How can Physical Therapy help me with my COPD?

By: | Tags: , | Comments: 0 | July 23rd, 2017

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, causes the airways in your lung to lose its normal shape and elasticity and can become inflamed. This creates difficulty in breathing and leads to other problems. COPD is estimated to be the fifth leading cause of death by 2050. Currently it is the tenth most prevalent disease.

COPD causes the airways to be less efficient at moving air in and out of your lungs. The most common types of COPD are emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.

  • Emphysema is a condition where the small airs in the lungs are damaged. This results in shortness of breath and a chronic cough because the body has difficulty getting all of the oxygen it needs, resulting in shortness of breath and a chronic cough.
  • Chronic Bronchitis is a condition that causes a persistent cough that produces phlegm and mucus due to a chronic inflammation of the medium-size airways in the lungs. This persistent cough last for at least three months per year.

There are 4 levels of COPD (mild, moderate, severe and very severe) based on measurements of the amount or flow of air as you inhale or exhale. An increased shortness of breath and lack of muscle strength can over time lead to decline in physical exercise.

At Oklahoma Physical Therapy we can create a personalized plan to improve your physical ability allowing you to do your normal activities easier.  Our plan will include:

  • A complete evaluation including your health history
  • Assessment of when your symptoms are worse
  • Review of your lung function test results provided by your doctor
  • Exercise Capacity Tests such as walking
  • Balance Testing
  • Muscle Strength Testing of your arms, core and legs

The therapists’ goal at Oklahoma Physical Therapy is to get you to be able to perform your normal activities at home, work or school with ease. We will educate you on the proper ways of breathing and will create an exercise program that will train the muscles in order to increase your aerobic capacity and reduce your shortness of breath as well. Our plan may also increase your strength by performing exercises using weights, weighted medicine balls and resistance bands. We look forward to working with you and helping you meet your goals.

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