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Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapy

If you are one of the 16 million Americans diagnosed with some form of chronic pulmonary disease, you can get help to successfully manage your condition.

Through a regimen of progressively intensive physical therapy and nutritional, educational and psychological counseling, the dedicated team of specialists at Memorial Hermann’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program can help you face your respiratory challenges, improve your overall quality of life and maintain maximum independence.

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary Rehab

If you have been dealing with a respiratory condition, pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that can help you improve your long-term endurance and stamina.

Through a combination of exercise, education and counseling, the pulmonary rehab team at Memorial Hermann (including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, exercise specialists, and dietitians) will create a customized rehabilitation program that matches your specific needs and goals.

What to Expect During Pulmonary Rehabilitation

At Memorial Hermann, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a 12-week, multidisciplinary  program that includes:

Physical Therapy

One of the most effective ways to improve your breathing is to increase your general level of fitness. Your assigned physical therapist may have you participate in the following activities:

  • Walking on a treadmill
  • Recumbent biking (sits you in a reclining position)
  • Strength training (for overall fitness)
  • Stair climbing
  • Breathing exercises to improve lung capacity

Nutritional Counseling

Diet plays a major role in helping you manage your overall health and lung function. Memorial Hermann’s licensed dietitians will work closely with you to provide education about the benefits of a proper diet for your long-term health and wellbeing.  We will also create a customized diet plan for your specific needs and lifestyle.

Educational and Psychological Counseling

Cultivating a strong support system plays an important role in the success of pulmonary rehabilitation.  That is why we invite you to bring family members to our centers for one of our education sessions. We feel that it’s vital for family to participate in and learn the best strategies for helping you live a full life in spite of your lung disease.

As a Pulmonary Rehabilitation participant, you will also work closely with occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists and others to arm you with the resources and knowledge you need, including:

  • Proper breathing techniques
  • Strategies for living with your lung condition
  • How to exercise safely
  • When to call your doctor if your condition changes
  • Individual and group therapy sessions for managing anxiety and depression

Memorial Hermann also offers Home Pulmonary Dysfunction Therapy if you require in-home treatment.

What are the Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an important step in learning to live with COPD and other lung disorders.  Although it cannot completely eliminate your breathing challenges or cure your lung disease, it will help to improve your breathing and strengthen your lungs.

Additional benefits of pulmonary rehab:

  • Increased ability to exercise
  • Decreased symptoms of your disease or condition
  • Better overall function in your daily life
  • Better coping with anxiety and depression related to your condition

Are you a Candidate for Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

If you think you might be a candidate for pulmonary rehab, first check in with your pulmonologist. If your physician feels you are a good fit, he or she can provide the required physician’s referral to the program.Typically, patients with chronic lung disease or other conditions that make breathing difficult are good candidates for pulmonary rehab.

Ask your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation if you have one of the following lung conditions:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): This disease covers a wide range of conditions, including asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Symptoms include persistent cough (either dry cough or a cough that expels phlegm from your airways), shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. Ex-smokers are more likely to develop COPD, and they see some of the largest benefits from our pulmonary rehab program.
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF): A progressive, genetic disease that causes a buildup of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. CF can cause persistent lung infections and limit a patient’s ability to breathe over time. Severe cases can cause extensive lung damage and even total respiratory failure.
  • Chronic Lung Disease: This type of interstitial lung disease includes sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, among others. These can cause scarring of the lungs over time, leading to shortness of breath, coughing and other respiratory problems.

You can also benefit from pulmonary rehab if you have other chronic conditions such as lung cancer and pneumonia, or if you are having or have had thoracic or abdominal surgery.

Exceptional Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Houston

At Memorial Hermann, we truly believe pulmonary rehabilitation can help you live a full life with a chronic lung condition. Our staff is always available to answer your questions, so call us at any time for more information about our rehab programs. We can also accept calls and faxed referral forms from your primary care physician.

Ask your doctor today about enrolling in the Memorial Hermann Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.