Airway Clearance Techniques (Chest Physiotherapy)

People with cystic fibrosis do airway clearance techniques (ACT) at least twice a day to loosen and get rid of the mucus from the lungs. Clearing mucus helps to reduce the severity of lung infections and improve lung function.


Some airway clearance techniques require help from family members, friends or therapists. Adults with cystic fibrosis can do many airway clearance techniques themselves.


One technique is called “postural drainage and percussion.” People with cystic fibrosis sit, stand or lie in a position that will help free up mucus as their chest and back are pounded or clapped. Sometimes a patient will use a mechanical “vest,” or blow into a device that shakes the mucus loose, to help clear their airways. The CF clinic physiotherapist can help to determine the best airway clearance technique for each person with CF.


For more information on airway clearance techniques (ACT) follow this link.

LHSCPatients, Families & Visitors

Last Updated July 6, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada