The Ultimate Guide to Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy


Cardiopulmonary physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that helps improve the function of your heart and lungs. It can be used to treat many conditions including COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic obstructive lung disease. This article provides an overview of cardiopulmonary physical therapy as well as some tips for getting started with this treatment option.

Benefits of cardiopulmonary PT

When you need to improve your heart and lung function, cardiopulmonary physical therapy (CPT) can be a great option. This type of treatment provides many benefits including:

Improving respiratory endurance

CPT will help restore the strength of muscles that are used for breathing. It may also strengthen other organs involved in respiration, such as your diaphragm. As a result, you will be able to take deep breaths and exercise without feeling tired or breathless nearly as quickly.

CPT can help prevent heart failure

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in adults in the United States. Cardiopulmonary physical therapy helps improve cardiac output which can prevent and treat heart failure.

It also decreases the effortwork of breathing, which can make it easier for some people to complete physical activities.

Help you maintain a healthy weight

Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and cardiopulmonary physical therapy will help improve your exercise tolerance as well as increase muscle strength. While CPT doesn’t necessarily focus on weight loss, you may lose weight as a result of becoming more active and having an improved ability to exercise.

This can be especially beneficial if you have been diagnosed with a condition such as COPD or pulmonary hypertension.

Improve your quality of life

Many people start using cardiopulmonary physical therapy because they want to be able to do the things that they enjoy without getting winded or tired easily. By improving your heart and respiratory function, CPT can help you maintain your independence and enjoy an improved quality of life.

Who is CPT recommended for?

This type of therapy can be used for a variety of conditions, but it is most commonly recommended to patients with COPD or pulmonary hypertension. It may also be helpful for people who have recently undergone surgery on their heart or lungs, are recovering from an illness such as pneumonia, or have been diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer.

How to access cardiopulmonary PT

You may need a referral from your primary care physician or respiratory therapist before you can start CPT. It’s also important that the physical therapy clinic you visit is staffed by therapists who specialize in treating cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions.

Types of treatments therapy

CPT often takes place as part of an intensive treatment program that can last several weeks or months. This type of treatment is typically done in a clinic and may involve:

Oxygen therapy

Physical therapists use oxygen to help improve your respiratory function during CPT sessions. They may also provide you with an oxygen tank that you can take home so that you can continue using it between visits. You will be taught how to use the oxygen properly so that you can get benefits from it during your daily activities.

Exercise training

The physical therapists who work with CPT patients will create an exercise program for them based depending on their specific needs. This may include breathing exercises, aerobic activity such as walking or cycling, and resistance training to improve muscle strength.


You may also receive information about your condition and how to prevent it from getting worse or causing other health problems. The physical therapists who work with you will teach you the skills that you need so that you can continue exercising after treatment is complete. This includes breathing techniques, ways to avoid becoming fatigued during activities, and other strategies that can help you increase your activity levels.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy can help people with chronic conditions have an improved quality of life. If you are looking for a way to improve your heart and respiratory function, this type of therapy may be a good option for you. Reach out to a physician today so that they can assess your needs and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to what works best for you.


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