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Five Tips for Easy Pulmonary Rehab at Home!

Five Tips for Easy Pulmonary Rehab at Home!
Taikhum Sadiq

Pulmonary rehabilitation is the routine designed to improve the health of an individual after or while they are affected by a respiratory or pulmonary disorder. COVID-19 has been raging throughout the world since the past one year and is one of the foremost pulmonary disorders that have been affecting respiratory health among individuals. Pulmo rehab is designed to cope with the side effects of COVID-19 by enhancing respiratory health, increasing breathing capacity, and improving overall body health. Here are five easy tips for pulmo rehab at home that can help enhance overall health and wellness.

1. Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises are designed to help alleviate pain resulting from stiff joints and aching muscles that are caused by the after effects of COVID-19. Stretching exercises using equipment such as stretching bands and exercise balls can help increase your flexibility and enhance the strength of the muscles. Stretching exercises can also help relieve stress caused by the ordeal of surviving a condition like COVID-19 or other chronic pulmonary disorders such as COPD.

Top Five Stretching Exercises for Pulmo Rehab

1. Shoulder Stretching

  1. Sit comfortably on an exercise mat or any comfortable surface.
  2. Place one arm across the body
  3. Gently pull on your elbow with the opposite hand till a stretch is felt
  4. Repeat this for both the shoulder

2. Trunk Stretching

  1. Sit on a chair or an exercise mat comfortably
  2. Place your hands on the opposite shoulders and hold tightly
  3. Begin twisting your trunk from right towards the left till a stretch is felt in the upper body
  4. Twist from left towards the right for the next step
  5. Twist from left towards the right for the next step

3. Calf & Heel Stretch

  1. Stand comfortably on an exercise mat and keep a chair in front of you
  2. Hold on to the chair tightly and begin raising the back of your heel
  3. Raise slowly to the point where you feel a stretch in the arches of your heels and calves
  4. Slowly bring your heels down till they are flat on the surface again
  5. Repeat this process (avoid stretching it to a point where you feel pain)

4. Chest Stretches

  1. Sit or stand on an exercise mat or flat surface depending on your comfort level
  2. Raise your hands in the front, keeping them at a right angle to your shoulders
  3. Cross your hands in the front and keep crossing till you feel a stretch in your chest
  4. Bring your hands back to the original position
  5. Continue this exercise for a few sets (avoid stretching too much if you feel pain or discomfort)

5. Toe Touching

  1. Sit comfortably on an exercise mat or any other comfortable surface
  2. Straighten out your legs and sit upright
  3. Stretch your hands out to touch your toes without bending your knees
  4. You might feel a stretch in your thighs, knees, and hamstring
  5. Continue this for a few rounds everyday

2. Managing Your Breath

Shortness of breath is one of the major side effects of COVID-19 or any other pulmonary disorder. Managing your breath and regaining your breathing capacity can help overcome the shortness of breath and can help you restore your ability to execute daily activities. One can use breather exercisers to help train the muscles of the chest. Here are a few things you can do to manage your breath and overcome the shortness of breath.

1. Improving your Sleeping Position

Improper sleeping can increase the stress on the chest muscles and make it difficult to breath. You can:

  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs and elevating your head using a pillow
  • Lie on your back with a couple of pillows under your head and elevating your knees with another couple of pillows

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Sit comfortably in a chair with your body in a relaxed position
  • Place your left hand on your stomach and right hand on your left shoulder
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose
  • Tighten your stomach muscles and breathe out from your mouth while pursing your lips
  • Concentrate on the exhaling rather than the inhaling
  • Repeat this process for about five minutes

3. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help reduce shortness of breath and keep it to a minimum.

  • Quit smoking or the consumption of tobacco
  • Avoid exerting yourself
  • Avoid climbing stairs
  • Exercise daily and maintain optimum body weight
  • Eat well and avoid eating junk foods
  • Avoid exposure to allergens, dust, or pollens
  • Follow your treatment plan without skipping a step

3. Yoga for Respiratory Health

One of the most ancient forms of rehabilitation in the world, yoga has been passed down generations and like water in a brook it has been refined through the years to suit the needs of the modern world. Practicing yoga for 15-30 minutes a day can have amazing effects on your overall body health. Here are a few amazing yoga exercises you can easily execute in your life that can help cope with the effects of COVID-19 and be an effective tool for pulmonary rehabilitation.

1. Standing Mountain Pose

Known as the parvatasana in Sanskrit, it is one of the oldest ones in the book. Here’s how to do it.

  • Go down with your stomach facing downwards and your feet and palms flat on the ground
  • Slowly begin raising your buttocks towards the top making a mountain like shape with your body
  • Keep your legs, arms, and torso straight at all times
  • Stretch only to the point where you do not feel any pain
  • Go down again slowly and repeat this pose 10-12 times in one set

2. Standing Back Bend

  • Begin by standing straight on a yoga mat or any other comfortable surface
  • Raise your hands high in the air and keep them straight
  • Begin bending towards the back from your hip while keeping your legs fixed
  • Take your head and arms back as much as you can, feeling the stretch in your spine
  • Come back slowly to the original position
  • Repeat the same for 10-12 times while stretching only till the point you feel no pain

3. Breathing Exercise

One of the primary breathing exercises, anulom vilom basically is inhaling and exhaling.

  • Sit comfortably on a yoga mat and keep your body relaxed
  • Begin by placing your right thumb and close your right nostril
  • Begin by placing your right thumb and close your right nostril
  • Hold your breath for a second, and then release from your right nostril
  • While exhaling, keep your left nostril closed with one of your fingers
  • Repeat this for 2-5 minutes for one set

4. Changing your Diet

Diet plays a major role in how your body reacts to exercises, breathing techniques, medications, and other techniques of pulmonary rehab. Here are a few things you should take care of while adjusting your diet to your pulmo rehab routine.

