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For a person with a chronic lung disease, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, there is hope for rebuilding strength and enjoying a more full and active life through pulmonary rehabilitation. These programmes are designed to improve lung function, reduce symptom severity and improve quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme of education and exercise to increase awareness about your lungs and your disease. You will learn to achieve exercise with less shortness of breath. The classes are offered in a group setting so you get the chance to meet others with your condition, which provides an opportunity to give and receive peer support.

What Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

The skills and knowledge learned in the programme will help the person feel better and manage his or her chronic lung disease.  He or she will become stronger by increasing his or her level of fitness. Exercising the lungs and muscles helps will help him or he be more active so you can do the things you enjoy with your loved ones. Pulmonary rehabilitation may even decrease the need for hospital visits.

Who Administers Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Your rehab team often includes doctors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, exercise specialists and dietitians. Together, these health professionals create a personal programme to meet your specific needs.

Where Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation Administered?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an outpatient programme and may be based in a hospital or a clinic. You may also be able to receive certain forms of pulmonary rehabilitation in your own home.

Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation Right for Me?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended for patients with lung disease who experience shortness of breath frequently and are not able to perform daily activities despite daily use of medication. Many patients in rehabilitation programmes have a diagnosis of COPD, but these programmes also help people with other types of chronic lung disease that limits breathing and activity.

Can I Use Oxygen During Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Yes. When you start PR, your therapist will assess you. They may have you do a six-minute walk test while measuring the amount of oxygen in your blood. This will show the therapist how much oxygen you need during different types of exercise. Your therapist will guide you through the exercises and help you use your oxygen.

Can I Do Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Home?
Pulmonary rehab is so much more than just exercise. It is education and support for people living with lung disease. After you’ve been going to PR for a while, you may be able to do some of the exercises at home. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine at home.