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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, abbreviated as COPD, is an umbrella term which refers to the group of lung infections and diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and diseases of the small airways. Most people feel breathlessness, which is caused due to impairment of gaseous exchange that happens because of prolonged damage to the lungs over a period of time.
Symptoms such as fatigue, reduced tolerance to exercise, muscular dysfunction, breathlessness even after simple tasks like walking, anxiety, panic, depression, and mood disorders are associated with major chronic disorders of the respiratory system.
Physiotherapy is an effective intervention to treat patients suffering from COPD. It is the part of a formal supervised, multidisciplinary, and an intensive Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program that helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma. It consists of exercises to improve and maintain good lung capacity, resistance training, aerobic exercises, and support to behavioural and lifestyle changes for promoting self- efficacy. Your physiotherapist will choose from the different techniques and positions used to remove the unwanted excess sputum from the lungs and airways. The main purpose of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation is to help in improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. Also, it should be noted that Pulmonary Rehabilitation is the cornerstone of care for patients suffering from COPD that uses integrated care by exploring underutilized opportunities.
Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation:
There are well-researched evidences of the improvement in the capacity of exercising, less breathlessness and fatigue, better control over condition, and an overall improvement in the quality of life of the patients suffering from COPD and Asthma.
Also, undergoing Pulmonary Rehabilitation lowers the rate of admissions, and re-admissions in hospitals due to recurrence of the symptoms and the related conditions.
It has also been reported that if Pulmonary Rehabilitation is properly undertaken, there is nearly no need for systematic health review to check COPD.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation, being a comprehensive program, helps in restoring fitness and easy breathing through breathing techniques, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, emotional support, medications, self-management, and other strategies for a better life, mainly by helping the lungs and the heart to function better.
How It Works?
Exercise is the key to any Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for helping the lungs and the heart to function better and adjust to the condition. Some of the following exercises can be recommended based on the medical history of the patient:
1. Lower Body Exercise focuses on the workout of legs via running on a treadmill or climbing the staircase for rigorous training.
2. Upper Body Exercise includes working up the muscles of the arm and the chest by tasks as simple as lifting arms against gravity.
3. Breathing Exercise helps people with weak breathing and increasing their breathing and lung capacity.
4. Strength Training helps in building endurance and better stamina through activities like weight-lifting.
Other than exercise, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program focusses on helping patients build an understanding of their situation and amend their lifestyles accordingly. This includes helping them understand their medication plan, teaching them to use their inhalers right, quitting smoking, consuming a healthy and balanced diet, and other methods as may be suitable based on their specific condition. Also, they are made aware of their symptoms so that if there is any recurrence, it can be immediately reported to the concerned health professional. They are trained through counseling to manage and deal with panic, anxiety, and depression caused due to their condition.
Take Away: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is an effective intervention and the cornerstone of care for improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. It helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma.