Riley Physiotherapists

Riley Physiotherapy, Gillitts, Hillcrest & Kloof practices

Respiratory Conditions

Riley Physiotherapy

Gillitts, Kloof & Hillcrest practices

Respiratory Physiotherapy

Respiratory physiotherapy, also known as chest physiotherapy, pulmonary physiotherapy or pulmonary rehabilitation, is a specialised area of physiotherapy that focuses on treating and managing respiratory or breathing problems.

The respiratory system is responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Respiratory physiotherapy aims to improve lung function, strengthen respiratory muscles, increase oxygen delivery, expel secretions and reduce shortness of breath.

What respiratory Physiotherapy involves

Respiratory physiotherapy involves a range of techniques and exercises, including breathing exercises, coughing techniques, thoracic expansion and mobility exercises and manual chest physiotherapy. It also includes education on breathing techniques, lifestyle modifications, and self-management strategies to improve lung health and prevent complications.

Respiratory physiotherapy is commonly used to treat chest infections, bronchitis, pneumonia and conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, pleural effusions, bronchiectasis, atelectasis and post-COVID-19. It is also used to prepare patients for and aid in their recovery from surgery or other medical interventions that may affect their respiratory function.

Through a combination of exercises, individualised advice and manual techniques, our aim at Riley Physiotherapists is to help speed up recovery, manage symptoms, prevent complications and improve lung function and quality of life. Contact us today for an appointment.

Benefits of Respiratory Physiotherapy

  1. Improved lung function: Respiratory physiotherapy can help improve lung function by strengthening respiratory muscles and increasing oxygen delivery to the body. This can lead to reduced shortness of breath and better overall breathing.
  2. Reduced risk of complications: Individuals with respiratory problems are at increased risk of developing complications such as pneumonia and other lung infections. Respiratory physiotherapy can help reduce the risk of these complications by improving lung function and reducing the amount of mucus in the lungs.
  3. Improved quality of life: Respiratory physiotherapy can improve the quality of life for individuals with respiratory problems by reducing shortness of breath, improving exercise tolerance, and enabling them to perform activities of daily living with greater ease.
  4. Enhanced self-management: Respiratory physiotherapy provides education and training on breathing techniques, lifestyle modifications, and self-management strategies. This can empower individuals to take an active role in managing their condition and improve their overall health and well-being.
  5. Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation: Respiratory physiotherapy is often used to prepare individuals for surgery and aid in their recovery after surgery. This can help reduce complications and improve outcomes.

When Respiratory Physiotherapy is advised

If you have a chest infection, it is important to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Including respiratory physiotherapy in your treatment may help you manage your symptoms and speed up your recovery. Respiratory physiotherapy can help to clear mucus and other secretions from the lungs, which can reduce congestion and improve breathing. It can also help to improve lung function and reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia.

Respiratory physiotherapy is also recommended for individuals who have respiratory or breathing problems, such as:

  1. Bronchitis
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  4. Asthma
  5. Cystic fibrosis
  6. Emphysema
  7. Lung cancer
  8. Post-COVID-19 (and other infections) residual breathlessness
  9. Post-operative pulmonary complications
  10. Pleural effusions
  11. Atelectasis (collapse)
  12. Bronchiectasis

Respiratory physiotherapy may also be recommended for individuals who have difficulty breathing due to other medical conditions or as a result of a sedentary lifestyle.

If you experience any symptoms of respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, or coughing, consult with your healthcare provider and a physiotherapist who treats respiratory conditions.

If you are scheduled for surgery or have recently undergone surgery that may affect your respiratory function, consider respiratory physiotherapy to help prepare you for surgery or aid in your recovery.

Price of respiratory physiotherapy

The cost of respiratory Physiotherapy tends to be less than other types of physiotherapy, but will vary depending on the condition, treatment required and length of treatment sessions.

We offer medical aid rates.

Please contact us if you need any further information on pricing.

How we can help

Riley Physiotherapists use evidence-based techniques to help manage secretions, normalise breathing pattern and improve lung function and exercise tolerance. We also focus on education about your condition and how best you can manage it independently. We would love to assist you, whether it be at our rooms (Gillitts, Kloof or Hillcrest), or in the comfort of your home if you are too unwell to come to us.

How to Schedule and Appointment


Book an appointment via:

Phone: 031 764 2750  (preferred)
Link to contact form:


Book an appointment via:

Phone: 031 764 2750  (preferred)
Link to contact form:


Book an appointment via:

Phone: 031 767 3989  (preferred)
Juli-Ann Riley Physios
Link to contact form:

Our Location


The Gillitts Medical Centre, 15 Old Main Rd, Gillitts, 3610. Kwazulu Natal,
South Africa.


Le Domaine Health, Le Domaine Estate, 100 Acutts Drive, Hillcrest, 3610. Kwazula Natal, South Africa.


Juli-Ann Riley Physiotherapists, Femina Health, 75 Old Main Rd, Kloof 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Frequently asked questions about Respiratory Physiotherapy

    1. How often should I have respiratory physiotherapy?

    The frequency of respiratory physiotherapy sessions will depend on your specific condition and treatment plan. In acute or severe conditions, daily treatment is advised. Your physiotherapist will be able to recommend the most appropriate frequency for your individual needs.

    2.Is respiratory physiotherapy painful?

    Respiratory physiotherapy should not be painful. However, some techniques such as coughing and chest physiotherapy may cause discomfort. Your physiotherapist will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable during your sessions.

    3. Can I do respiratory physiotherapy at home?

    Yes, many respiratory physiotherapy techniques can be done at home. Your physiotherapist will provide you with education and training on breathing techniques, lifestyle modifications, and self-management strategies to help you manage your condition at home.

    4. Do I need a referral to see a respiratory physiotherapist?

    No, physiotherapists are first line practitioners, which means a member of the public may go directly to them. Some medical aid plans have their own rules, however, so it is always better to check with them if you are wanting them to cover your treatment costs.


    PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a medical consultation. Anyone experiencing a medical condition or requiring physiotherapy should consult book an appointment with us for a complete assessment.

      Contact Us

      We’re just a phone call away.


      Riley Physiotherapists

      The Gillitts Medical Centre, 15 Old Main Rd, Gillitts, 3610. Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

      TEL031 764 2750


      Juli-Ann Riley Physiotherapists

      Femina Health, 75 Old Main Rd, Kloof 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

      TEL: 031 767 3989



      Le Domaine Health

      Le Domaine Health, 100 Acutts Drive, Hillcrest, 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

      Bookings: 031 355 0030


      All private homes in the upper Highway Nursing homes

      including Rob Roy, Winston Park Rest Home, Waterfall Gardens & Le Domaine Care (and others)

      Bookings: 031 764 2750

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