Viktoria has been coming to Air Physiotherapy for quite some time for support with her COPD.

The patient

Previously a smoker, Viktoria had been experiencing symptoms of breathlessness for some time. Never much into exercise, Viktoria had done some Pilates in the past but otherwise didn’t consider herself a physically active person.

The catalyst for change arose when on holiday in the late 1990s. Viktoria was swimming in a lake in Austria and just couldn’t catch her breath to swim. Realising that her smoking days were most likely numbered, Viktoria finally made an appointment with her local GP.

After a number of tests, Viktoria was diagnosed with COPD, and was told that seeing a respiratory physiotherapist for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) was essential.

Viktoria reached out to us in March 2020, the week before the UK went into lockdown, to see if we could help provide some pulmonary rehab for her…

The process

The constraints of the lockdown meant that in-person appointments were not possible at the time, so initially Viktoria was worried about how her treatment would be able to take place. Air Physiotherapy had already begun to successfully roll out virtual sessions to treat patients and this was deemed to be the best way forward.

Viktoria has received Respiratory Rehabilitation with us – a tailored programme of education and cardiovascular and strength-based training. She was also given an airway clearance plan to perform when she was unwell to keep her lungs clear.

Viktoria had weekly sessions over video call, with bespoke exercise plans to get on with herself between appointments. Regular check ins with her physiotherapist enabled her to talk through any symptoms she was experiencing so she received the right support, and ensured that she was on track with tailored weights and resistance exercises to help maintain and, where possible, improve her physical ability. She was able to progress from using 1kg weights to using 5kg weights over the course of her treatment.

The results

The treatment from Air Physiotherapy has been a godsend for Viktoria, both mentally and physically.

Being supported in this way has meant Viktoria feels safe to push herself to work hard and recognise her limits– all of which helps her better manage her breathlessness and have a much better quality of life.

Running the treatment virtually has been hugely beneficial to Viktoria as getting into London is very difficult for her.

Viktoria feels she has much more confidence to engage in activities that she’d previously ruled out. While her COPD will never go away, working with Air Physiotherapy has changed her mindset about exercise, with an understanding that maintaining an active life as possible will help her keep her symptoms in check and maintain her quality of life.

Testimonial from Viktoria

Viktoria told us “Air Physiotherapy has been a lifesaver. I’m a lot fitter and a lot stronger. Mentally I don’t think I would have made it through lockdown without Air Physiotherapy. I’m much happier – I know a lot more about the physicality of my condition and how to manage it.”

You can see Viktoria talk about her experience below – and if you’d like to know more about our version of PR, head to our Respiratory Rehab page, contact us, or book an appointment!