Managing Lung Diseases with Pulmonary RehabheadingContent

Posted on March 04, 2015

medical image of a body with lungsWhat is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary Rehabilitation, also known as pulmonary rehab or PR, is a program Sunrise Medical Group offers that is designed to help alleviate, reduce and control symptoms and complications associated with ongoing breathing problems. This is accomplished through a program of exercise, education and endurance training.

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a degenerative disease that makes breathing extremely hard. COPD can cause shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing that could produce mucus.

Who is Eligible for Pulmonary Rehab?

Your doctor may recommend pulmonary rehab for anyone who has been diagnosed with moderate to severe COPD. A pulmonary function test is used to determine severity of symptoms and any MRI of lungschronic lung disease.  “Pulmonary rehab has allowed my patients to become more independent and partake in pleasurable activities once again,” said pulmonologist Dr. Brian Gotkin at Sunrise Medical Group.

What is involved in Pulmonary Rehab?

Muscle fatigue is a common problem for people with COPD.  Many individuals say it is what most limits their exercise abilities.  A program of arm and leg strengthening exercises can improve strength, endurance and symptoms. Targeting these muscles groups will decrease the perception of shortness of breath and will also increase the overall health and fitness of the individual with COPD.

If you have moderate, severe or very severe COPD, pulmonary rehab is the place for you. At this level of the disease, individuals need a little more care. Some people might be using inhaled medications or they may be on oxygen. It may be intimidating to begin a workout regimen, especially if you have shortness of breath, which can lead to certain frustrations at your limitations.

One goal of PR is for the individual to take what they learned in the classroom and work out at home. Exercise will allow you to do more activities at home, participate in social events and complete household chores. “With pulmonary rehab, the patient regains confidence to get out of the house and engage with life. They now can, once again, go out with friends, shop, dine and travel despite having COPD.  Rehab gives patients a new lease on life,” said pulmonologist Dr. Steven Gittler at Sunrise Medical Group.

Written by Sharon Tucker, Respiratory Therapist at Sunrise Medical Group