Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an important part of treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. At NYU Langone, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists at Rusk Rehabilitation offer comprehensive treatment to help you improve and maintain lung function.

A rehabilitation specialist first conducts an evaluation, in which you are given a stress test to evaluate the function of your lungs and heart. Your specialist then prescribes a pulmonary rehabilitation exercise program based on your individual condition and lifestyle. The program is supervised by a certified physical therapist or exercise physiologist.

A pulmonary rehabilitation program typically includes aerobic exercise, which lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes per session. Exercise helps to strengthen muscles and recondition your heart and lungs. While you exercise, our specialists monitor your blood pressure and heart rate and measure how much oxygen is being pumped through your body. Supplemental oxygen can be used if needed.

Your rehabilitation program may also include exercises that improve breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing maximizes your use of the diaphragm—the muscle between the chest and abdomen—and helps increase the amount of oxygen you take in. Pursed lip breathing helps keep the airways open longer and releases trapped air in the lungs. Both exercises control shortness of breath and relax the body.

Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve your ability to comfortably participate in your daily activities and provides you with techniques for managing shortness of breath.

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