A genetic disorder, Cystic Fibrosis affects the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine and causes weight gain, poor growth, chest infections and shortness of breath.  It is caused by a mutation in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene and different mutations can cause different severities of the disease as too much salt travels to the cells in the body resulting in thick, sticky secretions.

Cystic Fibrosis usually results in lung disease and/or lung inflammation due to the airways being clogged by a build-up of mucus.  This then causes damage to the lungs and makes symptoms worse.  Symptoms usually appear in patients when they are children but they can also develop later in life.

Cystic Fibrosis Lung Symptoms

  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shortness of breath
  • Recurring chest infections

A combination of physiotherapy and medication can help manage lung infections and prevent the build up of mucus that damages the lung.

Cystic Fibrosis

Physiotherapy for Cystic Fibrosis

Physiotherapy should start as soon as a child is diagnosed and will prevent the sticky secretions in the child’s lungs from building up and blocking the airways therefore reducing the risk of damage to the lungs.  It is also essential that the physiotherapy treatment includes an exercise plan to keep up a child’s fitness, strength, posture and bone density to prevent postural abnormalities and skeletal changes.

If your child has Cystic Fibrosis and requires a review of their airway clearance technique or further support, our specialist paediatric physiotherapists can help.  We are able to see your child at home or school and can set up an initial appointment within 24 hours. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or visit our local Physio Comes To You page.

Last Review Date: 17-04-2014