Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

People living with chronic lung diseases often experience shortness of breath. Most people feel that shortness of breath is one of the most concerning symptoms of chronic lung diseases. Chronic lung diseases make it difficult for people to breathe normally, so people often have trouble maintaining adequate blood oxygen levels.

The respiratory system brings oxygen into the body and delivers it to the body. The soft, spongy lungs don’t have any muscles within them, so they need surrounding muscles and bones to help them work. During shortness of breath, it can feel as though you aren’t able to breathe normally. We’re here to help with the information you need about breathlessness and the best positions to reduce shortness of breath.

What Muscles Are Used for Breathing?

To better understand shortness of breath, it’s important to know about the muscles used for breathing. Breathing can be a voluntary or involuntary act. For example, you can voluntarily hold your breath or take a slow, deep breath. Involuntary breathing occurs when you breathe without thinking about breathing at all, such as when you sleep.

Because the lungs themselves don’t contain any muscles, they need help from muscles within the body. The intercostal muscles are small and numerous muscles situated between each rib and on each side of each rib. The intercostal muscles help enlarge the chest cavity and contract to pull the ribcage both upward and outward as you inhale.

The diaphragm is the most important muscle to breathing. In fact, the diaphragm has its own nerve supply and can work involuntarily and voluntarily. The diaphragm works like a vacuum. When the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, it goes down toward the stomach, expands the lungs and pulls new air into them. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and moves back to its original position. As the diaphragm relaxes, it and the intercostal muscles in the ribcage push old air back out of the lungs. The intercostal muscles also relax and reduce the space in the chest cavity.

Accessory Muscles

If you are under stress, have an injury or are experiencing difficulty breathing, accessory muscles can help you breathe. Accessory muscles are not used during normal breathing. The accessory muscles sometimes used from breathing include the muscles in front of the neck, the chest pectorals and the abdominal muscles. For people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), air becomes trapped in the lungs and makes it harder for them to expel air. Many people with chronic lung diseases use accessory muscles to help them breathe in and out.

What is Shortness of Breath?

Shortness of breath is a common and often frightening symptom of chronic lung diseases. Many people describe breathlessness as air hunger. Shortness of breath makes people feel like they cannot fill their lungs with oxygen. Sometimes, shortness of breath happens suddenly and without a known cause. It often occurs with chest tightness and anxiety.

If you experience shortness of breath, follow your doctor’s instructions and use prescribed inhalers as directed by your doctor. While frightening, remember to stay calm and consider trying the following positions to reduce shortness of breath.

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

In combination with the pursed lips breathing and the diaphragmatic breathing techniques, these positions to reduce feelings of shortness of breath can help you relax and reduce the sensation of breathlessness.

Sitting Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath:

Typically, shortness of breath happens during activity, emotional experiences, bad or changing weather conditions or when you feel tense or stressed. Try these sitting positions to reduce shortness of breath:

Sitting Position A:

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

  • Sit in a chair or in a comfortable position
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Lean your chest forward a little
  • Rest your elbows on your knees
  • Place your chin in your hands (if you feel comfortable doing so)
  • Relax your neck and shoulders as much as you can
  • Practice your breathing techniques

Sitting Position B:

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

  • If a pillow is easily available, place it on a table
  • Sit in a chair at the table
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Lean your chest forward some
  • Place your arms on the table
  • Relax your head on your forearms (if a pillow isn’t available) or rest your head on the pillow
  • Use your breathing techniques

Standing Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath:

Sometimes, shortness of breath happens suddenly. If a chair or a place to do the sitting positions isn’t available, give a standing position to reduce shortness of breath a try:

Standing Position A:

  • Find a sturdy wall
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Lean your hips on the wall
  • Let your hands rest on your thighs
  • Allow your shoulders to relax
  • Lean forward slightly
  • Let your arms dangle in front of you
  • Remember to practice your breathing techniques

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Standing Position B:

  • Find a strong piece of furniture (just below shoulder height), such as a table
  • Stand at the furniture
  • Place your elbows or hands on the chosen furniture
  • Lean forward a little
  • Relax your neck and shoulders
  • You can rest your head on your forearms if your elbows are on the furniture
  • Utilize your breathing techniques

Sleeping Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath:

If you’re at home or are awakened by an episode of shortness of breath, remain calm and consider these sleeping positions to reduce shortness of breath:

Sleeping Position A:

  • Lie on your side
  • Place a pillow between your knees
  • Elevate your head with a pillow or two
  • Keep your back as straight as possible
  • Relax and use your breathing techniques

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Sleeping Position B:

  • Lie on your back
  • Place a pillow under your knees, so your knees are bent
  • Elevate your head with a pillow or two
  • Allow yourself to relax
  • Practice your breathing techniques

Taking Steps Toward Easier Breathing

Following your doctor’s advice, taking your medications properly and learning about all of your treatment options helps you stay proactive in your healthcare. In combination with your current treatment plan and breathing techniques, we hope these positions to reduce shortness of breath help you stay calm and breathe easier.

