For most people, breathing is automatic. Something we don't spend much time thinking about. But if you suffer from chronic pulmonary disease, it's not so automatic, and often it's all you can think about. There are many types of pulmonary diseases, most of which stem from chronic lung disease. If you suffer from emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, bronchiectasis or interstitial lung disease, you've experienced the stress and anxiety that come from living with a chronic condition that affects your breathing and your life.
Except for transplant situations, damage to the lungs cannot be repaired. But there are ways to compensate. Pulmonary rehabilitation strengthens the rest of the body, so that the lungs don’t have to work so hard. Physical exercise optimizes the body's ability to use the lung function that’s available and, equally as important, enhances mental and emotional well-being.
The Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
CentraState's comprehensive Pulmonary Rehabilitation program reduces the impact of pulmonary disease on your daily life. It helps to:
- Reduce your shortness of breath and associated anxiety
- Increase your exercise tolerance and the ability to perform normal daily activities
- Increase your participation in physical and social activities
- Provide you with a better understanding of your disease and how to manage it
- Reduce the need for and frequency of hospitalization
- Improve your overall quality of life
As one patient put it, "Pulmonary rehabilitation has been a life-saving pathway between inactivity and activity, isolation and socialization, depression and hope, and being an observer of life to an active participant." (Quote from the American Association of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guildelines for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs, 3rd Edition
Turning Fear Into Accomplishment
CentraState's specially trained, experienced pulmonary rehabilitation team helps patients to overcome their fear of exercising by easing them into the appropriate exercise program and by clearly establishing their individual limits. Patients' fears eventually dissolve as they experience the benefits of exercise and their ability to improve their overall health.
How the Program Works
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation program includes up to 36 one-hour rehab sessions. Entry into the program requires a referral from a physician, and patients must complete a six-minute walk test or a cardiopulmonary stress test before beginning the program. In addition, patients must have completed a pulmonary function test within one year prior to starting rehabilitation. These diagnostictests assist the rehab team in developing an exercise program that is specific to each patient's needs and abilities.
Sharing Experiences Through Support Group
The rehab team also conducts a support group dedicated to people with chronic pulmonary disease. Participants are able to share stories with others who are experiencing similar challenges, and obtain new information about managing their disease.
For more information about Pulmonary Rehabilitation at CentraState, call (732) 294-2671.
Pulmonary diagnostic procedures are by appointment only. To schedule pulmonary function tests, call (732) 294-2778 (evening hours are available). To schedule a cardiopulmonary stress test, six-minute walk test or methacholine challenge test, call (732) 294-2671.