  • Drink Ample Amounts of Water –Water is paramount! It is a must for an individual to drink at least 15 glasses of water a day to help maintain overall body health. Water also helps thin mucus thus making it easier and less discomforting for a person to cough.
  • Take a High-Fiber, High-Nutrient Diet –Fill your plate with green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein-rich foods. Avoid junk food and high-cholesterol food so that blood circulation is not impeded.
  • Avoid High Levels of Salt –Salt retains water and causes the vessels in the tracheal and esophageal region to swell making it difficult for an individual to breathe comfortably. Reduce the amount of salt intake and consume other foods for your sodium and iodine requirements.
  • No Gas-Causing Foods – Eating foods that produce excessive gas can cause your diaphragm to push upwards causing difficulties in breathing. The same is also true for overeating. Eat adequate amount of food and ensure that the food you eat does not cause gas or bloating. Stay away from beans, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and carbonated beverages.
  • Eat Sitting Up –Always ensure that you eat while sitting straight and keeping your back aligned to the chair. Eating on a couch or while sleeping can cause discomfort while breathing and will also affect the digestion of the food.

5. Electrotherapy and other Modalities

Electrotherapy is a proven way of stimulating the muscles of the chest and thus allowing for comfortable breathing. It helps enhance the muscles and increase the breathing capacity of an individual.

Top Five Electrotherapy Units for Pulmo Rehab

1. BioMedical EMS 2000 Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulator

BioMedical EMS 2000 Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulator is a two channel analog device with three modes of operation: Cycled, Constant, and Reciprocal. It provides muscle stimulation in acute medical conditions such as immobilized limbs, long-term disuse or prolonged bed rest, muscle weakness, and muscle spasticity following a stroke. EMS 2000 has adjustable On Ramp 0-2s, On Time 0-60s, Off Time 0-60s and Pulse Rate 1-80Hz. The unit is powered by one 9-volt battery.

Features of BioMedical EMS 2000
  • Prevents muscle spasm
  • Used for muscle reducation
  • Maintains and increases the range of motion
  • Increases local blood circulation
  • Acts as an immediate post-surgical stimulation of calf muscles to prevent venous thrombosis
  • Comes with carrying case and instruction manual
  • Dual-channel EMS device

2. Axelgaard PALS Platinum Blue Neurostimulation Electrodes

Axelgaard PALS Platinum Blue Neurostimulation Electrodes are designed for TENS (Transcutaneous Electical Nerve Stimulation) and muscle stimulation applications. The blue gel has very high water content and thus provides less irritation to the skin. It can be used over hairy areas without compromise to efficacy of stimulation.

Features Axelgaard PALS Platinum Blue Neurostimulation Electrodes
  • Combine a patented stainless steel knit cloth and hydrogel construction
  • Patented stainless steel fabric for optimum conductivity and conformity
  • Gel for extremely sensitive skin
  • Perfect for sensitive skin and hard to treat areas
  • Adheres through body hair
  • Enhance patient comfort during stimulation
  • Disperse current evenly across the electrode
  • Eliminate stinging, edge biting and hot spots
  • Self-adhering and reusable electrodes

3. ActivaDose II Iontophoresis Delivery Unit

ActivaDose II Iontophoresis Delivery Unit has two controls that operate dose and current, with optional push-knob or turn capabilities. The automatic current ramp-up and ramp-down for maximum comfort, and the pause feature assists with memory treatment time. The time calculations are performed automatically and recalculated if dose and current settings are changed. It is excellent to be used by medical professionals in hospitals and care facilities.

Features of ActivaDose II Drug Delivery System
  • Upgraded features for better performance
  • High-contrast display
  • Maximum Voltage: 80 volts
  • FDA cleared

4. BioMedical BioStim PigTail Electrodes

BioMedical BioStim PigTail Electrodes offer extreme flexibility. These are designed to last two weeks or more, the adhesive is durable while being non-irritating. The pre-wired socket system permits easy lead wire connections when the electrode is applied to those hard to reach areas such as the upper and lower back.

Features of BioMedical BioStim PigTail Electrodes
  • Durable
  • Provide extreme flexibility
  • Easy to use
  • Available in Oval and Square Shape

5. Axelgaard PALS Platinum Neurostimulation Electrodes With MultiStick Gel

Axelgaard PALS Platinum Neurostimulation Electrodes enhance patient comfort during stimulation by dispersing current evenly across the electrode while eliminating stinging, edge biting and hot spots. These electrodes work for all FES and TENS applications to achieve optimal current and maximize conformity to any surface of the body. The dual layer multistick hydrogel provides comfort with every application and optimizes multiple applications to the skin.

Features of the Axelgaard PALS Platinum Neurostimulation Electrodes
  • Revolutionized performance with patented stainless steel knit fabric design
  • Patented conductive cloth Electrodes provide the ultimate in flexibility and conformity to ensure optimal current distribution
  • Impedence compensation system ensures optimal current distribution
  • Provides the reusability one can count on and the quality one can trust

Try to adapt these techniques of pulmonary rehab (physical therapy supplies) into your routine to enhance not just your respiratory health but overall health and wellness. At HPFY, we have a wide range of equipment that can help you through an efficient routine of pulmonary rehabilitation.


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HPFY Taikhum Sadiq

Taikhum Sadiq

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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.

He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...

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