COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is a term used to encompass chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema. Predominantly caused by cigarette smoking, damaged airways become narrower and more congested, presenting an obstruction to airflow in and out of the lungs, making it more difficult to breath. Symptoms commonly include shortness of breath particularly on exertion, a cough which may or not be productive of phlegm, wheeze and an increased frequency of chest infections.
As well as ensuring your diagnosis is accurate, a specialist physiotherapist can teach you how to best manage your symptoms using non-medical techniques. This may include ensuring you are on the most appropriate medications for your stage of the disease and for optimal symptom control and optimising your inhaler technique to get the most from your medications inhaler technique reviews, teaching you breathing exercises to clear your chest of phlegm or to control breathlessness, improve your fitness and educate you as to the use of pacing strategies, provide general lifestyle advice, provide smoking cessation support if required, educate you about your lung condition, raise your awareness of disease specific support group, and ensuring you are aware of how best to protect yourself from infections.
At your first appointment our clinicians will take a careful history from you, perform a comprehensive clinical assessment, and couple this with state of the art diagnostic procedures, including spirometry and blood oxygen check, to accurately diagnose your lung problem. They will then explain the results of the assessment, and provide you with a treatment programme suited to your specific needs. The physiotherapist will provide individually tailored treatment and ensure you are able to self-manage your condition. Any treatment will be recommended in line with the most recent COPD National Clinical Guidelines for the management of COPD. There will be time available for you to ask questions. It is possible for a written report to be sent to your GP or Consultant on request. Follow up appointments can be made as often as required which is determined on an individual basis.