Bronchial asthma is a chronic pathology of an inflammatory nature. Diseases are characterized by attacks of suffocation, which, without the provision of the necessary assistance, can cause the death of the patient.
Exercise therapy for bronchial asthma is included in the complex of therapeutic measures aimed at reducing acute periods, and generally improving the state of the respiratory system.
Regular gymnastics, subject to all the recommendations of the attending physician, contributes to long-term remission.
The tasks of exercise therapy for asthma
The set of exercises is developed in such a way that with the help of gymnastics it was possible to stabilize the respiratory processes, relieve symptoms, and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
The tasks of exercise therapy for bronchial asthma include:
- normalization of breathing;
- strengthening the muscles of the chest;
- improved ventilation of the lungs;
- restoration of the functionality of the bronchi;
- prevention of complications (for example, emphysema of the lungs).
Exercise helps stabilize the respiratory center of the brain, increases stress resistance, exercise tolerance.
Such an effect reduces the risk of an attack of suffocation under the influence of negative factors, improves the patient’s quality of life.
The mechanism of action of exercise therapy
Numerous studies confirm that nervous mechanisms play a major role in the respiratory process. Exercise therapy is designed to improve the work of not only the lungs, but also the rest of the body’s systems.
Exercise for asthma stabilizes the work of the brain, normalizes respiratory reflexes, which ensures rhythm of breathing, restores vascular tone. This improves ventilation of the lungs, prevents bronchospasm.
Exercise strengthens and tones the muscles, activates blood flow in the respiratory system. The lungs become more elastic, their vital capacity increases.
In patients with bronchial asthma, exercise improves the patency of the bronchi, restoring their ability to remove sputum. Normalization of pulmonary gas exchange contributes to the full saturation of tissues with oxygen, activates cardiac activity, relieves swelling of the mucous membranes.
All this reduces the dependence of breathing on external factors. The risk of an attack due to exposure to allergens is reduced.
Performing exercises for asthma calms, the psychological state of a person improves. The processes of inhibition / excitation of the nervous system are normalized, the vulnerability of the respiratory process to stressful conditions decreases.
Attention: Exercise therapy is not an independent treatment. Physical education must be combined with taking medications prescribed by a doctor.
Respiratory function disorder triggers compensation processes in the body. If you start performing a set of correctly selected exercises in the early stages of the disease, you can optimize compensation mechanisms.
Lung tissues and respiratory muscles that have undergone minor atrophic or degenerative changes can partially recover. This effect allows you to achieve a stable remission.
Indications and contraindications for exercise therapy for asthma
Physiotherapy exercises for bronchial asthma in combination with other methods provide a beneficial therapeutic effect. Gymnastics is prescribed not only for those who have already been diagnosed with the disease .
For prophylactic purposes, exercise therapy is recommended for smokers, people prone to allergies or the development of inflammatory processes in the upper respiratory tract.
Not all patients are allowed to exercise. Contraindications to physical activity in bronchial asthma are:
- status asthmaticus – a prolonged attack of severe suffocation;
- exacerbation of any chronic diseases;
- respiratory infections;
- heart failure of the 3rd degree;
- the presence of malignant neoplasms in the respiratory organs;
- shortness of breath when the respiratory rate exceeds 25 breaths per minute;
- acute respiratory failure.
Attention: patients with asthma are not allowed to start exercising without consulting their doctor!
The complex of classes is developed individually, taking into account the severity of the patient’s condition, the presence of concomitant diseases.
Exercise therapy complex for bronchial asthma
Exercise for asthma is selected based on the severity of the patient’s condition. This helps to avoid complications, to quickly achieve significant relief from the patient’s condition.
Before classes, the doctor will conduct a full examination, determine the optimal physical activity .
Here is an approximate set of exercises for the treatment of bronchial asthma:
- sit up straight, while inhaling, bend your leg at the knee joint, spread your arms to the sides. Exhale, with your hands pull the knee to the chest. Do three repetitions;
- do alternate half-turns, spreading your arms to the sides, palms up;
- stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart, hands at the waist, bring your elbows in front of you as much as possible;
- sit on a chair, lower your hands along the body, inhale. On a long exhale, tilt the body to the right, then to the left;
- while inhaling, bend your arms at the elbows, while exhaling – straighten;
- stand up, holding the back of the chair. On a prolonged exhalation, squat, on an inhalation – return to the starting position. Do 10 squats;
- stand up, straighten your back, walk in place for 3 minutes. Bring the number of repetitions per workout to eight;
- take the ball, raise your arms, throw it down with a sharp movement. Then exhale, relax the muscles;
- place your palms under your chest, as you exhale, bend forward, while inhaling – straighten;
- on exhalation, throw the ball with a swing from the shoulder, alternately changing hands.
It is allowed to do full exercises only during remission, but there are special exercises for bronchial asthma that help to stop an exacerbation:
- lie on a high pillow. Inhale, inflating the abdomen, then exhale, drawing it in;
- sit on the edge of the chair. Breathing deeply, bend / straighten your feet and clench / unclench your fists;
- sit down, lean your lower back on the back of the chair. Inhale, bend your elbows, touch your shoulders. Hold the pose for a couple of seconds. As you exhale, cross your arms over your chest.
The number of approaches for each exercise is determined by the physiotherapist, based on the patient’s level of physical fitness. The person’s age is also taken into account.
