What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically-supervised exercise and education program designed to help with difficulty breathing or if you are increasingly limited in your everyday activities due to COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is offered at the following locations:

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

MercyOne Elkader Medical Center

MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center

MercyOne Oelwein Medical Center

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center

Our pulmonary rehabilitation experts understand the life-changing difficulties breathing problems can cause for you. We will help you improve your quality of life through emotional support, exercise and education.

How does pulmonary rehabilitation work?

Pulmonary rehabilitation incorporates physical reconditioning, self-care education, breathing exercises and techniques to improve your ability to carry out your daily activities. The program will also help you reduce the risks and complications of lung irritation and/or infection and promote social interaction and emotional well-being.

By attending classes, you will learn many things about your lungs. The exercise classes will help you be more active with less shortness of breath. Usually, you will be exercising both your arms and legs. The exercise classes will help you feel better and become stronger by helping you get into better shape.

Pulmonary rehabilitation will help you:

  • Alleviate shortness of breath with activity
  • Cope with feelings of fear or apprehension
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Increase exercise tolerance and strengthen breathing muscles
  • Increase your ability to function independently
  • Learn more about your disease, treatment options, coping strategies and breathing techniques
  • Maintain health behaviors
  • Recognize, treat and resist respiratory infection and flare-ups
  • Reduce and control breathing difficulties
  • Reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations

Who could benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation?

You can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation if you have had:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • emphysema
    • chronic bronchitis
  • cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • interstitial lung disease
    • sarcoidosis
    • pulmonary fibrosis
  • lung surgery
  • muscular dystrophy
  • and other lung diseases

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