postural drainage positions for bronchiectasis 70+ male

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I am a 70+yr old man of generally good health who now needs to carry out some chest exercises using postural drainage positions to clear phlegm as a result of bronchiectasis.

What if any home made aids can any one recommend to put me easily in the correct position (very polite version!!!) bottom above head.

I appreciate that a pillow under my hips may do the job but as I am just starting these exercises/positions I wish to arrange something that will be permanent; I am concerned a pillow will sink and not always give me the correct slope.

Any.all advice on this matter will be appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hi Quintain,

    I am also 70+, and was diagnosed several years ago.  After finally understanding the drainage issue, I purchased an inversion table.  This was 2 years ago, and no infections since.  I drain twice a day.  Full 180 degree inversion, though I had to work up to this.  The results are excellent...better than anything else I have tried.  I do this several times each session until nothing can be huffed up.  Probably takes 10-15 minutes total.

    Highly recommend this.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi guintain ,try a bean bag ,my mum made me a great bean bag with a old cushion cover ,it is perfect,good luck with finding something comfortable and keep well 

    Joanne 

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  • Posted

    Hi quintain,

    I always use two firm pillows but I have also lay on my stomache and hung over the edge of the bed, so my top half is upside down. Not possible for everyone to do this I know but quite effective. I also use a salt pipe or a steam inhaler beforehand which loosens up the phlegm to begin with.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Quintain,

    ?Simiar to Gary I use an inversion table.  Intially purchased for back issues but I've found that it really does help with clearance.  I no longer go full 180 and do something like120 degrees which is more than enough.  More is cleared using this than any other method I've tried.  May be worth keeping an eye on ebay for a decent second hand table as they aren't overly cheap new.

    ?Cheers

    Dave

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  • Posted

    66 year old male of generally good health here with bronchX diagnosed for the last 3 years.

    Personally I don't see the need to angle my body and my Papworth Hospital lung defence team physiotherapist did not advise other than lying flat on the back and taking a short series of deep breaths and exhales (3 or 4 of each) followed by an equal period of quiet breathing. If you overdo the deep breathing without any quiet periods you might get faintness - I recall that the girls in my local high school - when I was a grammer school boy - used to do strange heavy breathing to get some kind of fainting high!). After taking the deep breaths if you react like me you will get some 'rattling' in the lower part of your lung and a natural desire to huff up or cough up the gunk. Maybe a few shorter exhales will aid in bringing it up to ejection trajectory or maybe the cough takes it all the way up. I try not to over-excercise my lungs so I try to  move it up the lungs gently by a series of gentle coughs; sometimes though I have to give it a good deep fast cough to get the gunk up.

    I find that the process is more productive if I do it after eating - not necessarily immediately after eating. It's as though the process of eating does a bit of natural shifting of the sputum. Maybe a short bit of fast waking or swimming would do the same. I usually go for a swim after my coughing exercises as well and then have another shorter go at it when my 50 lengths are complete (but I'm lucky enough in life to have had the resources to move to a warm climate and build a 15m pool in the back garden!).

    Sometimes if I feel there is still a lot of stuff that's not coming up easily I will switch from lying on my back to switching onto one side or another and then back onto my back. I don't find that lying on my front worl\ks well for me.

    We are all different so I don't knock those that find other extreme (swinging form the chandeliers?) positions helpful or those that need contraptions like acapellas and vibrating vests to get stuff moving. Best to start with the simple stuff and only progress if you feel that doesn't work.

    I don't get paranoid about trying to get every last drop of gunk out of my lungs (and I don't worry to much if I find it difficult to find the privacy to do it and so have to skip a day; miss two days though and I start to feel poorer breathing) but that's not a recommendation just a personal observation. I suspect that hawking it up long and hard is a net disbenefit but I've never tested that view with my pulonologist or lung physiotherapist. My 'session' (very occasionally I might do an additional one in the evening if I feel bronchspasmic or congested) typically lasts 10-20 minutes - unless I fall asleep in the middle! I listen to rock music while doing it.

    Oh yes - and I find that a daily mucolitic (sputum thinnner) works well to aid the postural drainage. Discuss with your specialist. Carbocysteine or acetylcysteine (depending on your country or pharmacist) seem to be the two drugs of choice. They are similar and appear to me to have no side effects.

