Pulmonary Rehab: Breathe Easier

For patients diagnosed with chronic lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), everyday life can be an uphill battle. However, there is hope to manage that diagnosis and it comes in the form of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Tri-County Health Care’s program helps patients manage their symptoms, complications, oxygen and medications which then reduces hospitalizations and improves quality of life.

Senior sportswoman breathing in fresh air with arm band and headphones outdoors in the parkJackie Mattson, an Exercise Physiologist in the Respiratory Therapy Department at Tri-County Health Care, leads the program and says Pulmonary Rehab can play a vital role in managing chronic breathing problems.

“Our goal is to improve the daily activities in their lives and help our patients learn to manage their diagnosis,” Jackie said.

The Pulmonary Rehab program at Tri-County Health Care combines breathing, exercise and education in order to help patients manage their chronic breathing problems, increase their energy and help reduce breathlessness.

Patients can benefit from Pulmonary Rehab if they have respiratory conditions including: Asthma, COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis, lung surgeries, Pulmonary Hypertension or other respiratory diseases.

The program is personalized to fit an individual patient’s needs, but it often consists of 16 sessions across 8 weeks. Each session has an educational component to it, and Tri-County Health Care utilizes their medical experts across multiple fields to help patients.

“We have our patients meet with diabetes prevention, pharmacists, nutritionists and other experts to help provide education on how to best manage their condition,” Jackie said. “We want to make sure our patients have access to this information to help them succeed in our Active senior woman exercising on treadmill during pulmonary rehab sessionsprogram and enhance their quality of life.”

Patients also benefit from learning techniques that will help them gain more control of their breathing and avoid feeling out of breath while being physically active or under stress. These techniques can include yoga breathing or pursed-lip breathing.

Exercise is also a focus of the program. It helps to not only build stamina and flexibility but also strengthens muscles used to breathe. This in turn makes performing everyday tasks easier.

The Respiratory Therapy team uses a variety of exercise equipment such as a treadmill or stationary bike. They monitor heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen levels during exercise and might recommend medication to help keep airways clear and open. Tri-County Health Care also utilizes certain exercises and equipment to help patients with mobility issues benefit from the program.

For more information on how Pulmonary Rehab can be beneficial for you, talk to your provider or call our Respiratory Therapy Department at 218-631-7479.

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