The acronym COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a collective name for chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Some people with disease may also have asthma like symptoms. Typical COPD symptoms are:
- Chronic coughing
- Cough with mucus that persists for long periods of times
- Shortness of breath, especially with exertion
- Difficulty breathing out
- Constant shortness of breath
- Frequent colds or flu
- Deterioration of physical condition
- Blue nails
- Low energy
- Lose weight without trying (in later stages)
- Swollen ankles, feet or legs
COPD is a chronic disease in which the lungs are always full of small inflammations that cause permanent damage. This disease is characterized by pulmonary attacks (COPD exacerbation) and progresses gradually. At the onset of COPD, you mainly suffer during heavy physical exertion, such as sports. If the condition worsens, you may already be short of breath while dressing, walking or shopping. As the symptoms become more serious, normal breathing takes more and more energy and you become short of breath. Severe COPD has serious limitations.
As a result of this condition, a decrease in fitness, muscle strength and body weight occurs. Obesity is also common. This results in limitations in physical functioning and a reduction of quality of life. More than one third of people with this condition experience their lung disease has an emotional impact on their lives. More than one third of people with this disease aged 15-64 years are incapacitated for work, of which the large majority (69%) are fully incapacitated for work.
In the Netherlands, almost 600,000 people are diagnosed with COPD. It is estimated that another 300,000 people are very high risk, without even knowing it. COPD affects nearly 16 million Americans, or about 6% of the U.S. population. It is very important to start treatment on time. This could prevent this disease from getting worse. Are you between 40 and 70 years of age and do you cough regularly? Or are you quickly out of breath? Then this could be a sign that you have COPD. Take the test to see if you are at risk for this chronic disease.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause for COPD. Also people who have never smoked themselves can contract it. When you are diagnosed, the lining of your airways have been inflamed for a long time. For example, due to a cold from respiratory infections, irritating air from smoke and exhaust gases (fine dust), harmful substances at work (wood dust, glue, paint fumes), second-hand smoke, poorly treated asthma or a hereditary disease, the inflammation of the mucous membrane becomes worse. Over time, this inflammation damages your lungs. The small airways gradually lose their stretchiness or elasticity.
See what’s going on in your lungs:
At this moment, there is no cure for COPD. The good news is that with the right treatment and lifestyle adjustments, you can slow down disease progression, relieve symptoms and it can keep you out of the hospital. Treatment aims to prevent further damage, reduce the risk of complications and ease some of the symptoms.
>> What can you do yourself?
COPD medications cannot repair the lungs, but they will reduce coughing and alleviate tightness in the chest. In addition, implementing a healthy lifestyle for COPD patients is very important. Quit smoking, eat healthy and strive for an optimal weight. These measures will keep your fitness level where it needs to be and cause the symptoms to stabilize.
Getting enough exercise with this disease is not so easy. With exertion you often get extra trouble with shortness of breath and coughing. Perhaps you don’t dare to make any effort at all because it makes you anxious. Yet exercise is vital for people with this disease. Muscles that are trained need less oxygen. This reduces the stuffiness. With insufficient movement, the problems increase. Over time you will become more and more anxious and therefore less able to do.
>> How can COPD Physiotherapy help?
General Practitioners recommend physiotherapy or refer to a COPD pulmonary rehabilitation program. They do this if a patient fails to be physically active enough, for example because of shortness of breath. Annually, nearly 45% of patients with this disease visit the physiotherapist to improve their condition and reduce tightness.
Our Treatment Methods
Treatment starts with an intake for a correct diagnosis. The physiotherapist will then consider which COPD rehabilitation approach will be most effective for your specific lung issues and pain. During the COPD physiotherapy treatment process we use:
- Breathing exercises
- Inhalation muscle training
- Advice for posture
- Relaxation exercises
- Exercise program heart, vascular and lung
- Physiotherapy COPD exercise
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Would you like more information about how to ease some of the COPD symptoms? Please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced physiotherapists. Call us now for an effective treatment.06-10343160 Whatsapp +31610343160 Book Online