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Respiratory physiotherapy

We offer tailored physiotherapy for a range lung problems

Patient lying in bed preparing for her respiratory physiotherapy assessment
Respiratory physiotherapy relates to the assessment and treatment of people with disorders of the respiratory system. This includes conditions that affect your lungs, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. It can be used at all stages of disease, from early diagnosis through to chronic illness. The symptoms of lung conditions vary in terms of their intensity. For example, some people with asthma struggle with persistent symptoms, while others experience symptoms in flare ups (symptoms that come and go in stages). Regardless of how severe your symptoms are, respiratory physiotherapy can help significantly improve your lung strength and quality of life.

Physiotherapy for lung problems is focused on maximising physical function and helping you manage your symptoms daily. It is often used alongside other medication to help improve your lung capacity and strengthen your respiratory muscles, allowing you to breathe more freely.

Living with lung problems can make everyday life challenging. It can impact your sleep (you lose lung capacity when you lie on your back, so breathing becomes more difficult), your social life, and your ability to function at work. In many cases, lung problems can be effectively treated with physiotherapy, and there are many kinds of physiotherapy techniques to help treat many kinds of lung conditions.
To find out more about our respiratory physiotherapy services, call us directly.

There are several reasons why you might need respiratory physiotherapy. These are:


Asthma is a common condition which affects the tubes which carry air from the mouth to the lungs (airways). The condition is characterised by a tightening and restriction of these airways which can be triggered or exacerbated by:

  • Certain types of allergies
  • Exercise
  • Smoking and other chemicals
  • Extremes of temperature

There is also a genetic predisposition to developing asthma. The disease tends to start in childhood or adolescence and a percentage of childhood sufferers of the condition may grow out it through adulthood. Fortunately, with the correct management, asthma is not a life limiting condition for the vast majority of those affected.

Chronic bronchitis

This happens when the bronchi in your lungs becomes inflamed. Your bronchi are large tubes that connect to your windpipe and direct air to your right and left lungs, helping you breathe properly. The inflammation can cause severe coughing spells and a build-up of mucus in your lungs, which can in turn cause wheezing and severe difficulty breathing.


Emphesema is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the air sacs in their lungs (alveoli) are damaged. Over time, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and rupture, which causes symptoms such as breathlessness, recurrent chest infections, wheezing, and rapid breathing.

The cost of physiotherapy for lung conditions starts from £80 for your first appointment.* This is based on a 45-minute appointment and includes a full assessment and treatment plan.

The cost of follow-up appointments starts from £57.*

The cost of your total physiotherapy treatment will depend on various factors such as your condition, how many sessions you need and what type of treatment you are recommended. Some of our specialist treatments are priced separately, however you will be informed of any additional charges as part of your treatment planning. Your physiotherapist will always discuss your treatment options with you.

*This is a guide price and may vary. You’ll be told the exact cost before you book.

Respiratory conditions can have a significant impact on how much you can exercise or move without becoming breathless and can affect independence in everyday activities. Not being able to exercise or fulfil your usual everyday activities can have an impact on your emotional wellbeing. The treatment and its outcomes will depend on your individual condition and symptoms.

If you are suffering from respiratory disorders, physiotherapy may help you cope better with:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Clearing secretions
  • Feeling tired due to breathlessness
  • Tasks that are difficult to perform
  • Exercising and aiming to get fitter and stronger

Your physiotherapist will tailor your programme to suit your individual needs. The exercises and equipment they use will depend on your condition and how it affects you. You will be able to perform these exercises at home and in sessions to get the best possible results. Your physiotherapy can work in a variety of ways, including:

  • Assessment
  • Advice on self-management
  • Better understanding of the conditions
  • Hands-on interventions / manual techniques
  • Postural drainage
  • Exercises to aid the expectoration / clearance of secretions
  • Help to improve the efficiency of breathing
  • Therapeutic exercise

The service is provided either individually or in a group format, depending on what’s suitable for the patient.

Some examples of techniques that your physiotherapist will use:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Positions to relieve breathlessness
  • Activities and exercise
  • Secretion clearance techniques
  • Relaxation techniques

When you choose to go private for physiotherapy with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • Freedom to choose your hospital and physiotherapist
  • Specialist physiotherapy equipment and imaging facilities at your fingertips
  • Specialist advice and exercises to follow in sessions and at home
  • Tailored services (your physiotherapist will build your programme around your needs)

If you want to know more physiotherapy for cancer and find out if it's the right treatment for you, call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in December 2023. Next review due December 2026.

Specialists offering Respiratory physiotherapy

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