Pulmonary rehabilitation is a specific program of exercise, education and relaxation, specifically tailored for people with lung disease, which aims to reduce symptoms of breathlessness and anxiety, and improve exercise tolerance and confidence.
At Respiricare we have extensive experience in designing, running and evaluating pulmonary rehabilitation courses. Pulmonary rehabilitation is most commonly offered to patients with COPD, but research has shown that it can also benefit people with other chronic lung conditions too. It has repeatedly been shown to reduce the amount of emergency care i.e. GP and A&E visits, that a person with COPD requires, as well as improve exercise levels and reduce the impact that lung disease has on their quality of life.
Following pulmonary rehabilitation your lung function (as measured by spirometry) is unlikely to change. The reason for this is the improvements you gain are due to you developing stronger muscles, more efficiently using oxygen, improving your balance and co-ordination and improving your confidence to manage your breathlessness. By attending pulmonary rehabilitation, you will improve your ability to self-manage your lung condition. Taking part in pulmonary rehabilitation will make you breathless; however, you will be monitored throughout your exercises, to ensure you remain safe during your exercises. Your progress will be monitored by the use of specifically designed assessment and outcome measures.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is typically a seven week program, usually twice a week, therefore requiring a level of commitment. The people who do best from pulmonary rehabilitation are likely to be those who really want to help themselves, who want to learn and who have a positive attitude. If you are not able to attend a set course, then individually tailored exercises can be set for you to carry out at home.