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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Study Shows Benefits of PT for Obese COPD Patients

Published April 28, 2016 9:13 AM by Katherine Bortz

A new study has surfaced displaying the benefits of physical therapy for obese patients hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Researchers at the University of Granada and Virgen de las Nieves Hospital, both located in Spain, have seen results that suggest less hospitalization for those suffering with the disease. Their results show that a short-term physical therapy regimen leads to a better quality of life for the patient and is more cost effective for the hospital. Forty-nine patients were selected to receive multimodal therapeutic care. The regimen was carried through for seven to 10 days. The project was funded by the Health and Progress Foundation, Boeghringer Inghelheim and Oximesa.

The exercises mostly focused on the lower extremities, included work with elastic bands, pedaling and activities where patients were seated. Patients also were given routines where balancing on one foot was required. The researchers concluded that there were beneficial effects of physical functioning in hospitalized obese patients with acute exacerbation COPD.

This research is published in “COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease where airflow from the lungs is obstructed. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms include: breathing difficulty, cough, sputum production and wheezing. In many cases, COPD is developed by smokers or those who have had long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter.

How do you think that physical therapists can help improve the lives of those hospitalized with chronic conditions, including COPD?

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