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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

By Dr. Inder Mohan Chugh in Pulmonology

Sep 21 , 2022 | 1 min read

Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs are essential to the health and well-being of lung disease patients. For many patients, it can help them to manage their symptoms and complications, reduce hospitalization and, most importantly, improve their overall quality of life.

What does pulmonary rehabilitation mean?

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a supervised education and exercise program for helping people who have lung diseases for a longer period of time. It will not cure your disease, but you may observe fewer breathing issues, more stamina, and improved quality of life.

Who can participate?

Any person with long-term lung disease can participate in the program, which includes:

  1. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

  2. ILD

  3. Asthma

  4. Lung Cancer

  5. Cystic Fibrosis

  6. Pulmonary Hypertension

What are the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation?

The benefits include,

  1. Decreased shortness of breath

  2. Increased energy and stamina

  3. Decreased feelings of depression and anxiety

  4. Increases ability to do things that you need and want to do

  5. You may feel less tired.

  6. You may not have to go to the hospital as often and can manage your own lung issues in association with your health care team.

What should I expect from the pulmonary rehab program?

Pulmonary rehab programs have various components, mostly it includes

  1. Making them aware of their present disease status, how to manage their symptoms effectively, and be regular with their medications also.

  2. Guided exercises sessions along with a demonstration of exercise and prior assessment

  3. Breathing techniques

  4. Nutritional counselling

  5. Emotional health support

How does pulmonary rehab work?

Long-term lung issues cause muscle weakness, so they need to be re-strengthened, for which your physiotherapist will help you in planning a tailor-made exercise program to improve your strength and stamina. Many programs also offer you support groups or counselling sessions to manage your emotional health along with physical health.

Where is pulmonary rehabilitation conducted, and for how long do I have to visit for rehab?

Most Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs will be done at your nearby hospital or centre on an OPD basis as well as personal home sessions too, usually 2-3times a week for 4 to 12 weeks or more but try to attend every session regularly to get maximum benefit. You may find it difficult, but continue the same till you have been asked by the rehab therapist.

How effective is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is effective if you are consistent enough and continue the same even after completing the program.