We’ve talked about COPD in a few blogs recently, particularly around what COPD is, the symptoms you may experience, and even breathing exercises you can try to minimise your symptoms.  If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD you may find you have been referred for pulmonary rehabilitation.

What is respiratory rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is described by the NHS as “an exercise and education programme designed for people with lung disease who experience symptoms of breathlessness.” 

The course is in a group setting that typically lasts six to eight weeks, with two sessions each week of around two hours, and includes an individually prescribed exercise and education programme including aerobic exercise, resistance training, and lifestyle support.

It’s designed to help support you post-diagnosis so you can better understand the condition, what causes it and how you can help minimise your symptoms but still enjoy a quality of life.

When will you likely be referred?

In most cases you will have undertaken a pulmonary function test in order to determine the severity of your chronic respiratory illness. If you’ve been diagnosed with moderate to severe pulmonary disease then this will normally be the trigger for pulmonary rehabilitation referral.

What do we offer at Air Physiotherapy?

Our version of pulmonary rehab is called respiratory rehabilitation and we run this on a bespoke basis 1:1 You can undertake respiratory rehab at any point during your diagnosis, and whilst we recommended a minimum of 6 weeks of treatment, we tailor the frequency and duration of sessions around you, your goals and your physical ability. You can have the sessions in person at one of our clinics, in your home or over video call.

Our Respiratory Rehabilitation service includes:

  • thorough initial assessment including:
    • full respiratory assessment, baseline and ambulatory oxygen assessment, airway clearance assessment and a physical assessment.
  • bespoke treatment programme consisting of:
    • 1-2x weekly cardiovascular and strength-based exercises which are tailored to your physical abilities,
    • a bespoke airway clearance regime including infection plan,
    • breathing exercises and lifestyle advice to promote you to breathe effectively and efficiently,
    • strategies to manage breathlessness,
    • education regarding the anatomy of your condition, how lifestyle can impact your condition, and the role respiratory physiotherapy plays in your long-term health.
  • ongoing liaison with any relevant medical professionals as required.
  • life-long access to your respiratory rehabilitation treatment plan including library of exercises and advice.

People who may benefit from respiratory rehabilitation

If you have a long-term respiratory condition such as COPD, bronchiectasis, asthma or IPF and you are looking to improve your physical ability, reduce your breathlessness, and improve your quality of life then respiratory rehabilitation is for you.

We predominantly treat patients who have been diagnosed with:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Asthma
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Where can I have my treatment?

You can choose whichever works better for you. We can deliver your programme in clinic, over video call, or you can choose for it to be delivered at home via our home visit service.

If you’d like to know more about our respiratory rehabilitation service then please do drop us an email or call 0207 971 1464.

You can also book your first appointment online via our booking page.