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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

It is an umbrella term for a number of lung diseases that prevent proper breathing. Three of the most common COPD conditions are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. The main cause of this disease is cigarette smoking.

How can physiotherapy help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

The aim of Physiotherapy is to improve your exercise capacity, overall muscle strength, improve your breathing during activity, improve your balance, your health and quality of life.

How do I know if I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

You will experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities

  • Wheezing

  • Chest tightness

  • Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs

  • A chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum) that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish

  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)

  • Frequent respiratory infections

  • Lack of energy

  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)

  • Swelling in ankles, feet or legs

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can also lead to weakness in the arms and legs, balance problems and increased risk of falls, and nutritional problems (weight gain or loss).

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