, in which the lips lie on top of each other and exhalation takes place only through a small gap between the lips, is very important. Furthermore, exercises to strengthen the diaphragm and the other respiratory support muscles are also important to facilitate breathing.