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Pulmonary rehabilitation—"rehab" for short— is a program that uses education, exercise, and support to help people with breathing problems. The programs are designed based on your health needs and your goals.
You'll work with a care team that includes doctors, nurses, dietitians, and therapists. You and your team will set goals to meet your needs, based on your symptoms and treatment. There are different kinds of pulmonary rehab programs. Some are done in the hospital. Some are done at home.
Your rehab team will look at your symptoms and current treatment to make sure that you can get the most out of the program. They also will look at other concerns, such as heart problems and arthritis, that might affect how well you can exercise and do your daily tasks.
Then you and your team will set short-term and long-term goals to meet your needs. For instance:
A healthy lifestyle is an important part of pulmonary rehab. You'll get support in making healthy choices such as:
You'll learn about your lung condition—how it progresses and how it is best treated. This can make it easier to live with and manage the condition. Rehab programs usually include education for both you and your family about a variety of issues. These include:
Exercise training often includes aerobic exercise, such as walking or using a stationary bike. It also includes exercises to strengthen your arms, legs, and the muscles that help you breathe.
Your exercise program will be designed for your goals, your abilities, and your lifestyle.
Support and encouragement from friends, family, and your health care team are important in helping you stay with your rehab plan.
Depending on what lung condition you have, pulmonary rehab may:
An ongoing pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) program can help you function better over the long term. Each program should set short-term and long-term goals to help you keep track of changes and successes. This makes sure that the program continues to meet your needs.
Your doctor may suggest pulmonary rehab if you have ongoing lung problems such as COPD. It can help you manage your condition and be more active. Rehab can help you feel better and have a better quality of life. It can also help you breathe better.
There is little or no risk to these programs if they are well supervised.
Current as of: November 14, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda MD - Pulmonology & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
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