What is Pulmonary Rehab and Why is Everyone Talking About It?

Posted on March 04, 2022   |   

This post was authored by Kristen Szymonik, BS, RRT, AE-C

As you look through the posts on our online community, COPD360Social, you may notice that pulmonary rehab is a "hot topic" among our members. When you read those posts, you may be wondering what pulmonary rehab is and why it's so popular. Let's find out what makes pulmonary rehab so helpful to people with COPD and other chronic lung conditions.

Pulmonary rehabilitation, or "pulmonary rehab," is a wellness program that combines exercise, emotional support, and education to help you to better manage your COPD symptoms. Often, pulmonary rehab programs are found in hospitals or other facilities. Don't worry if you can't participate in person. Some pulmonary rehab programs have a virtual or "tele health" option.

In pulmonary rehab, you will learn how to live and feel better with COPD. Everyone's experience with COPD is different, but all pulmonary rehab participants will learn important skills for managing their COPD and preventing flare-ups (exacerbations).

Many people think that pulmonary rehab is only for people who are newly diagnosed with COPD or for those who are very sick. This is not true! Pulmonary rehab is for anyone with a chronic lung condition. Whether you are new to COPD, or you have had COPD for years, you will learn important information about how to live well with COPD. At pulmonary rehab, you will learn how and when to take your medications, how to cope with your health condition, how to eat well with COPD, and more. You will also meet other people just like you who have COPD and other lung conditions. You will even learn how to safely add activity and exercise to your daily routine. But don't worry, we aren't talking about lifting heavy weights and running miles! At pulmonary rehab, your health care team will make an activity plan that is right for you. Pulmonary rehab isn't your neighborhood gym! Your health care team will be working with you to make sure you can exercise safely.

With the help of your health care or pulmonary rehab team, you can set goals for managing your COPD and work towards reaching them. You can learn more about pulmonary rehab from the COPD Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. If you're interested in joining a program, be sure to talk with your health care provider. And remember, while COPD cannot be cured, it can be managed. And when you have the right tools and support, that task becomes a little easier.


You need to login to comment.
  • I have gone to rehab for both pulmonary issues and cardiac (I have COPD and gotten a new TAVR heart valve). Going to rehab has improved my stamina and overall health. It has been necesssary to discontinue going for 3 months due to another condition. As soon as I have been able I'm going back. Having medical assistance there makes all the difference to me - I am on Oxygen for the COPD.

    Rehab is life saving.

    Annie Hudson
    • Hi Annie
      this is my first time posting on here, my mom has severe COPD and is on Oxygen, Please let me know if you reviewed this message, i would like to ask you some questions about your experience with the rehab
      thank you