Pulmonary rehab

If your ability to do daily tasks like walking or getting dressed is limited by pulmonary disease, pulmonary rehabilitation makes a difference. Pulmonary rehab helps people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic infections and complex respiratory diseases lead active, productive lives.

Outpatient rehab for lung and respiratory conditions

The pulmonary rehabilitation program at Edward-Elmhurst Health offers comprehensive services to improve your breathing and endurance. Pulmonary rehab can help you:

  • Maximize breathing through education, reconditioning and exercise
  • Increase physical stamina and reduce anxiety
  • Proactively manage your condition
  • Understand symptoms, treatments and breathing medications
  • Decrease the likelihood of hospitalization

Getting started

Before starting the program, you’ll meet with a member of our pulmonary rehab team to review your medical history and exercise tolerance. You may also need to complete a few tests, such as a pulmonary function test. From there, we’ll design a rehab program that’s right for you, based on your individual needs and goals.

Typically your primary care doctor or pulmonary specialist will be the one to refer you to our program and order any necessary tests.

Pulmonary rehab education and fitness

Your rehab program will likely include monitored exercise, educational sessions and nutritional counseling. You may participate in aerobic exercise to safely increase your endurance, while your heart rate and oxygen saturation levels are closely monitored. You may also take part in flexibility and strength exercises to improve your balance and fitness.

Classes cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Lung function – Learn how the lungs work and use oxygen.
  • Breathing techniques – Learn two types of controlled breathing — pursed lip and diaphragmatic — to manage shortness of breath.
  • Daily living skills – Manage your health by learning to plan meals, take medications and pace yourself.

Following completion of the pulmonary rehab program, it will be important for you to continue with aerobic exercise. Although you can do this at home, many people enjoy the mutual support that comes from exercising with others with similar pulmonary issues. We offer long-term fitness options that include monitoring your vital signs and oxygen levels to ensure you’re not working beyond your capacity.

Pulmonary Rehab Support Group

The Edward Pulmonary Rehab department offers a Pulmonary Support Group for people with pulmonary disease and their families. The goal of the group is to share information, gain acceptance of the disease and support one another in the challenges of living with pulmonary disease.

Where: Heart Hospital Conference Room at Edward (enter through the North Entrance)
When:   Meets the first Thursday of each month
Time:     10:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m.
FREE to patients and family members

Call (630) 527-3388 for more information.

Insurance coverage

Many insurance carriers cover a percentage of the cost of pulmonary rehab. Long-term exercise programs, while not typically covered by insurance, are often more affordable than health club classes.

Find a pulmonary specialist

Contact us with questions, information on class dates and times, or for help understanding your insurance coverage:

Edward Hospital: 630-527-3389
Elmhurst Hospital: 331-221-6062