Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically supervised program for people with severe lung disease and lung-related disorders. Read the below article to know more.
When you have cystic fibrosis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), lung cancer, or other breathing problems, then pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that helps to improve the quality of life. Primary care providers will teach the new skills and how to supervise exercise programs to increase strength. With the help of pulmonary rehabilitation, you will be able to go outside and get into normal life.
A supervised education and exercise program that is designed to help people with chronic or long-term lung disease is known as pulmonary rehabilitation. The pulmonary rehabilitation program will show fewer improvements in breathing problems, provide more strength, and improve the quality of life, but it does not cure the lung disease.
Any individual with a chronic lung disease may benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. Some examples of chronic lung diseases include:
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Interstitial lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis).
Lung volume reduction surgery (done before and after lung transplantation).
The three main objectives of pulmonary rehabilitation are,
This program helps with shortness of breath.
It improves the quality of life.
Pulmonary rehabilitation improves the ability to do routine daily activities, like household work or going out with close ones or family.
The advantages of pulmonary rehabilitation are:
The symptoms are improved.
It improves the quality of life.
You may be able to walk more.
It makes you feel less anxious.
You may feel better about yourself.
It makes you feel less tired.
Improves the ability to do exercise.
Avoids frequent hospital visits.
The pulmonary rehabilitation may be overseen by respiratory therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dieticians, psychologists, spiritual advisors, social workers, and physicians. They will help you to design a personal program.
The pulmonary rehabilitation program may include the following:
Examination - You will be examined by the nurse, exercise physiologist, respiratory therapist, or other healthcare providers. You may be asked to do a stress test that measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level, followed by pulmonary function tests (PFT) to check your breathing and a walking test to measure how far you walked within six minutes.
Nutrition - They will help us to know the right food to eat and the correct weight to sustain.
Exercise - By practicing exercises, you will feel better.
Psychosocial - Pulmonary rehabilitation will help you to deal with chronic lung conditions mentally and emotionally.
Education - This program will help you learn and deal with your chronic lung condition. All of them are allowed to meet in groups, and when needed, they may interact one-on-one with the staff.
Most pulmonary rehabilitation programs are done at the outpatient health center or local hospital. The pulmonary rehabilitation program is usually conducted two or three times a week for two to three months or more. Some programs are done even as in-home sessions. However, make sure to attend every session to get the most out of the program. Initially, you might feel hard, and it will take some time to cope. After attending the program, you feel much better. Seek your primary care provider about a local program to get detailed information regarding it.
Lung muscles get weak due to chronic lung disease. So the muscles involved in breathing and moving must be re-strengthened to restore your normal activities. The patient who undergoes rehabilitation will be designed with their own exercise program to improve strength and endurance. Also, they will receive education about the disease or condition they have. At the time of education, they will come to learn how to:
Manage the symptoms.
Deal with shortness of breath.
Best use of respiratory medicines to treat the lung condition.
Use home medical equipment when it is needed.
Make good nutritional choices.
Manage the normal body mass index (BMI) and diet.
During the exercise classes, the staff will design a plan that considers all of the patient's needs, weaknesses, and strengths. The exercise program starts with stretching, followed by mild cardio and exercises to practice while sitting. Initially, they will build strength using light weights.
Pulmonary rehabilitation programs also offer counseling support groups to manage mental and emotional health as it is the key to maintaining a balance with physical health.
Only a few risks are involved with pulmonary rehabilitation.
During this program, shortness of breath is common, but they will carefully monitor the patient at the time of exercise.
Sore muscles are common during the start of the program, but this should improve with regular exercise.
Most insurances cover pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other lung conditions. The cost will vary based on what type of insurance you have and depending on the program you attend.
The pulmonary rehabilitation program is a home-based supervised non-pharmacological intervention to manage COPD and other lung-related disorders in elderly patients. This becomes effective when the patients put in the effort. The exercise and breathing techniques they learn from pulmonary rehabilitation will keep them from getting out of breath while walking short distances or within the home (from the living room and the kitchen). This program gives the best results when they continue to do the exercises and use the skills they have learned long after they have completed the program. In addition, the staff will design a long-term non-pharmacological treatment plan, so make sure to follow it.
Last reviewed at:
08 Apr 2022 - 4 min read
Most Popular Articles
Do you have a question on Pulmonary Rehabilitation or ?Ask a Doctor Online