Post Lung Transplant Physical Therapy Exercise

Shortly after ungoing a successful single or double lung transplant, patients will begin physical therapy. This routine may begin as early as 12 hours after surgery and while the patient is still on a ventilator.

Chest Physiotherapy Physical Therapy

Once the patient no longer needs assistance breathing, the patient is moved to a step-down transplant recovery room and more aggressive physical therapy occurs. The more the patient pushes him or her self to do these exercises, the great chance of getting out of the hospital sooner.

Some successful examples of physical therapy exercise include the following. Please consult your phyician before trying any of these exercises as each transplant outcome is different.

Sternomastoid

  1. Rotate your neck to the right and laterally flex it to the left.
  2. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly release
    Repeat 5 times
  3. Repeat for the left side.

Upper Trapezius

  1. Sit on a bench and fix your right shoulder by gripping the bench top with your right hand. Flex your neck and rotate and laterally flex it to the left. Maintain the head position with the left arm and actively depress the right shoulder.
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
    Repeat 5 time
  3. Repeat for the left side.

Lateral Flexion with Over-Pressure

  1. Knell on the floor (if possible), and reach your right arm above your head and lead a lateral flexion movement. Your left arm acts as a pivot by pressing the sides of your rib cage.
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
    Repeat 5 seconds
  3. Repeat for the left side.

Side Flexion Stretch

  1. Begin in a kneeling position (if possible) with your hands behind you neck. Side flex to the left, forcing your left elbow to the floow, lifting your right elbow towards the ceiling.
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
    Repeat 5 times
  3. Repeat for theleft side.

Thoracic Rotation Stretch

  1. Stand with your arms abducted into a T position. Rotate the spine, leading with the left arm, taking it round to touch the right hand. Reverse the movement.
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
    Repeat 5 times
  3. Repeat for the left side.

Image courtesy of NASWE.org.

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.