What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Many people with a lung condition become short of breath while carrying out their everyday activities.
Being short of breath can be very frightening and subsequently some people reduce the amount of activity they do. However, avoiding these activities can lead to decreased fitness and even more breathlessness.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is designed to help the patient manage their breathlessness, improve fitness and ability to carry out daily activities, increase confidence, and improve their knowledge and understanding of living with a lung condition.
Who benefits from Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is aimed at people who have been diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and experience breathlessness in their daily life. It is essential that the patient is motivated to take part in the programme to gain the full benefits.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation courses
These are programmes led by a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Nurse or Physiotherapist. The initial assessment will last approximately one hour, and then typically the patient might expect to have two x 2 hour sessions each week. Groups are kept small (a maximum of ten people), providing a supportive and friendly atmosphere.
The sessions include:
- a graded exercise programme tailored to the individual patient’s needs
- educational talks covering all aspects of their lung condition
The exercise programme
The exercise programme consists of different exercises designed to improve upper and lower limb strength and endurance, and cardiovascular fitness.
Additionally, a home exercise programme is provided for the patient to continue the exercises in their own home.
The educational component covers various topics including:
- breathing control
- panic and anxiety management
- how the lungs work and lung disease
- the benefits of exercise
- managing day-to-day activities
- travelling with a lung condition