Exercise for bronchial asthma for adults and children has some differences. The complex must be performed throughout life.
It is very important to master the correct diaphragmatic breathing (deep inhalation with a long, smooth exhalation). This is the most important component of exercise therapy.
Respiratory gymnastics for bronchial asthma
Respiratory gymnastics in asthma is one of the main auxiliary methods for the prevention of complications of the disease, rehabilitation of patients.
The technique is aimed directly at normalizing breathing by strengthening the walls of the lungs and bronchi, improving blood flow in the tissues of organs.
Today, two of the most common techniques are used, combining movement and breathing techniques:
- the Strelnikova system of exercises is based on performing simple movements to compress the chest during short breaths through the nose;
- Buteyko training is aimed at developing shallow breathing. According to the author of the technique, the spasm provokes an excess of oxygen, which occurs during a deep breath.
Only a qualified instructor can teach breathing exercises. He will also teach the techniques suitable for a particular case.
Examples of some effective exercises:
- Breathe deeply for 60 seconds, gradually reducing the frequency of inhalation and exhalation;
- in a standing position, stretch your arms to the sides, tilt your body forward. As you exhale, wrap your arms around yourself, palms reaching out to the shoulder blades, spread your arms. Inhale, return to starting position;
- stand up, stretch your arms along the body. While inhaling, raise your shoulders, while exhaling, lower;
- lie on your back, alternately bend your legs at the knees and pull them to the stomach with a deep breath, with a long exhale – return to the starting position;
- sit in front of a container of water. Take a tube, inhale deeply through it, dip the tip into water, exhale as long as possible;
- stand up straight, put one hand on the stomach, the other on the chest. Breathe for half a minute, working the abdominal muscles;
- straighten your back, grab the back of the chair with your hands, inhale deeply through your nose, straining your abs. Hold the pose for 15 seconds, exhale slowly, relax the muscles;
- inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right. Then vice versa;
- inflate the balloon until it bursts. At the slightest dizziness, interrupt the exercise, restore breathing.
Attention: any tasks related to holding your breath must be performed under the supervision of a doctor!
All exercises are selected individually, with a gradual increase in load: from 3 in the first workout to 11.
Sound gymnastics is of great importance in the treatment of bronchial asthma. It was found that the pronunciation of certain sounds in combination with the control of inhalation / exhalation creates a vibration in the chest that relaxes the airways, facilitates their clearing of phlegm.
Each exercise begins with a 2-second inhalation, a second pause, followed by a long exhalation, during which sounds and syllables are pronounced in the following order:
- “O”, “y”, “e”, “and”;
- “D”, “s”, “z”;
- “U”, “w”, “w”;
- Bang, bam, broch .
A set of exercises in most cases begins with the sound “m”. The time of “sound exhalation” at the initial stage of training is 5 seconds, gradually increasing to 30 seconds. The muscles of the body should be relaxed.
Features of activities for children
Exercise therapy for bronchial asthma in children differs slightly from activities for adults, but has some nuances. The main thing is the duration of physical education: one lesson should not take more than 30 minutes. Respiratory training is allowed from the age of three.
The exercises are similar to those performed by older people, but carried out in a playful way. It is important to teach the child to breathe through his nose, to hold his breath.
Attention: classes must be held in the presence of parents or an instructor!
There is no need to rush: as practice shows, it takes about a month and a half to master the full range of exercises. You cannot scold and irritate the baby if something fails the first time.
A positive attitude and pleasure from training are of great importance. Therefore, children’s remedial gymnastics for asthma involves group sessions with peers. At home, you can supplement your workouts with a contrast shower and rubbing your body with a dry towel.
If a baby is diagnosed with bronchial asthma at an early age, exercise increases the chances of the illness going away during adolescence. The main thing is to do them correctly, in compliance with all medical recommendations.
Exercise therapy for asthma gives a positive result in the treatment of patients of different ages, regardless of the stage of the disease. Even with a severe course of the disease, classes are allowed, but before physical education it is recommended to take a bronchodilator (medicine that dilates the bronchi).
Regardless of which exercise therapy technique for bronchial asthma is recommended to the patient, the following recommendations must be observed:
- train only in the absence of exacerbations;
- start with a light warm-up: first warm up the limbs, then the muscles of the body;
- change exercises weekly;
- do gymnastics regularly: daily from 2 to 5 sessions;
- increase the load gradually – from easy tasks to complex;
- master the breathing technique under the supervision of a doctor;
- exhalation should be at least twice as long as inhalation;
- do better outdoors. When weather conditions do not allow this, the room must be well ventilated;
- do not exercise for bronchial asthma immediately after eating.
Sharp pain, general deterioration of the condition is a reason to immediately interrupt classes, contact an instructor to adjust the load. It is good to combine exercise therapy with swimming, walking, cycling.
Physiotherapy exercises for asthma are classified as secondary prevention measures. It is recommended for patients during periods of stable remission.
Serves as an excellent addition to conservative therapy, reduces the amount of drugs taken. Studies have shown that after three months of regular exercise, the frequency of asthma attacks in patients with bronchial asthma decreased by 40-50%, and six months later – by 60-80%.
You cannot do it without consulting a doctor! Uncontrolled loads can provoke the onset of an attack or the development of complications.
The desired effect can be achieved only if the attending physician is involved in the preparation of an individual set of exercises and training methods. If you follow all the appointments, gymnastics will help you forget about the disease for many years .