Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Understand the Process of Recovery with A Trained Physical Therapist

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy is a specific type of treatment focused primarily on improving the lungs and heart. It is used for those suffering from a wide range of conditions, including asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and heart failure. With the right physical therapist and a strong commitment to regular treatment from the patient, this form of physical therapy can lead to significant and lasting quality of life improvements.

5 Types of Exercises Used for Treating Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Conditions

No physical therapy treatment plan is the same, as each is carefully designed for the needs and conditions of the specific patient. However, if you are considering whether to begin cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, it would be useful to know that there are five types of exercises commonly used in treatment: 

  • Graded cardio: Cardio exercises are all based on continuous motion, which maintains an elevated heart rate and respiration, increasing blood flow throughout the body. These movements can include but are not limited to activities like running, cycling, swimming or dancing, which build the body’s overall endurance and strength. In PT, these exercises are conducted with close monitoring of cardiovascular and pulmonary functions, to ensure they are carried out in a way that is safe and do not overexert the body’s systems. 
  • Graded resistance: Resistance training is all about localized muscle working and repetitions. Commonly using free weights, medicine balls, weight machines and resistance bands, this type of training is all about working specific parts of the body to develop strength. In PT, this can be particularly useful for building strength in parts of the body which may normally be subject to increased strain, reducing unwanted stress. When paired with cardio, it is the best way to develop overall strength and wellness.
  • Breathing: Practicing proper breathing techniques is an extremely important and often neglected part of the process for training the body to be healthier. For patients who have difficulty with their cardiovascular or pulmonary systems, training the body to breathe properly through simple exercises is an important step in any PT treatment plan. These techniques can help to build lung strength and reduce stress put on the body throughout the day.
  • Airway clearance: If a patient suffers from chronic blockages or mucus buildups, this can impact their ability to breathe properly, putting unwanted strain on the body. During PT, patients may be taught techniques for clearing their blocked airways in order to open up the system for more airflow. These can be as simple as deep breath/shallow breath cycles, to more complex autogenic drainage techniques.
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization: An important part of improving a patient’s cardiovascular and pulmonary strength is building ribcage mobility. One of the best ways to do this is through a series of soft tissue and joint mobilizations, which are exercises designed to restore movement and strength to the body. Through the repetition of specific movements under the careful guidance of a physical therapist, a patient can regain significant mobility in these areas. This further reduces strain and builds strength.

If you are struggling with a cardiovascular or pulmonary condition which is negatively impacting your health and wellness, it might be time to consider booking a consultation with a physical therapist. After assessing your specific needs, they can recommend a treatment plan designed around restoring you to a healthier, happier quality of life that is sustainable and long-lasting. 

At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of PA, we offer our patients a commitment to high quality physical therapy treatment solutions based on our unrivaled reputation for care and experience. Having operated for over 40 years, we bring to every patient an immense pool of knowledge and resources, aimed at helping them towards a swift recovery and better life.

To learn more about our cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy services or to book your appointment, contact us at the location of your choice, or complete our online form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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