Pulmonary Rehab Combats Lung Disease Symptoms
From Tammy Thompson, Crossing Rivers Health Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Manager
Lung disease such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Pulmonary rehabilitation helps individuals with lung disease learn to breathe and function at the highest level possible through exercise, education, and support.
Join Crossing Rivers Health during National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, March 11-17, to celebrate the benefits pulmonary rehabilitation can provide for patients suffering from COPD.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week aims to educate the community about the role of pulmonary rehabilitation in enhancing the quality of life of individuals with chronic lung disease. This year’s theme, “Improving Life, One Breath at a Time,” honors individuals who struggle to overcome shortness of breath and the pulmonary professionals who work every day to alleviate that struggle and improve patients’ everyday life.
There are many risk factors that predispose individuals to lung disease, including:
- Tobacco smoke
- Second hand smoke
- Indoor and outdoor air pollutants
- Occupational agents
- Diet and nutrition
- Post infectious chronic respiratory disease
The Crossing Rivers Health Pulmonary Rehab team helps individuals improve their physical condition and learn how to manage their lung disease through:
- Proper breathing techniques
- Medication management
- Relaxation techniques
- Oxygen management
- How to stay healthy and avoid exacerbations
Starting an exercise program when you can’t breathe can be difficult and discouraging. Pulmonary Rehab programs assist in helping to make daily tasks less difficult. Participation in pulmonary rehab can offer you the support you need to regain your quality of life.
Ferryville resident Joan Kohlhaas was a heavy smoker for years prior to quitting in 1998. In 2013, she was diagnosed with COPD. Her pulmonary doctor referred her to the Pulmonary Rehab program at Crossing Rivers Health.
“My lung function was not where it should have been and I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up,” Kohlhaas shared. “At first, it was hard. I could only exercise for 10 – 15 minutes at a time, but I gradually was able to increase that amount of time. Pulmonary rehab makes me feel better about myself, my health is better, and my mental health is even better.”