In this article we will talk about respiratory infections and their treatment.

First of all, we need to know how an infection is generated in the respiratory system and what the disease process is like.

What are the causes of respiratory infections?

Respiratory infections need two main conditions to be reproduced.

The first one is a causal agent, an aetiology: bacteria, viruses and fungi. The second cause is a decrease in the activity of the immune system.

These two conditions must be there at the same time. If a bacterium or a virus is lodged in the lungs or in the nose, it will not be activated and will produce a pathology if there is not a low activity in the immune system; besides it needs a high viral load to be able to infect another subject.


Who can be the most affected?

There is an endless number of viruses, bacteria and fungi which can cause infection and, depending on the patient´s characteristics, they can affect some of them more than others.

For example, it is frequent to see Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in babies and children under two, which causes bronchiolitis in infants before reaching the first year of life.

Another frequent case is the Pneumococcus bacteria in toddlers, specially under 2. This causes pneumonia, among others.

There are also nosocomial respiratory infections, which are originated in hospitals. There are others that affect adults, which are usually bacteria such as Pneumococcus and viruses of the Influenza family such as Coronaviruses, which can also cause pneumonia in the elderly.


Illustration based on microscope images of CDC Influenza A viruses


Illustration based on microscopic images of CDC’s Streptococcus pneumoniae

What are the risk factor in respiratory infections?

The chances of getting respiratory infections will depend on some risk factors which might worsen the picture of the disease. Risk factors for respiratory infections include
  • Chronic lung diseases: emphysema, COPD, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis
  • Advanced age.
  • Smoking.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Alteration of the defensive capacity (immune system).
  • Serious basic diseases (cancer, chronic diseases…).
  • Recent surgery.

Why do mucus and inflammation occur?

It is the immediate response of our body’s defensive system. Together with the cellular activation of the walls of the respiratory system, they will activate a mechanism that will produce, almost immediately, an increase in the amount of mucus. Its purpose is to protect it from any external aggression (in this case infections).

Also, the inflammation of the tissue will remain whilst the aggression is still there.

In the following video, we explain extensively the process of mucus production.

The importance of respiratory physiotherapy in the recovery process .

However, a physiotherapist specialised in the respiratory system can carry out a treatment that will help improve the elimination of them without any kind of syrup.

A suitable diet, in addition to medical treatment can reduce swelling. This anti- inflamatory food may include turmeric and pepper, either together or in curcumin capsules. We should also avoid foods that increase the acidification of the body (carbonated drinks, coffee, alcohol, red meat and daily products, in general, during the acute period).

The treatment tactic of physiotherapists is to help eliminate mucus from the respiratory system. This is done with different techniques and methods which help the patient. Breathing exercises are performed to improve lung capacity. In this way, the lungs increase their space to get more air.

Our experience in this field has helped hundreds of patients to avoid complications and recover quickly with less need for medication

This whole process is explained in the following video. Remember that at Corps à l’aise, we take care of your health.

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PhysiotherapyRespiratory infections: Physiotherapeutic treatment