What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, and support to help you learn to breathe and function at the highest level possible.

Hear from patients of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic

Hear from patients of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic at Cabin Creek in Dawes, WV about the meaningful impact that pulmonary rehabilitation has had on their lives and share your own story on COPD360social

At pulmonary rehabilitation you’ll work with a team of specialists who will help you improve your physical condition. You will also learn how to manage your COPD so you will stay healthy and active long after you complete the course.

In order to qualify for pulmonary rehabilitation, you must be referred by your doctor and have spirometry test results within the past year that show you have COPD.

Your rehabilitation team will take a complete health history, talk with you about your current level of activity, and help you set goals for what is most important to you. You will walk as they monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level. Don’t worry if you can’t walk very far! Pulmonary rehabilitation professionals are experts at working with people with severe shortness of breath, and they’ll make sure you’re safe.

You may only be able to start out exercising at a slow pace, even for only a minute or two. That’s okay. If you need supplemental oxygen you can use it. Your oxygen level, heart rate, and blood pressure will be monitored so you can exercise safely and effectively. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish!

At pulmonary rehabilitation, you will also learn about: breathing techniques, medications, nutrition, relaxation, oxygen, travel, how to do everyday tasks with less shortness of breath, and how to stay healthy and avoid COPD exacerbations. You’ll also learn how to cope with the changes that often come with COPD - depression, panic, anxiety, and others. A bonus is that you’ll also meet people with COPD who have many of the same experiences, questions and feelings that you do.

To learn more about the Pulmonary Rehabilitation process, check out these additional patient resources from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). You can also watch a fantastic COPD Pulmonary Rehab video for free from their website.

Find a PR Center Near You

There are over 230 PEP Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs across the country. To find a Pulmonary Rehab program near you, click on the pinwheels in your local area. For additional programs - breathing support groups and harmonica groups, check the boxes below the map.

Resources and Support

The COPD Foundation offers resources such as COPD360social, an online community where you can connect with patients, caregivers and healthcare providers and ask questions, share your experiences and receive and provide support. We also offer free, downloadable educational materials available through our downloads library.

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Download the
American Association of Cardiovascular
and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR)
Fact Sheet

AACVPR Fact Sheet