Our program is designed to improve several physical problems that arise as a result of advanced lung disease. The exercises you will learn specifically improve peripheral muscle weakness, and respiratory muscle weakness. Advance lung disease, itself, causes muscle protein breakdown. Additionally, the lack of muscle exercise, because lung function can’t support exercise (I’m too short of breath to exercise), causes muscle loss. A major focus of rehab is cardio-pulmonary conditioning. That is, “aerobic” exercises that improve endurance. Such exercises include walking, stationary cycling, etc. These exercises are often done while using oxygen. Our team will train you on when and how much oxygen to use when exercising.
In addition to exercise you will learn optimal breathing techniques such as “pursed lip and diaphragmatic breathing”. Occupational therapists will teach you about “energy conservation techniques”, and even physical equipment that can be used to extend and improve day to day function. Most program durations range from 6 to 18 weeks with a minimum of two to three sessions a week.
COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a term that encompasses both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The symptoms of COPD develop slowly over several years and include wheezing, a chronic cough that produces phlegm, and progressive shortness of breath. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
This is a disorder characterized by destruction of lung tissue, including its elastic fibers. By reducing elasticity of the lungs and destroying the walls of some of the air sacs, emphysema leads to the collapse of the airways, reducing airflow.
A recurrent problem, chronic bronchitis is defined by the coughing up of phlegm. The condition reduces the diameter of the airways through a combination of airway inflammation and overproduction of mucus.
Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one or more of the arteries in or leading to the lungs caused by a clot, or embolus. In almost every case, the clot originates in a deep vein in the legs, arms, or pelvis, breaks loose, and travels to the lungs. Depending on its size, the blood clot obstructs a large or small pulmonary artery and blocks the flow of blood through that vessel.
Pulmonary hypertension, (high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries) is defined by extensive blockage that increases resistance to blood flow through the pulmonary arteries. This places excessive stress on the heart’s right ventricle, which pumps blood into the pulmonary arteries. This can lead to right heart failure.
Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) refers to a group of more than 200 chronic disorders in which lung tissue is damaged, the walls of the air sacs become inflamed, and scarring (fibrosis) begins in the interstitium- the tissue between the air sacs. This lung disease includes pulmonary sarcoidosis, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, asbestosis, and silicosis.
Pulmonary Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease in which granulomas—small clusters of cells—develop in the lungs and in the lymph nodes, the small groups of immune-system cells that are adjacent to the lungs. This disease can increase lung stiffness, which reduces lung volume.
Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia refers to inflammation with blockage of the bronchioles (the small airways in the lungs that branch from the large ones).
Asbestosis and silicosis refer to damage caused by exposure to dust from asbestos and silica, respectively.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition of unknown cause (which is the meaning of “idiopathic”) that involves progressive scarring of the lungs.
Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated episodes of breathing cessation (apnea) during sleep. These episodes last from 10 seconds to nearly a minute, ending with a brief partial arousal. This can occur hundreds of times throughout one night.
Lifestyle measures that may reduce sleep apnea include losing weight for overweight and obese people, avoiding alcohol and sedatives at bedtime, quitting smoking, and sleeping on your side or in a more upright position.
Acute bronchitis refers to inflammation of the bronchi. When infected, these airways become inflamed and plugged with mucus. Usually bronchitis is caused by a viral infection, typically a cold virus. It can also be triggered by exposure to chemical fumes, dust, smoke, or other air pollutants. Cigarette smokers and those with heart failure or obstructive lung disease (such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]) are at increased risk for acute bronchitis.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common, life-shortening genetic disease in Caucasians. IT affects the transport of salt and water across cells and affects different organs, but lung disease is responsible for the majority of symptoms, burden of care, and lost years of life.
Bronchiectasis is an abnormal, chronic enlargement of the bronchi, the passageways from the trachea to the alveoli that are the air-exchanging parts of the lungs. This generally occurs as a result of infection, although non-infectious factors may contribute to the development of this condition. Accompanying the enlargement of the bronchi is their decreased ability to clear secretions.
Asthma is a common but complex disease of the pulmonary airways (trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles) that is characterized by difficulties getting air in and out of the lungs(variable airflow obstruction), environmental triggers causing breathlessness (airway hyperresponsiceness), and cellular inflammation.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a condition in which the lungs suffer severe widespread injury, interfering with their ability to take up oxygen. A low blood oxygen level and the inability to get oxygen to normal levels is the hallmark of ARDS. The term acute reflects the sudden onset over minutes of hours- of an injury. The range of disease causing ARDS is broad, and they may also damage organs other than the lungs, but the lung injury dominates the clinical picture.