Daily Tips and Exercises for the COPD Patient (From Lincare)

Discussion created by luvsroses_barb on Dec 13, 2008
My fiance picked up a pamplet at his doctors office recently that has some breathing exercises in it. I'm going to type them out for you because I think they will help some of you who are unsure how to help your breathing get better. Besides doing these, please talk to your doctor about going to Pulmonary Rehab if your insurance will cover it. It would truly benefit you.


All of us take breathing for granted for most of our lives. It is something we do 12-20 times a minute with little or no thought. We are all experts at breathing.

Some of us, however, will develop shortness of breath - sometimes due to exercise or exertion, and sometimes due to disease processes.

An important component of breathing air out is that the lungs "rebound" after we take a breath. This is due to the elastic properties of the lung, and to the upward movement of the most important muscle in breathing: the diaphragm. In chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), the lungs lose their elasticity and the diaphragm no longer moves upward as rapidly as it should.

The end result of these losses is that the work of breathing increases due to the extra effort needed to get the air out of the lung during exhalation. For most of us, the diaphragm - located in the abdomen, is our most important breathing muscle. It does about 65% of the work during normal breathing. During times of exertion, we utilize the backup breathing muscles, most of which are located in the upper chest and shoulder areas. People with COPD have a tendency to stop using the most efficient respiratory muscle - the diaphragm - and use the back-up muscles instead. these backup breathing muscles are inefficient when compared to the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is also an important muscle for coughing. Because it becomes flattened in COPD, it is no longer as effective as it should be for coughing up mucus.

In order to help you overcome the shortness of breath and the difficulty in coughing up mucus you may be experiencing, we will be providing you with a series of exercises and techniques to improve your ability to move air in and out of your lungs and to assist you in making your cough more productive and efficient.


Here ends this post. I'll post each technique/exercise in a seperate post (lots of typing - LOL). Hope this helps you. I know I found some of this information useful.