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    • Posted

      Steve, folks who are prone to paradoxical reactions often have them to mucolitics.  After a small kitchen fire and 6 months ahead of the BX, my gp put me on N-acetyl cisteine, AKA muco mist.  After 4 months I noticed that I was very angry all the time.  I googled the stuff and low and behold, some folks here in the States are using it as a mood stabilizer.  Red flag for me, as I had terrible problems when put on a mood stabilizer  solely to control migraines.

      Now I use tablet guafenisin but I have to take periodic breaks from it.

      Shorter version?  There's not a drug made to which someone has not had a terrible reaction.

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  • Posted

    I am in my 70's and do drainage once a day before lunch (empty stomach).  The postion that works well for me is bottom part of body on the sofa and my head on a cushion on the floor, it is a good slope which clears the mucus quickly. I do one side, then the other, then the middle, takes around 10-15 mins. I read a magazine or newspaper to pass the time.

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone

    Without being to selective in the replies to date (swinging form the chandeliers?) is a v very wonderful thought provoking attraction but perhaps more related to other discussions, albeit I consider it would have major mutual beneficial results.

    I will further study all responses even more but each to date appears to be helpful.

    Thank you for your responses to date and please forward any other ideas.

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    • Posted

      I have done post. drainage since I was 14 and have just turned 70. My method is to use a padded stool (put a pillow on top if you want extra height), drape myself over it and lean on a padded foot stool (more comfortable than elbows on the floor). Another method is to use a foam wedge on the bed (the type used to prop yourself up in bed if you don't want to sleep flat) and put a pillow over that for a bit more height. Also, always do it several hours after food if you want to avoid acid reflux.

       

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  • Posted

    Thank you again every-one.

    If you will alow it I would like to ask about breathing procedures while lying for the 10++ minutes in my 'Postural drainage position'.

    Should I be using the Active cycle of breathing technique while I am lying (in my case) with my shoulders below my waist or do I allow the gunk to naturally drain downwards towards my upper chest area for the 10++ minutes I am in that position and then carry out the deep breathing and huffing etc procedures.

    I appreciate your advice could readily be "try all procedures and use what is best for you" but your expertise and experiences will give me a head start.

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    • Posted

      Hi Quintain

      All disease/condition-related questions are always welcome here, so you ask away freely.  We may not know all the answers, but somebody usually knows something.  We also understand that sometimes we need to vent and have that vent be heard by folks who thoroughly understand our disease and the social/emotional effects thereof.

      That said, someone else has to help on the substantive part of your post as I cannot do much postural drainage.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I gave you my 2 methods and I use both. First I use the stool and the tip is steep enough for gravity to bring the rubbish up. With the wedge and pillow on the bed, I lay sideways over them (both sides in turn)  for as long as you feel necessary.  I'm not good at huffs so don't them but I do pummelling on my sides as I lay over the wedge. The more you do it the better you will be and find out what works for you. I feel the several positions I use gets to different parts of the lungs. Hope this helps. I've looked at the inversion table - looks good but a bit precarious.

    Regards, Gill

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  • Posted

    Thanks again every-one

    I carried out my 1st treatment session yesterday; armed with all your procedures and advise.

    With hips slightly but definately above shoulder and lying on my right hand side towards my back.

    Almost instantly I could feel the gunk moving; accordingly I went into the actve breathing cycle and dealt with a load fof gunk which I swallowed.

    This was repeated about a handful of times in 10minutes expelling smaller amounts of gunk on each occasion.

    My breathing following the procedure was somewhat better but the rattling in my throat was considerably eased.

    I will carry out the procedure later today and try to get my hips higher than yesteday.

    Thank you all for your help...my personal characteristics is to research all procedures where posible, talking with professionals and experts to try and get my procedures efficient before putting them into practice.

    With the marvellous help from this forum I believe I have identified the best way forward for me.

    Thank you all again for your invaluable help.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi, glad that you are mastering the art of postural drainage! Probably better to spit the gunk out into a tissue though rather than swallowing it. That way you can see what it looks like. Usually pale yellow, white or clear but if you get an infection it will change colour & may be darker, greener or murkier! Good luck.

      Jean

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  • Posted

    Quintain,

    Please do not swallow the gunk. Either spit into a tissue or use something like a small empty yoghurt

    pot and swill the stuff away down the bathroom sink. Sounds revolting but better than swallowing.

    Use a new receptacle regularly, say every week.

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