Q. My husband was just referred for pulmonary rehab. What does that involve?

Written by James Freehahn, CRT, RCP Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Q. My husband was just referred for pulmonary rehab. What does that involve?

A. Pulmonary rehab is a treatment plan for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a restrictive lung disease or other ongoing breathing problems. It is tailored to meet each patient's individual needs with the goal of improving their quality of life for someone with on-going breathing problems.
Rehab plans may cover:
• Exercise training - Exercise is the key part of pulmonary rehab; it can improve the function of the heart and lungs while strengthening the muscles use for breathing to decrease shortness of breath.
• Nutritional counseling - Shortness of breath and fatigue can interfere with your ability to eat a balanced diet. The amount and type of food can cause increased episodes of shortness of breath. Individual plans may be developed when problems such as fatigue, shortness of breath, swallowing, or poor appetite interfere with good nutrition.
• Education - Information on your lung disease and self-management.
• Energy conserving techniques - Practical ways to decrease shortness of breath during meals and making the most of your energy for other activities.
• Breathing strategies - Learning new breathing techniques will help you move air in and out of your lungs. It is helpful to use effective breathing techniques with exercise to minimize shortness of breath and assure adequate oxygen to your working muscles.
• Psychological counseling - Anxiety and depression can increase shortness of breath; classes on managing stress, relaxation, and coping with chronic illness may be helpful.
Pulmonary rehab is provided by a team of health care professionals in an outpatient setting. Pulmonary rehab is most effective when you start while your disease is in the moderate stages however, even if you have advanced lung disease, you can still benefit from pulmonary rehab.

For more information on pulmonary rehab, contact us at 330-263-8255.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist