Physiotherapy for Relief in Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath or dyspnea can be temporary, intermittent or chronic, depending on underlying medical conditions. Asthma, obstructions in air passages, heart trouble, cancer, allergies, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, neuromuscular conditions, pneumonia and pulmonary hypertension are a few of the causes. A doctor examines you thoroughly and recommends lab tests to determine causes before prescribing medication.

For patients with severe or even moderate underlying medical conditions, the pharmacological route is considered. Nevertheless, alternative therapies like salt therapy can also provide assistance. You can easily perform salt therapy at home using a salt machine. This method contributes to maintaining optimal hygiene in the respiratory system and strengthening it.

dyspnea shortness of breath causes and treatment

Pharmacological intervention may be accompanied with physiotherapy to bring still greater relief to those affected with shortness of breath. The physiotherapist instructs the patient in breathing techniques to slow down the respiratory rate. Patients learn to relax, maintain proper posture, and pace themselves during activities like walking or exercising. Breathing involves gentle inhalation and slow, natural exhalation, with the patient gradually taking deeper breaths with each practice session. Visualization is incorporated, with patients envisioning themselves in a relaxed state while practicing their breathing exercises.

Patients are also instructed in precautionary measures, including refraining from bending down excessively, overeating, and reducing weight. Practical techniques are emphasized, such as pulling objects instead of pushing them, sliding heavy items instead of lifting, and avoiding hot or cold showers. Strategic planning of exercises and daily activities can effectively prevent dyspnea in those most susceptible to it.


Results show that practical physiotherapy sessions and home salt therapy for shortness of breath can make a huge difference to the quality of life of an individual suffering from dyspnea and should be a part of the therapeutic process. Learning to breathe correctly and utilizing salt therapy for maintaining good respiratory hygiene is important.

8 thoughts on “Physiotherapy for Relief in Shortness of Breath”

  1. The idea and advice is good however how many physiotherapist do we have in our set ups! especially in Africa?

  2. This is a very good physiotherapy for people with shortness of breathe. I have two relativess withh such problem. I hope to take them on the therapy and anticipate for improvement.

  3. Okello David Rowland

    This is good information but we can not access saline theraphy locally in our setting, what happens?


    1. Okello,

      you can learn from our website how to do breathing exercises (from articles) and you can also purchase the Saltair device for home salt therapy; these will help a lot in breathing.

  4. It’s nice to know that experts are discovering more ways to cope with shortness of breath. I think that as long as this is tested and proven to be really effective, it should be recommended and spread out to everyone that has breathing problems. Having a breathing problem is such a hard thing to deal with because almost all simple everyday task becomes a struggle and this condition can be very fatal if not treated well. I am in support of anything that can alleviate the suffering of people with breathing problems so hopefully this one would really work. Thank you for sharing this information.

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