Outpatient Chest Physical Therapy

Rusk's Chest Physical Therapy unit provides individualized, one-on-one treatment programs for people with lung conditions that are causing lung congestion, secretion retention, or areas of lung collapse/atelectasis. Once patients have completed their prescribed program, they also receive personalized exercise programs to guide their self-treatment at home.

Secretion Clearance Program

This program is recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with lung conditions that cause increased mucus production, including bronchiectasis, mycobacterium infections, cystic fibrosis, exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and other conditions resulting in abnormal CT scans. Patients are treated with advanced secretion clearance techniques, and are also taught a self-treatment approach designed to improve their pulmonary hygiene. Our therapists provide individualized instruction in the techniques best suited to help each patient remove lung secretions and impacted mucus, thereby helping to reduce uncontrolled coughing and improve quality of life. The ultimate goal of the secretion clearance program is to control lung congestion and reduce the incidence of respiratory infections in susceptible patients.

Advanced secretion clearance techniques used in this program include:

  • An Acapella® secretion clearance device
  • Postural drainage
  • Active cycle of breathing
  • Autogenic drainage
  • Manual self-treatment techniques

Individualized chest physical therapy can also be provided to patients scheduled for elective surgery who are experiencing secretion retention or lung infections prior to surgery, in order to improve their preoperative lung status.

Lung Re-expansion Program

This program provides individualized treatment for patients with atelectasis (lung collapse) related to mucus retention, neuromuscular weakness, or a skeletal deformity. Patients with reversible restrictive lung conditions such as right middle lobe syndrome and scoliosis are excellent candidates for this program.

Lung re-expansion techniques used in the program include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Incentive spirometry
  • Thera-PEP®

Breathing Retraining for Individuals with Severe COPD

This program provides individualized treatment and instruction in controlled breathing techniques for patients with conditions such as COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis who are not yet ready to begin a formal pulmonary rehabilitation program. Instruction begins in the resting position, and is later combined with functional activities such as ambulation and stair climbing as the patient’s breath control improves.

Techniques used in this program include:

  • Pursed lip breathing
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Paced breathing
  • Positions for recovery from shortness of breath
  • Energy conservation strategies
  • Outpatient physical therapy 

Comprehensive Pulmonary Care for Individuals with Neuromuscular Diagnoses

This program, which is designed for patients with conditions such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease, incorporates elements of other chest physical therapy programs, including secretion clearance techniques and lung expansion exercises. Special attention is given to:

  • Effective cough/assisted cough techniques
  • Inspiratory muscle training when respiratory muscle weakness is present
  • Strategies to increase lung volumes

Download a referral form for Rusk’s Chest Physical Therapy treatment program. For additional information about the program, please call us at 212-263-6069.