When you need support to manage a respiratory tract or lung-related condition, pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) programs in the Sutter Health network can help.
All of our programs are conducted by highly skilled multidisciplinary teams of experienced pulmonary specialists. Our dedicated staff provides a wide range of diagnostic procedures, respiratory therapy services, assistance for emergency resuscitation situations, and education for patients and their families.
Your rehab team will work in coordination with your doctor to identify techniques that will help you manage your lung-related condition. Most treatment plans include conditioning exercises, nutritional counseling, and medication and inhaler management.
Depending on your medical history and doctor’s recommendations, your treatment plan may also include:
These breathing techniques may strengthen the muscles that help you breathe in and out. For self-directed breathing exercises, an incentive spirometer is commonly used to teach you how to take slow, deep breaths. You may also learn deep breathing exercises that do not require devices, like pursed lip breathing.
Postural Drainage and Percussion
A physical therapist or respiratory therapist will show you different positions and poses for postural drainage. For each position, he or she will repeatedly clap with cupped hands on specific areas of your body (this is called percussion). This technique helps drain fluid out of your lungs and loosens mucus in your airways so that you can cough it out.
Other Airway Clearance Techniques
Your rehab team may also teach you other techniques to remove mucus from your airways. You may be taught how to use a controlled deep cough to bring up mucus or how to use huff coughing, which is less forceful and less tiring than a cough.
As a leader in physical therapy and rehab programs, we make education a cornerstone of your pulmonary rehab plan. In addition to consultations from rehab team members, you may be encouraged to attend a:
- Pulmonary rehabilitation class
- Better Breathers Club support group
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction program
- Sleep disorders meeting
- Smoking cessation class if you are a smoker
We also specialize in cardiopulmonary rehab programs for patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).