What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program specifically designed and individually tailored to give education, exercise and support to people with breathing difficulties. People with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) and Restrictive Lung Disease are the persons who benefit from a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
Acute and chronic lung diseases can damage lung tissue and airways. This damage can cause difficulty in breathing and a decrease in physical activity. Psychological depression associated with a lack of activity is often a component of pulmonary disorders.
What are the Benefits of Exercise?
Exercise benefits the cardiovascular system and the overall muscle tone of the body. When you become inactive, breathing may worsen as time passes due to decreased muscle tone. When this happens you tend to sit more allowing others to do more and more of the things you used to do. To stop this deterioration you must get up and get moving! You’ll see your breathing will improve as your muscle strength does.
It has been shown that people who have attended pulmonary rehabilitation programs understand and cope with their disease better, improve their exercise tolerance, and are able to carry out activities of daily living with less difficulty. Other benefits may include reduction in anxiety and depression, improvement of self-esteem, decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
What are the goals of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- To manage symptoms of respiratory impairment
- Decrease the number of instances of respiratory distress
- Optimize functional lung capacity
- Maintain independence in activities of daily living
- Improve the dynamics of respiration through breathing retraining
- Provide a supportive environment for the patient and family to learn to cope with the problems inherent in lung disease processes
The education program covers various topics including:
- Anatomy of the lungs
- Oxygen systems
- Stress management
- Breathing retraining
- Learning to live with COPD
- Daily living
- Preventing respiratory infections
- Irritants of the airways