Postural drainage

Postural drainage is a series of body positions that use gravity to drain mucus from the lungs into the mouth so the person can spit it out. Postural drainage often helps people who have chronic lung disease, such as cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to drain mucus from different parts of their lungs.

Draining mucus from the lungs can:

  • Help prevent infections, which may lead to fewer lung problems.
  • Open airways, which can lead to better breathing.
  • Lead to an improved quality of life.
  • Reduce the risk of life-threatening complications.

Last Updated: June 23, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology

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