Pulmonary rehabilitation (aka pulmonary rehab or PR) is a medical program designed for people facing chronic lung disease. It was first implemented for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and since has expanded to include patients with other diagnoses such as pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring) and even lung cancer. The program is multidisciplinary, and includes the input of physicians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and/or nutritionists.
Supervised exercise training can increase upper and/or lower body strength using a combination of cyclers, treadmills and/or free weights. Educational sessions can help patients better understand their chronic lung disease; the reason for, and proper use of, any medications they may be taking for these conditions; the benefits of smoking cessation; and the relationship between disease and symptoms. Commonly taught breathing techniques are pursed-lips breathing and/or diaphragmatic breathing.