Always had bad asthma but when my husband was alive i would sprawl over the bed and hang over the edge he would pat hard between my shoulder blades and i would cough phlegm up .

My husband died in 2001 by 2002 i was diagnosed with copd strange .In 2007 had to have major surgery after breaking my leg and ankle after the anesthetic my breathing was really bad as the physiotherapist was coming every day to give me physio for my leg i asked about physio on my back and was told this was no longer thought too help and wasn't done anymore .As i have had a lot of surgery over the years and always had physio after i wondered if this is now common practice

18 Replies

  • I don't know about nowadays Dorothy but I can still remember when I was about 8 years old. I had a serious illness, I can't remember which one but my old mum thumped hell out of my back to clear my chest. It obviously worked 'cos I am still here.

    Bobby xxx

  • Yes im sure the old methods worked take care love Dorothy

  • You are describing postural drainage. I remember seeing it done on the wards when I was in training, decades ago. Always thought a really good way of shifting the muck. Surprised that it is no longer practised.

  • I used to do this for my youngest to help him, he,s Asthmatic & was very ill as a child, I was taught by a physio, it always helped him & I was taught to use a towel folded over his back so as not to bruise him, I wish someone would come & rattle my back for me



  • yes so do i im sure it helps karen xxx

  • Maybe they encourage us to do it by ourselves now, rather than have to rely on a partner or helper which some people don't have. Why they have to change a perfectly good procedure sometimes is beyond me, not everything new is better. It has probably more to do with funding than we would like to know, unfortunately. xx

  • I agree i think its funding ,but it kept me in hospital for four weeks and then care.s at home for 8 week false economy xxx

  • Madness isn't it - bring back common sense! Now that's wishful thinking. xx

  • I was reffered to a physio recently for postural drainage It is still being done but maybe it's another one of those things that depend on where you live on what services you are offerd. Never can understand that it should be the same for all I found it very helpful for moving mucus.

    Love julie

  • Well it helped me when my husband did it take care xx

  • The physio taught me how to help clear my daughter's chest and how to work on mine but that was a good 25years ago . I still give mine a gentle tap sometimes....very gentle!

  • Occasionally when the situation calls for it Ann will gently rub my back, just as I used to see a baby's back rubbed to bring up wind. In my case it brings up mucus.


  • Hi Chris i am so sure i t does help take care xx

  • I remember going into hospital where you hung over an A frame for what seemed like ages and got pounded by a nurse. I was only 6.


  • YES I had TB as a child and rememer that then ultra violet light treatment sitting with goggles on until the timer went off talking about 65years ago in myu case take care xxx

  • Hi newlands

    Funnily enough when I've been on a non respiratory ward the physios always do postural draining with percussion.

    However I have noticed some respiratory physios are very single minded about Autogenic Draining, which I'm sure is helpful to some people but I just can't get the hang of it, and when they do it don't find it effective. They also go for Active Cycle of Breathing which is ok and I do a bit of too and I'm sure again suits many folks, Some still do pd but some think it's 'old hat' as do some of the younger patients, but I have been doing postural draining for 65 years now and it is the only method that really gets all the gunk up for me. The pep gadgets are supposed to do the vibrations internally that

    pd with percussion and shakes do externally, but for me doing both works. I am aware as I get older and if my arth deteriorates I may have to do less pd and more other stuff, and that is a concern for me cos I know it won't get rid of all the gunk.. Still it's my body and my bronchiectasis not theirs and I will do what works for me. (crikey I'm getting a bit stroppy)

    love cx

  • The old back thumping used to work well for clearing the chest of gung. I used to help at a horse riding for the disabled group, mostly for young children, but apparently the jogging of the horse on a slow trot was also effective as not only did it loosen the gung but the child's posture helped to release it from the body. Don;t think it would help me when I am SOB. I struggle to get air into my lungs without some assailant thumping it back out.

  • I can see how that would help children with lung problems and adults who can manage it. Other fun things would include a trampoline (excellent) exercise in general, and believe it or not playing a harmonica (a tip I got from a fellow bronchiectatic, and believes me it works) Kids can also blow ping pong balls - it all helps. Great Ormond Street have a link for a bubble pep, which for an older child could be fun.

    Pd with percussion shouldn't hurt - it is not hitting with the flat of the hand, or pounding, or thumping. It should be a more gentle, rythmic pat done with cupped floppy hands.

    Might have a go with the bubble pep - looks fun!


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