For many people, cellular therapy has helped them improve their quality of life, allowing them to spend more time with their family, grandchildren and loved ones. Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality  of life. 

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions. 

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

Oxygen Levels and the Digestive System

Oxygen Levels and the Digestive System

It might sound strange, but the respiratory system and the digestive system depend on one another for optimal function. Because oxygen is essential to the proper functioning of the body, one of the main concerns for people with chronic lung disorders is maintaining enough oxygen in their blood. The body needs energy and oxygen, so let’s take a closer look at oxygen levels and the digestive system.

What does the digestive system do?

The digestive system breaks down food so that it can become energy for the body. The digestive system is comprised of a complex system of organs, nerves, hormones, bacteria and blood work together to digest food. Digestive organs include the stomach, small intestines, large intestines, liver, pancreas and gall bladder.

What’s the connection between the respiratory system, oxygen levels and the digestive system?

Oxygen Levels and the Digestive SystemThe respiratory and digestive systems work together to power the body. A properly functioning respiratory system delivers adequate oxygen to the blood. Because the digestive system breaks down food and uses muscular contractions to move food through the digestive tract, it needs oxygen to function properly.

In turn, the respiratory system depends on a properly functioning digestive system to provide the fuel it needs to work effectively. Each function of the body depends on other functions, and all parts of the body need fuel and oxygen.

What are the risks of having lung disease and digestive system conditions?

In many cases, oxygen levels and the digestive system go hand-in-hand. COPD and other chronic lung diseases carry a risk for certain digestive disorders. Because some foods and drinks can cause symptom flare-ups, it’s important to know what to eat and what to avoid. Foods such as dairy and cruciferous vegetables are linked to increased mucus production and gas. Certain foods can also make GERD symptoms worse.

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is common among people with COPD. GERD is a digestive disorder in which the stomach valve that keeps stomach acid down weakens or malfunctions, allowing stomach acid into the esophagus. If stomach acid reaches the lungs, it can result in irritation, increased coughing and shortness of breath.

GERD Symptoms include:

  • Dry cough
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness or sore throat
  • Burning in the chest or throat
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Regurgitation of stomach contents

What can I do to improve my blood oxygen levels?

Oxygen Levels and the Digestive SystemTalk with your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms. See your doctor regularly, even if you’re feeling well. Now that you have information about oxygen levels and the digestive system, discuss your oxygen, food and exercise needs with your doctor. You and your physician can decide, together, on the best treatment plan for you.

Centers for Respiratory Health is an innovative leader of regenerative medicine dedicated to providing cellular therapies to help patients with chronic lung disorders and improve overall lung health. We offer an innovative wellness approach to your health and provide our patients with a potentially more effective way to improve overall lung health. Our goal is to improve our patient’s quality of life and help our patients Breathe Easier.

Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality  of life. 

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions. 

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you have a condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, chances are that you might have a prescription for supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen has shown to be beneficial for many people with chronic lung disease by improving exercise tolerance and breathlessness during exertion.

Liquid oxygen, also called LOX, is different from concentrated, or “regular” oxygen. Concentrated oxygen tanks can be bulky and difficult to carry around, which is why some people choose to use the smaller liquid oxygen tanks. Let’s take a deeper look into what liquid oxygen is, and also weigh the pros and cons.

What is Liquid Oxygen?

Concentrated oxygen is oxygen in gas form, whereas liquid oxygen is oxygen that has been compressed into liquid form. That’s the major difference between the two. There are other smaller differences, and the type of oxygen tank that you choose will depend upon your personal preferences.

Concentrated oxygen tanks are much larger than liquid oxygen tanks. This is because when oxygen converts from a liquid to gas, it expands 860 times! To convert oxygen from gas to liquid, it must be cooled by at least -297 degrees Fahrenheit, or -183 degrees centigrade.

Which is Better? Concentrated or Liquid Oxygen?

A study published in Thorax respiratory medicine journal took a look at liquid oxygen versus concentrated oxygen for portable use. Liquid oxygen came out slightly ahead.

The study reports: “The longer duration of liquid oxygen supply enables patients to spend more time using portable oxygen and going out of the house.”

Here’s a breakdown of the other findings from the study:

  • All patients’ arterial oxygen tension values when they were breathing liquid oxygen and gaseous oxygen were similar
  • There were no significant differences between distance walked in the baseline walk test and the walk with liquid or gaseous oxygen
  • The level of breathlessness also appeared to be similar for both types of oxygen after the two walking tests
  • The baseline walking distance was greater after the eight weeks spent using liquid oxygen than at the initial baseline walk
  • There was no significant difference in walking distance after eight weeks of gaseous oxygen
  • There were no significant changes in spirometric values or arterial blood gas tensions throughout the duration of the study
  • Patients using liquid oxygen left the house on average of 19.5 hours a week, while patients using gaseous oxygen only left the house an average of 15.5 hours a week
  • Of the 15 patients tested in the study, 11 preferred the liquid oxygen because it lasted longer and carrying and filling it were both easier

Pros of Using Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen takes up less space than oxygen in its gas form, making it easier and lighter to carry around. Not only that, it also can be stored at a much lower pressure. This makes liquid oxygen tanks safer than concentrated oxygen cylinders, which are under high pressure.

