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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Conditions that affect lung function and respiratory ability, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema, can have a direct effect on an individual’s ability to perform basic functional tasks.  Rehabilitation programs that apply a diverse and multidisciplinary approach to managing the impairments that accompany these conditions have been shown to positively impact independence, activity level and quality of life.

The CPT Approach

The pulmonary program at CPT developed after identifying a need in our area for the services.  Lung disorders are often a co-morbidity to typical rehab diagnoses, particularly within the older population.  Through collaboration with two local pulmonologists, our team of therapists have developed a comprehensive approach to addressing pulmonary conditions.

This includes a thorough history to determine the functional challenges specific to the patient and a complete physical examination to identify specific impairments.  We have observed that patients typically demonstrate the most benefit when they receive services from both physical and occupational therapy to thoroughly address their needs.  A usual course of care lasts between 6-12 weeks with patients seen 2 -3 times per week.  Active participation by the client with a home exercise program is also an essential component.

CPT’S Pulmonary Consultation
  • Resting vital signs
    • Blood pressure, SPO2, and heart rate
  • Patient specific history to identify patient goals/expectations with rehabilitation
  • Postural assessment
  • Flexibility and ROM testing
  • Strength testing
  • Gait assessment
  • Assessment of accessory muscle use with breathing
  • Diaphragmatic muscle function
  • Functional  activity tolerance including
    • Vital Sign Monitoring
    • Rate of Perceived exertion
    • Dyspnea on Exertion
Patient Specific Treatments include:
  • Vital sign monitoring
  • Monitoring of perceived exertion and dyspnea on exertion with activities
  • Instruction in diaphragmatic breathing techniques
  • Incorporation of diaphragmatic breathing strategies with exercise and activities
  • Aerobic conditioning including use of treadmill, upper body ergometer and stationary bike
  • Manual therapy techniques to enhance chest extensibility and reduce accessory muscle use
    • Soft tissue mobilization
    • Gentle mobilization of the thoracic spine and rib cage
  • Strength training of the extremities and trunk
  • Instruction in energy conservation techniques to minimize exertion
  • Provision of assistive devices to support  energy conservation