New Pulmonary Rehab program offered at IU Health White Memorial

Indiana University Health White Memorial is adding a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Pulmonary Rehab is a program designed to assist patients with lung or breathing problems in learning to live a more satisfying life within the limits of their disease.

“The pulmonary rehabilitation program is a combination of education, exercise, goal-setting and long-term maintenance for continued success,” said Ryan Hancock, MD, family medicine with IU Health Arnett Medical Offices located in Monticello. “It is amazing to see patients get into the program and understand the impact it will have on their lives – to see them excel and become committed to their new routine.”

The pulmonary rehabilitation program includes the following features: exercise, education, medication and equipment education, and breathing techniques.

Exercise is used to help patients increase endurance, strength and flexibility. Patients may walk, ride a stationary bike or do exercises in a chair. They will be taught stretches to do before and after exercise and they will use weights to build strength. Pulse, heart rate and oxygen levels may be checked during exercise.

The program also educates patients about their lung problems, including how the lungs work and how their problem may be affecting breathing. Medication and equipment education is used to show how and when patients should take medications and how to use oxygen (if prescribed). Additionally, breathing techniques are discussed to help patients learn to control shortness of breath, including pursed-lip and diaphragmatic breathing.

“Overall, the program has a number of benefits to our patients,” said Hancock. “Most importantly, pulmonary rehabilitation helps eliminate hospital visits and improve patients’ overall quality of life.”

Some of the many program benefits to patients include the opportunity to:

  • Do the everyday things they love
  • Improve overall strength, endurance and independence
  • Perform daily activities, such as household tasks, with less shortness of breath
  • Understand symptoms and medications – this can mean fewer emergency room visits and less time in the hospital
  • Learn to relax and not panic when patients feel short of breath
  • Quit smoking – even now, this is the most important change patients can make to their health

To learn more about the pulmonary rehabilitation program at IU Health White Memorial Hospital call 574.583.2667.