Having trouble breathing? You are not alone. More than eleven million Americans suffer from serious lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, and pulmonary fibrosis. If breathing problems interfere with your regular activities, speak to your doctor. You might benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. And don’t put off the conversation: impaired breathing not only impacts your quality of life, it is also dangerous: chronic respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death in the US, following heart disease and cancer.
What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary, team approach to breathing issues, and involves the collaborative efforts of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, and psychotherapists.
The pulmonary rehab team will assess your overall health, as well as your breathing issues, and tailor a plan to fit your needs. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, your pulmonary rehabilitation plan might include the following:
Instruction on appropriate exercise, including aerobics and strength training
Breathing techniques which show you how to breathe more easily and more deeply
Training in how to conserve your energy, such as methods to organize your daily activities in order to prevent becoming short of breath
Nutritional advice, since being either overweight or underweight can exacerbate breathing problems
Emotional support, which is important because people with lung problems are more susceptible to depression and anxiety
Where do I go for Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Depending on your situation, you can do a course of pulmonary rehabilitation in a hospital, in an outpatient setting, or even in your own home. Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, offers a complete pulmonary rehab program along with luxurious accommodations and amenities, on beautifully landscaped grounds, to promote recuperation and well-being.
How Long Does Pulmonary Rehabilitation Take?
Most pulmonary rehabilitation programs last between 4-12 weeks, with sessions held between one to three times a week. It is essential to continue the exercises and techniques you learn while in pulmonary rehabilitation after you end the program in order to maintain your improved breathing.
Pulmonary rehabilitation won’t cure your medical condition, but it will help you manage it. And that in itself is reason to breathe easier.