Liquid oxygen portable tanks are filled from reservoirs that can be kept in the home. They are easier to fill than concentrated oxygen tanks. Additionally, liquid oxygen lasts longer than concentrated oxygen. In fact, a small amount of liquid oxygen can last a full day, making it a great choice to take with you when you leave the house.

Cons of Using Liquid Oxygen

You have to keep large containers filled with oxygen in your home to frequently fill the smaller, portable tank. This not only takes up space in your home; additionally, the recurring oxygen deliveries can get pricey. Another important thing to note is that liquid oxygen needs to be used within a week or two; otherwise, it will evaporate.

Liquid oxygen is often used for more hours a week than concentrated oxygen, meaning you will be wearing your oxygen more. Some users have reported that the process of using liquid oxygen equipment is confusing and difficult to remember.

Who Uses Liquid Oxygen?

Convenience and efficiency are the two major deciding factors when choosing between liquid or concentrated oxygen. Speak with your primary care physician about both options, and he or she will help you arrive at a decision that best suits your lifestyle.

Some Centers for Respiratory Health patients have been able to reduce their reliance upon supplemental oxygen after receiving cellular therapy.

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

How to Clear the Lungs in 5 Easy Steps

How to Clear the Lungs in 5 Easy Steps

Sometimes it’s best to just get it all out.

When dealing with a progressive lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, the buildup of phlegm can be a constant source of frustration. Not only can this buildup cause difficulty in regular breathing, but the obstruction of the airways can be a source of aggravation, in the end causing more coughing. To avoid this, it’s important to clear the lungs as often as they become obstructed.

With your health in mind, the Centers for Respiratory Health is here to show you how to do just that. Here’s How to Clear the Lungs in 5 Easy Steps.

5. Drink Water

It may seem simple, but for 75% of Americans, chronic dehydration may be a constant issue. Your body needs water in order to function, but your throat in particular needs water to help clear mucus. By drinking two quarts of water a day, you can actively mitigate mucus build-up, allowing you to breathe better for longer periods of time. Aside from clearing out mucus, a glass of water a day has been found to improve moods, reduce headaches and improve energy levels. So for a healthier you, start your day with a glass of water.

4. Take an Expectorant or Mucolytic

An expectorant is a cough medication that works to loosen existing mucus within your lungs allowing your cough to be more productive. On the other hand, a mucolytic is a medicine that works to thin out mucus in the airways, making it easier to cough up. Although this can be ordered by your doctor, you may be able to find a generic of this drug (such as Robitussin) over the counter. However, before trying any new medication, always consult your doctor.

3. Cough correctly

Although the idea of a correct way of coughing may seem strange, it’s important to remember that proper breathing can often come down to the effect of posture on the diaphragm. When coughing, it is best to sit up straight, bend forward slightly and avoid sitting and laying down when coughing whenever possible. As an added tip, it is best to use the “Huff Cough” technique, which entails doing several mini-coughs rather than one big cough.

2. Use Natural Remedies

Traditional medicine may not be everyone’s preference. It can come with specific side-effects or simply feel unnatural. For those who like to avoid traditional medication whenever possible, a variety of natural foods and herbs can be used to promote airway clearance and mucus reduction. These roots include:

  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Ginseng
  • Eucalyptus peppermint
  • Licorice root
  • Pomegranate
  • Berries

So feel free to add these natural remedies to your diet after first consulting with your primary doctor or physician.

1. Use a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil is a vegetable oil made from pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant. Available over the counter, castor oil is safe for consumption by the FDA and is known to help in a variety of health conditions. A castor oil pack—which can be made easily at home—works wonderfully in drawing toxins out of the body and has been appreciated as a general health tonic for centuries. When placed on the chest, similar to a vapor rub, castor oil is thought to break up congestion and toxins.

Although the habitual cleaning of one’s lungs is important to daily health and quality of life, if you’re looking to take a more proactive approach to your health, it may be time to consider our innovative cellular therapy. If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disorders like COPD, emphysema, pneumoconiosis, or have other symptoms of lung disease, Centers for Respiratory Health may be able to help.

We offer an innovative wellness approach to your health and provide our patients with a potentially more effective way to improve overall lung health. You can continue to use your current pulmonary care and add our innovative treatment to potentially improve your overall lung health – focusing on helping you return to the activities you love with those you care about most.

It is time for you to take your life back from chronic lung disorders. Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers is standing by to answer all your questions. Contact us today by calling 866-638-4776 to learn more about our innovative cellular therapy.

 

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.