What is the goal of pulmonary rehabilitation?


Breathing is something most of us don’t have to think about doing, but for people suffering from chronic respiratory disease, breathing is a challenge that can impact every area of their life. Through clinical management and maintenance of respiratory dysfunction, pulmonary rehabilitation is especially beneficial for patients whose symptoms continue despite standard medical treatment.

Pulmonary rehab helps to provide relief for those with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, emphysema, lung cancer, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. It is also of great benefit for patients preparing for or recovering from lung surgery.

As with many type of medical therapies—including physical and occupational rehab—pulmonary rehabilitation works toward specific goals, with exercises and treatments that can be customized based on individual diagnoses and needs. Most pulmonary rehab treatment programs aim to achieve one or more of the following:

Reduce symptoms

Shortness of breath and other common symptoms of chronic respiratory conditions can severely reduce a patient’s ability to function as well as their overall quality of life. Through exercise training, nutritional counseling, energy-conserving techniques, and breathing strategies, a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals help patients achieve and maintain their maximum level of independence and functioning at home and in the community.

Prevent complications

If left unaddressed, symptoms of chronic respiratory conditions can worsen and lead to severe medical conditions, including muscle dysfunction, cardiac impairment, skeletal disease, and sensory defects. Complications of pulmonary diseases can lower the effectiveness of existing medications, lead to frequent hospitalizations, and result in anxiety and depression. Patients who participate in pulmonary rehab before symptoms worsen have a better chance of avoiding these complications and maintaining optimal health.

Improve functions of daily life

Many patients with chronic lung conditions have difficulty performing daily activities due to shortness of breath and other symptoms. Pulmonary rehab techniques help maximize lung strength and endurance, making it easier for patients to perform the tasks of daily living and maintain their independence. Pulmonary rehabilitation can also increase a patient’s ability to exercise and participate in social activities, leading to better health and a higher quality of life.

Promote education and support

Pulmonary rehabilitation can last as long as individual patients require, but it is ultimately a temporary program. In order to achieve and maintain optimal health, patients must continue to participate in their recovery at home. Any quality pulmonary rehab program will include disease education and management suggestions—for patients and family members—as well as support group recommendations for patients following treatment.

Patient-centered pulmonary rehab at Bella Vista Health Center

Every person with a chronic respiratory condition is different, so there’s no reason why pulmonary rehab treatments should be the same. At Bella Vista Health Center, our respiratory therapists work with physicians, nurses, dieticians, and other health professionals to coordinate a comprehensive care strategy customized to each patient’s needs. If you’re looking for pulmonary rehab centers in the San Diego area for yourself or a loved one, Bella Vista offers a compassionate, patient-centered approach to pulmonary rehabilitation. For more information or a tour of our 5-Star Skilled Nursing Facility, give us a call at (619) 644-1000 or fill out our contact form today.