70 Butler Street, Salem, NH 03079
Phone: (603) 893-2900 | Fax: (603) 893-1628

Pulmonary Rehab

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What is Pulmonary Rehab?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a process of using graded exercise together with an educational program to allow persons with chronic lung disease to stabilize and control their condition and better cope with the physical and psychological effects of chronic illness.

Program Goals

  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduction in shortness of breath
  • Reversal of anxiety and depression with improved self-esteem
  • Increased knowledge of lung disease and its management
  • Enhanced ability to carry out the activities of daily living
  • Increased exercise tolerance
  • Return to work (for some participants)
  • Fewer acute hospital admissions

Program Structure

Candidates for the program are referred by their physician. Enrollees attend educational and exercise components twice weekly over an eight week period. Family members are encouraged to participate in these activities.

An initial evaluation is performed by a respiratory therapist and a physical therapist in order to assess individual needs, goals, strength, flexibility and endurance.

Educational topics covered during the program include:

  • Respiratory anatomy and physiology
  • Breathing retraining
  • Energy conservation
  • Bronchial hygiene
  • Medications
  • Nutrition

The exercise program, overseen by a physical therapist, involves conditioning exercises which typically use stationary bicycles, treadmills, ergometers, stair climbing and walking. Heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels are monitored during the sessions and participants are taught how to monitor themselves independently.

Group interaction, training in relaxation techniques and stress management are used to help individuals improve coping ability.


Graduates of this program are encouraged to continue practicing what they learn within the program. They also have an opportunity to participate in our maintenance program.

For more information about the Pulmonary Program at Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital, please call 1-800-825-7292 or 1-603-893-2900 ext. 575.

Last Updated: 03/07/01 | ©2000 Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network