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How does pulmonary rehabilitation help COPD?

Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
A comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program includes exercise training in endurance and strength, education, nutrition counseling, and psycho-social support and counseling. It can improve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), maximum oxygen consumption, and quality-of-life measures. It improves patient's strength, endurance, and flexibility, decreases symptoms of breathlessness and effort for the activities of daily living, and social/family activities. It can also decrease in the number of hospitalizations. Benefits vary among individuals, however, and consistent participation in an exercise regimen is necessary to maintain improvements.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the chronic blockage of airways in the lungs. This blockage can lead to a chronic shortness of breath and difficulty participating in everyday activities. For advanced COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation in combination with medical treatment can improve quality of life. A comprehensive rehabilitation program includes disease education, nutrition planning, exercise training, respiratory therapy, and counseling. A variety of specialists will work with you to tailor a program to your specific needs and help you develop strategies to manage your COPD.

Brian Gelbman, MD
Pulmonary Disease

Pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to be beneficial for patients with COPD; it is done with a physical therapist and can help improve exercise tolerance. Watch pulmonologist Brian Gelbman, MD, describe the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation.

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How Does Pulmonary Rehabilitation Help COPD?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.