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Respiratory Physiotherapy

What is Respiratory Physiotherapy?

All physiotherapy involves moving as best possible to maintain health and wellbeing. For individuals with muscle weakness and chronic conditions, Respiratory physiotherapists seek to find ways to support the muscles of breathing and coughing alongside strategies to keep airways clear, minimise fatigue and maximise movement opportunities.

Working closely with you and your extended healthcare team, the choice of treatment offered will be based on careful assessment of your needs, your preference and best scientific and practice based evidence.

Tools in the toolbox are various, from manual to mechanical adjuncts that aim to optimise ventilation and airway clearance. Support commonly offered by a respiratory physiotherapist may include:

  • Finding opportunities for physical activity and changes of position
  • Teaching manually assisted deep inspiration and cough, with or without a lung volume recruitment bag or small breathing devices,
  • Support of ventilator use (if you have been prescribed one),
  • Prescription and titration of assistive technology (mechanical devices) such as humidifiers, nebulisers, cough assist machines or shallow (oral) suction devices.

How can the MNDAWA Respiratory Physiotherapist help?

The respiratory physiotherapist can provide assessment, advice, information, carer training and individual direct intervention. Consultations can be at home, alongside clinic if appropriate or via telehealth consult.

The respiratory physiotherapist can deliver an ongoing service or offer one or more joint sessions with your primary treating physiotherapist to review and fine-tune respiratory care.

Please note that the service is limited to 20 hours a week and is not an acute care service. Intervention will be aimed at optimising daily health. Emergency or tertiary care should be contacted or health directives enacted in the event of deterioration outside of the respiratory physiotherapist’s working hours. The respiratory physiotherapist will support these plans to be drawn up together with the multidisciplinary team.

Who can access Respiratory Physiotherapy services from MNDAWA?

The MND Respiratory Physiotherapy service is available to any individual with MND in Western Australia. Regional support is currently by tele-consult.

The cost associated with this service is usually met through NDIS funding for members on NDIS plans, or through the organization when no other funding packages exist.

Respiratory Physiotherapy Referral

For a referral to Respiratory Physiotherapy services, please contact your MND Advisor or Support Coordinator.  For general information regarding respiratory physiotherapy, please contact the MNDAWA office on (08) 6186 4133.