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Respiratory Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy and its role in Adult Respiratory Care

The Lung Health Clinic regards Physiotherapy as an important resource for respiratory patients. It plays an important role in optimising lung health through managing symptoms such as cough and breathlessness.


Tamara Thornton

Tamara is a senior Physiotherapist with more than 10 years’ experience. She specialises in respiratory physiotherapy including airway clearance and exercise prescription. She currently leads the respiratory physiotherapy team at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and is engaged in the are of Respiratory Physiotherapy.


What happens when you attend a Physiotherapy appointment at The Lung Health Clinic?

During your physiotherapy appointment Tamara will undertake a detailed assessment which could involve several questionnaires. She may look at your breathing pattern and perform some exercise testing. From this assessment she will work with you to develop an individualised treatment plan based on these current findings.

Some of the services Respiratory Physiotherapists can provide include:


Airway Clearance

Airway clearance is the process of effectively clearing the lungs of excess mucus which can assist in reducing cough and infections and improve exercise tolerance. This is achieved through the use of a range of breathing techniques and/or devices.


Exercise Testing and Prescription

Exercise testing is performed to prescribe an individualised exercise program and determine the suitability for community exercise programs. This can assist in improving exercise tolerance and reducing the symptoms of breathlessness.


Breathing Re-training

Breathing re-training is a specialised area of Physiotherapy used to treat ‘breathing pattern disorders’. This involves using a variety of techniques to re-store a normal breathing pattern


How many visits are usually needed?

In order to make a long lasting impact you will generally require 2-3 sessions with Tamar, depending on the severity and complexity of your condition.


What do I need to bring?

If you have any breathing/airway clearance device, inhaler or portable nebuliser please bring it with you to your appointment. Please wear comfortable clothing and footwear should you need to do an exercise test.