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What are respiratory conditions?

Respiratory conditions affect the respiratory system (the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs). In children the conditions may be chronic or congenital such as asthma or cystic fibrosis and require lifelong management. Babies born prematurely may have respiratory complications as the lungs are not properly developed. Other conditions are short lived and treatable such as viral or bacterial infections e.g. croup or bronchiolitis. Children are more susceptible to infection as their airways are smaller, however advances in treatment mean they are normally treatable and usually not life threatening.

Improving lung function and exercise tolerance with supervision from a physiotherapistAbove: Improving lung function and exercise tolerance with supervision from a physiotherapist

What are the symptoms of respiratory conditions?

Symptoms and severity may vary according to the condition affecting the child but may include:

  • Coughing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered breathing pattern
  • Wheezing
  • Stridor (high pitched squeaking noise)

How can physiotherapy help respiratory conditions?

Simple infections in children usually do not require physiotherapy, however in more complex or chronic conditions the child may benefit from physiotherapy to assist in secretion management and maintain clear airways. Our specialist paediatric physiotherapists can provide treatment which may include:

  • Positioning advice to aid drainage of secretions and improve breathing control
  • Lung clearance techniques such percussion or vibrations
  • Breathing exercises to reduce shortness of breath and aid removal of secretions
  • Advice to children and parents regarding long term management of chronic conditions
  • Advice regarding inhaler techniques
  • Exercises to improve overall fitness
  • Liaison with parents and carers on overall management e.g. carrying out chest physiotherapy at home, how to recognise signs of respiratory distress etc. can provide appropriate treatment during an acute infection which may prevent admission to hospital in some cases.


  • No waiting lists, immediate treatment for acute infections
  • Ongoing treatment on an individual basis
  • Dedicated, patient centred approach
  • Reassurance and support for parents
  • Specialist physiotherapists
  • Motivated, caring staff
  • Proven track record

We understand that respiratory conditions in babies and children can be distressing for parents, especially when these conditions are chronic. Our team of specialist paediatric physiotherapists can provide assessment and treatment for your child and provide reassurance and support throughout the child's condition. can provide treatment of children with respiratory conditions across Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We can provide assessment and treatment at our clinic, a child's school or at your home for your convenience.

Find out more about Respiratory Conditions here: For more information on how physiotherapy can help respiratory conditions, or to book yourself an assessment, please contact us via email at or ring us on 0330 088 7800.

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