Breathing Easy

Currently, almost 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it is projected that another 12 million are likely living with this disease undiagnosed.

Physical therapy can significantly improve the quality and functionality of daily life for patients living with COPD. Exercises are primarily focused on lower extremities, involving elastic bands, pedaling, and movements completed while seated. Other tasks include balancing on one foot, and breathing drills to help patients be more active with less shortness of breath.

Specialized training assures that physical therapists follow pulmonary protocols throughout these sessions, including closely monitoring vital signs and assessing patient exertion levels. Patient education is also an important part of therapy, so therapists focus on teaching patients how to manage their COPD condition by setting therapeutic goals for energy conservation, breathing techniques with mobility, improvement of postural restrictions, and working to increase aerobic activity tolerance.

The Rehabilitation Center at Shell Point Retirement Community offers COPD therapy, along with many other specialized inpatient and outpatient therapy programs that can assist with a variety of diagnoses. For more information about rehabilitative services, call the Admissions team at (239) 415-5432, or visit