Pulmonary physical therapy refers to therapy that supports lung function, health and well-being. Doctors recommend it for people who frequently experience shortness of breath. Patients with chronic lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, and asthma may also benefit.

Pulmonary rehabilitation or pulmonary physical therapy is the use of exercises and a program of education to increase awareness about lung health. The aim is to learn how to exercise while experiencing less shortness of breath, and gradually build fitness.

Pulmonary Physical Therapy For Lungs

For patients with conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, this physical therapy can help rebuild strength and overall lung function. Following a program of pulmonary rehabilitation can reduce symptom severity, improve quality of life and boost morale.

Nurse and patient smiling after a session of Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work with dieticians and others to devise a recovery program and help you get back on your feet. Naturally, these programs are tailored to the individual needs of each patient. An important part of such programs is emotional support and education.

Will pulmonary exercise improve lung function?

For those with a serious lung condition, pulmonary physical therapy cannot improve lung function. However, it can improve lung capacity – the amount of air your body can use. Regular aerobic exercise can improve lung capacity by 5-15 per cent.

While it may be tempting to avoid exercise and have a sedentary lifestyle, this is not a good idea. Regular physical exercise can reduce breathlessness and improve stamina by increasing oxygen capacity. This helps people with, for example, COPD, because they use more energy to breathe than those without COPD.

Which exercises to do?

Pulmonary physical therapy may involve a variety of different aerobic exercises. Your physical therapist will advise you which ones are best for you. The main thing is that the exercises are done regularly, safely and lead to a gradual build-up of muscle strength.

Any exercise or physical activity that makes you moderately breathless is good for the heart as well as the lungs. The lungs draw in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, and indirectly give you energy for physical activities. While these activities may leave you feeling “out of breath”, that is different from being “short of breath”.

Haym Salomon Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Brooklyn NY prides itself on the quality of physical therapy services it provides to those with respiratory diseases. We know that pulmonary physical therapy can improve patients’ quality of life, well-being and mental health.

Exercising your lungs and muscles helps you stay active for longer and may help keep you out of hospital. There can be benefits, too, if the therapy takes place in a group setting. This means you get a chance to meet others with the same condition, so you can give and receive support.

Contact if you would like to learn more about our medical and rehab services. Feel free also to walk any time you want. We are here to talk to you and answer any questions and concerns you may have.

This content comprises informative and educational resources only and can not be considered as a substitute for professional health or medical guidance. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk. If you have any inquiries or apprehensions about your medical condition or health goals, talk with a licensed physician or healthcare provider.