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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Physiotherapy

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes breathing difficulty and leads to other systemic problems and is the tenth most prevalent disease in the world.

It's estimated that by 2050, COPD will be the fifth leading cause of death in the world ie 1 in 5 individuals will die from COPD world-wide by year 2050.

Although COPD used to be more common among men, it now affects women nearly as equally in developed countries.

Our senior physiotherapists can work with your pulmonary rehabilitation team or with you individually to help improve:

  • Your exercise capacity
  • Your overall strength
  • Your health and quality of life

What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the airways in your lung lose their normal shape and elasticity, and can become inflamed.

The result is that the airways are less efficient at moving air in and out of your lungs.

Main risk factors for developing COPD include:

  • Smoking
  • Inhaling toxic substances
  • Indoor and outdoor pollutants
  • Genetic/environment interactions
  • Respiratory insult to the developing lungs during prenatal or early childhood stages of life

Current research indicates that COPD is no longer considered a “smoker’s” or “older person’s” disease.

The most common types of COPD are

  • Chronic bronchitis—a chronic inflammation of the medium-size airways, or "bronchi" in the lungs, causing a persistent cough that produces sputum (phlegm) and mucus for at least 3 months per year, in 2 consecutive years.

  • Emphysema—a condition in which small air sacs in the lungs called "alveoli" are damaged. The body has difficulty getting all of the oxygen it needs, resulting in shortness of breath ("dyspnea") and a chronic cough.

In addition to causing breathing difficulty, COPD results in cough, sputum production, and other symptoms. The disease can affect the whole body and lead to:

  • Weakness in the arms and legs
  • Balance problems and increased risk of falls
  • Nutritional problems (weight loss or gain)

People with COPD are likely to have other health problems that can occur at the same time or be related to COPD, such as:

  • Reduced blood supply to the heart (ischemic heart disease)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Depression
  • Lung cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Asthma

Progressively over time, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) leads to a progressive decline in physical function because of

  • increased shortness of breath (dyspnea) and
  • loss of muscle strength

There are 4 stages of COPD—mild, moderate, severe, and very severe—based on measurements of the amount or flow of air as you inhale and exhale. People with COPD may need to take medications, or may require supplemental oxygen.

how our senior physiotherapists can help you

We will perform an evaluation that includes:

  • A review of your history, including smoking history, exposure to toxic chemicals or dust, your medical history, and any hospitalizations related to your breathing problems
  • A review of your medications
  • Assessment of what makes your symptoms worse, and what relieves them
  • Review of lung function test results that may have been performed by your physician
  • Muscle strength tests of your arms, legs, and core
  • Walk tests to measure your exercise capacity
  • Tests of your balance and your risk of falling

Pulmonary rehabilitation, including exercise training for at least 4 weeks, has been shown to

  • improve shortness of breath
  • improve quality of life and
  • provide strategies for coping with COPD

Our senior physiotherapists will serve as an important member of your health care team, and will work closely with you to design a program that takes into account your goals for treatment.

Our overall goal is to help you continue to do your roles in the home, at work, and in the community.

Improve Your Ability to Be Physically Active

We will design special exercises that train the muscles you use in walking and the muscles of your arms, so you can increase your aerobic capacity and reduce your shortness of breath.

You may also use equipment, such as a

  • recumbent bike
  • treadmill or
  • recumbent stepper

to improve cardiovascular endurance.

Research has shown that strength training in people with moderate to severe COPD increases muscle mass and overall strength.

We will provide strengthening exercises for your arms and legs using resistance bands, weights, and weighted medicine balls

Improve Your Breathing During Activity

People with COPD often have shortness of breath and reduced strength in their "inspiratory muscles" (the muscles used to breathe in).

We can help you with inspiratory muscle training, which has been shown to help reduce shortness of breath and increase exercise capacity.

We also can instruct you in pursed lip and diaphragmatic breathing, which can help make each breath more efficient, and helps to reduce shortness of breath during your physical activities.

Improve Your Balance

The decrease in function and mobility that occurs with individuals who have COPD can cause balance problems and risk of falls. People who require supplemental oxygen can be at a greater risk of falls.

If balance testing indicates that you are at risk for falling, we can help by designing exercises aimed at improving your balance, and helping you feel steadier on your feet.

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book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

  1. manage and decrease hand pains
  2. improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
  3. increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


  • Cupping TCM
  • Auricular Therapy TCM
  • Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation


Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the # 1 way we grow as a clinic / brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We prefer not to rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

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