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Rehabilitation may be recommended as part of your COPD treatment plan. This can include exercise training, disease management techniques, and counseling to help you stay active and carry out your daily activities. Each part of the COPD rehabilitation program is managed by a different healthcare professional, all of whom work together to help you monitor your progress towards your goals.
As part of COPD treatment, rehabilitation (which is also known as pulmonary rehabilitation or pulmonary rehab) may be recommended. COPD rehabilitation is a coordinated program of exercise, disease management training, and counseling that can help you stay more active and carry out your day-to-day activities.
What is included in your COPD rehabilitation program will depend on what you and your doctor think you need. It may include:
- Exercise training
- Nutrition advice
- Education about your disease and how to manage it
The different parts of the rehab program are managed by different types of healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, exercise specialists, and dietitians) who work together to develop a program just for you.
The rehabilitation team is a group of healthcare professionals who work together with you and your doctor to develop and monitor rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic lung diseases.
Each member brings to the team expertise from his or her own area of specialty. Each team may have a different makeup and combination of staff, depending on what is needed and who is available. COPD rehabilitation team members may include:
- A doctor with a special interest in working with patients with lung problems usually leads the team
- A nurse with special training in lung problems can help evaluate patients, develop the treatment plan, and make sure the program works for the patient and that the goals of the program are being met
- A respiratory therapist may help teach breathing techniques and proper use of equipment, such as nebulizers and oxygen
- A physical therapist may help with physical training to improve strength, flexibility, and ability to exercise
- An occupational therapist can teach easier ways of conducting everyday activities, such as dressing, bathing, running errands, and doing chores
- An exercise therapist is someone with special training to help people with their physical activity and exercise
- A psychologist, social worker, or other therapist may help with the emotional adjustments in living with chronic lung disease
- A dietitian can work with people with chronic lung diseases to make sure they are getting enough nutrition in their diets.