How to Tell if You Need Pulmonary Rehab

Man who needs Pulmonary Rehab

We all know exercise is an important component of achieving and maintaining optimal wellness. And it’s also probably common knowledge (even if only from watching The Biggest Loser) that the huffing and puffing of beginners will diminish as their strength and lung capacity increases. But for people with chronic breathing problems, exercise often exacerbates the situation, causing increased breathlessness and extreme discomfort.  Fortunately, pulmonary rehabilitation provides a solution to reduce shortness of breath, increase stamina, and make exercise possible, so you can get stronger and stay fit. But how do you know if pulmonary rehabilitation is right for you? Take a look below at these 5 signs that you may need pulmonary rehab. 

#1. You’ve been diagnosed with a respiratory ailment

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs can significantly increase exercise tolerance and quality of life for people with breathing problems, including those who have been diagnosed with: 

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) 
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • And other conditions that make it difficult to breathe

#2. Everyday activities keep getting harder

If you’re finding it more and more difficult to walk to the mailbox, climb stairs, or otherwise tackle the daily tasks that come so easily to people without breathing issues, pulmonary rehab can help by providing you with simple exercises and breathing techniques to increase your lung capacity and improve your shortness of breath. The tips and strategies your respiratory therapist provides will make it easier for you to accomplish everyday tasks comfortably. 

#3. You limit yourself to sedentary activities for fear of a flare-up

It’s understandable that someone with a respiratory ailment would do everything possible to avoid painful flare-ups, but if it has come to the point where your whole life is organized around making as little effort as possible, you could be doing more harm than good.  An exercise program designed by a respiratory specialist can help strengthen the muscles in your chest and make breathing easier.  Additionally, a pulmonary rehabilitation program will help educate you on nutrition, stress management, flare-up prevention, and symptom management. Armed with knowledge, tips, and strategies, you’ll feel more comfortable getting up, moving around, and doing the things that bring you joy. 

#4. Isolation and inactivity are causing you to feel depressed

Studies show that exercise and social connection not only help increase feelings of wellbeing but also boost the immune system.  Conversely, a lack of exercise and social connection can lead to symptoms of depression and poor overall health.  If you’ve limited your social and physical activities because of your difficulty breathing, pulmonary rehabilitation can help you get back to living in a way that feels good and allows you to plug in to your social life once again. 

#5. You always have a bag packed in case of sudden hospitalization

Breathing difficulties are scary, and if you suffer from a chronic respiratory ailment, it’s likely that you’ve experienced your share of hospitalization due to your condition. It’s also likely that some of your visits to the emergency room may have been the result of panicking at the onset of a flare-up. If the idea of hospitalization has become a normal part of your life, pulmonary rehabilitation can help. Not only will your breathing exercises strengthen your lungs, but the tips and strategies provided by your therapist can also help you manage your symptoms, prevent flare-ups, and decrease the number of times you end up in the ER.  

Looking for pulmonary rehabilitation in San Diego? Come see us!

At Bella Vista Health Center, our pulmonary rehabilitation program offers a comprehensive approach to health and wellness for individuals suffering from respiratory ailments. Our interdisciplinary team of specialists will create a personalized plan designed to help you build endurance, use breathing strategies to reduce shortness of breath, and understand and manage your condition. Our goal is to provide the physical and emotional support that allows you to achieve the highest possible quality of life. Give us a call to schedule a visit today.