Postural drainage is getting in positions that make it easier for mucus to drain. Chest physiotherapy is gently "clapping" parts of the body to remove mucus from the lungs. They are often used together in conditions such as cystic fibrosis or a spinal cord injury (SCI) to help loosen and remove mucus from the lungs. When mucus collects in your lungs, it increases your risk for lung infections, such as pneumonia.
Following are general instructions for chest physiotherapy and postural drainage. Talk to your doctor about the positions you should use and how long how to do it.
Morning is the best time to do postural drainage, because it helps clear mucus that has built up during the night. It may also be done just before bed to decrease nighttime coughing. Do not do it soon after a meal, because this may increase the chance of vomiting.
Last Revised: February 16, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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