Functional Endurance Rehab

Written by on April 30, 2020

Functional Endurance Rehab

Functional Endurance Rehabilitation is an exercise program that is established and monitored by a licensed physical therapist for those who fatigue quickly or have decreased endurance making daily activities difficult. Each program will consist of various endurance and strengthening activities that are specific to each patient’s individual needs. If you experience symptoms of fatigue or reduced endurance related to diagnoses like COPD, asthma, pneumonia, scoliosis, Parkinson’s, COVID-19, and general deconditioning, you may benefit from functional endurance rehab. Read below to learn more about each of these conditions and why they would benefit from a program like Functional Endurance Rehab (FER).

FER Lungs
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of chronic inflammatory lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that obstruct airflow out of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by coughing, shortness of breath, and the presence of mucus that lingers for 3 months to 2 years consecutively. With chronic bronchitis, the amount of cilia (hair-like projections that work to keep airways clear) in your lungs is reduced, which makes it more difficult to get rid of mucus. Emphysema results from damage to your alveoli (tiny sacs of air in your lungs that allow for gas exchange). This ultimately causes your lungs to stretch out and lose their elasticity, resulting in air getting trapped in your lungs, making it difficult to exhale, and causing shortness of breath. Symptoms that are typically related to COPD include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic coughing.

A functional endurance rehab program will provide strength and resistance training for these patients who may experience muscle wasting and weakness due to poor nutrition and/or long term use of corticosteroids.

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Asthma is a respiratory condition in which the airways become inflamed, narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus, making breathing difficult. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Functional endurance rehab can help these patients to improve their endurance and activity tolerance as well as learn various techniques to improve respiratory muscle function.

Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that causes inflammation of the alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue.

Functional endurance rehab will help patients diagnosed with pneumonia learn various techniques and body positions to help clear their airways and improve respiratory muscle function.

Scoliosis is a condition involving a lateral curvature of your spine. This curve, depending on how significant, may result in physiologic changes that ultimately affect your breathing. Some of these physiologic changes include

  • Decreased lung volumes
  • Displaced intrathoracic organs
  • Restricted rib movement
  • Altered mechanics of respiratory muscles.

A functional endurance rehab program will help these individuals by incorporating exercises to stretch muscles that have become tight and strengthen muscles that have become weak due to scoliosis, providing postural training, and enhancing respiratory muscle function.

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Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, most commonly associated with tremors. Another side effect that may be developed during this disease process is dysphagia. Dysphagia is a difficulty with swallowing that often leads to coughing, choking, and aspiration of foods and liquids, which can lead to pneumonia or a life threatening chest infection. Expiratory muscle training, a component of functional endurance rehab, can result in improved ability to swallow or increased cough production in the event that there is a swallowing issue. Parkinson’s disease is also known to result in decreased respiratory muscle strength as well as chest wall rigidity, both of which could benefit from a functional endurance rehab program with a focus on respiratory muscle strength as well as flexibility of those muscles.

Functional endurance rehab can help individuals recovering from COVID-19 by addressing the various respiratory conditions that may result from a COVID-19 diagnosis, including pneumonia, bronchitis, or ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). This type of program can also help to address general deconditioning that may occur following the period of prolonged rest while recovering from COVID-19.

General deconditioning is a physical and/or psychological decline in function that may occur following a period of prolonged bed rest and inactivity. This may occur following an injury, in the case of a chronic disease, and even following a diagnosis of COVID-19. This will ultimately affect all systems of the body. Individuals who have become deconditioned will benefit from a functional endurance rehab program to improve heart and lung function, build muscle and strength, increase general endurance, and improve flexibility.

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A Functional Endurance Rehab program may be extremely beneficial to those diagnosed with the above stated conditions or those experiencing symptoms similar to those highlighted above. Schedule an appointment here (link to schedule an appointment) or call us for more information on how to get started today!

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