Researchers in Italy has found that a program of pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in reducing symptoms in patients with asthma.

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of education and exercise that helps patients who have pulmonary diseases breathe and function better. It has been shown to be successful in alleviating a variety of ailments.

The rehab can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis and runs over several weeks. Patients hear from experts in their fields and learn techniques for breathing and managing their conditions. Session run about an hour in length a few times a week, but patients who are participating in an inpatient program will have a more aggressive schedule. If a patient is admitted to a facility for inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation, it’s a sign that his condition is severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention.

Sinai Post Acute Care Center for Rehabilitation in Newark, New Jersey, has an excellent program for asthma patients to learn skills and improve their condition. Speak to one of our representatives to see how it can be covered by Medicare.

Some of the elements included in the program are:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the upper limbs.
  • Occupational therapy to teach the patient how to best function within his limitations to make best use of his abilities.
  • Nutritional counseling to create a healthy environment in which to get better.
  • Exercise therapy to increase muscle strength and overall physical health.
  • Respiratory rehab to learn the best ways to breathe.

Why is it necessary for patients who have asthma?

Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways inexplicably swell and become narrow, as well as overproduce mucus, making it difficult for the patient to breathe. It can come in mild and more severe forms, causing more or less trouble for the person who has it.

Most people manage with their asthma under the guidance of a physician. While asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled, and people who have can live very normal lives. Under very severe circumstances, it can become difficult for the patient to cope. Pulmonary rehabilitation can provide the means for the patient to better manage his condition and see improvements in his symptoms.

What the study found

The study was conducted by Italian researchers between the years 2007 and 2017, and the results were published in the Journal of Asthma.

There were 371 people followed in the study, all who met the criteria for severe asthma. They were between the ages of 57 and 72, and 35% were male.

Of the participants, 39 also had bronchiectasis and 163 had obstructive sleep apnea. 17 people had both other conditions.

Everyone participated in a 3 week inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program, and more than 80% completely adhered to the program.

The specifics of the program included endurance coaching, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, education, and counselling support.

The results found that after the pulmonary rehabilitation program, patients showed important improvements in dyspnea and muscle fatigue. The authors of the study were very pleased with the findings and recommend more studies to see how a pulmonary rehabilitation program can help patients with other types of lung-related conditions.