COPD Pulmonary Rehab1 year ago
Posted on Jul 26, 2018, 3 a.m.
Pulmonary rehab encompasses several aspects of pulmonary care with the goal of improving lung function in patients with respiratory disorders including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder typically in an 8-12 week program.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder is characterized by shortness of breath, marked obstruction of the airway passage, and wheezing due to underlying pathophysiologic changes in the body. COPD is a top contender in leading causes of death alongside and competing with cardiovascular, oncological, and infectious ailments.
Programs are generally held in pulmonary rehab centers run by medical center and sometimes charitable organizations that focus on respiratory wellness as a community goal. Patients are referred to these programs upon consideration that a holistic approach is required in addition to medicinal treatment. Patients with frequent exacerbations and physical or emotional frailty for example are at elevated risk of recurring acute problems and a poor quality of life as a result, as such will benefit from pulmonary rehab.
Typical pulmonary rehabilitation program will include: food and nutrition, physical training and exercise tolerance, support for de-addiction from smoking, self-care plans, regular follow ups, correct usage of inhalers and nebulizers, and community sharing.
Patients often have limited physical activity due to becoming severely breathless during moderately intense physical activity. While reasonable for COPD patients not to do strenuous exercises it is unhealthy to remain completely inactive.
Respiratory tract muscle can atrophy if unused for a long period of time just as any other muscle. In pulmonary rehab centers trained professionals address small batches of patients who are typically enrolled into a regime including at least exercising three times a weeks for 8-12 weeks or longer.
Typical prescribed activities include: Intensity training designed to give patients a chance to learn and increase intensity of exercises at a comfortable pace; Interval training designed to employ one of two different approaches of either continuous training of moderate or low intensity or short intervals of intense nature; and Duration of training where it has been found that COPD patients who take part in training over a longer period of time in addition to usual care have better quality of life.
Programs such as these have potential of improving quality of life when correctly coupled with other treatment modalities. Due to the heterogeneous nature of COPD no two patients can be treated with a single treatment leading to identical outcomes and no single management approach will suit the entire population. Research over the past 3 decades has provided acknowledgement of various clinical, physiologic, and radiologic phenotypes of COPD resulting in personalized training programs and tailor made rehabilitation emerging as a mainstay for the treatment of COPD.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is mainly seen to focus on exercise and programs involve more than physical training such as confidence can be boosted as a result of improved physical activity, smoking cessation and healthy eating habits that are universally beneficial irrespective of disease status. Patients are more knowledgeable about the condition as these programs increase awareness of primary remedies and precautions that may have.
Alongside the numerous benefits there are some possible risks as well such as injuries while performing exercises incorrectly or overdoing it, susceptibility of patients to cardiac problems increase if there is comorbid cardiovascular conditions. Most risks can be easily minimized by seeking professional help and making therapists aware about any existing or perceived medical problem.
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