How Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Can Help You Recover

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy

Have you experienced a recent cardiac event? Do you suffer from a chronic lung condition? Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy might be able to help. 

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy helps patients improve their heart and lung health. The goal of cardiopulmonary rehab is to help patients maintain and recover lung function while also strengthening their cardiovascular system. This is achieved through exercises designed to strengthen the heart and lungs, increase physical endurance and improve overall body strength.

This specific field of physical therapy is designed to treat acute conditions like asthma and chest infections, along with a range of chronic cardiac and respiratory conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF). It’s also recommended for anyone recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery because it’s been shown to help with recovery. Not sure whether Cardiopulmonary physical therapy is right for you? Keep reading. 

How Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Helps Patients Recover

Cardiopulmonary physiotherapists use physical modalities to treat people with heart and lung issues. This may involve a combination of manual techniques such as chest percussion and vibration, postural drainage (to clear infected mucus from a person’s chest), noninvasive ventilation (to help with breathing) and therapeutic exercises designed to improve fitness, mobility and the ability to partake in daily activities. 


Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy takes place in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient treatment centers and in some cases, at home. Depending on your condition, you may need to come into the clinic for treatment every day, or you might only need to attend twice per week sessions for your treatments.

Depending on the person’s condition, the physical therapist may work alongside other medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, psychologists  and occupational therapists for a multidisciplinary approach.

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy After Surgery

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy is often recommended for people who’ve had a heart attack or have recently undergone heart surgery, because it’s been shown to help patients recover more quickly after surgery. Working with a Cardiopulmonary PT can also help reduce your risk of future heart attack. Some other benefits include: 

  • Increased strength and endurance

  • Increased lung function

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Reduced risk of pulmonary infection

As mentioned above, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy can help people recover from a variety of different medical conditions. While every patient is unique, the overarching goal is the same: to help people improve their overall heart and lung health so that they can feel better and partake in daily activities. If you think Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy may be right for you, click here for more information.


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