PR What the heck is that?

Newbies to this site must be confused by the constant references to PR. Now, if you aren’t a newbie shove off and play on another blog while I explain. Ok Newbies, gather round.

PR is an abbreviation of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. PR is a course that is usually run by your local respiratory service. You can access PR through them or a GP. The courses run for 6 – 8 weeks and you will usually attend twice a week.

The object of the courses is to make you fitter through gentle exercise and to improve your breathing by being taught more efficient ways of doing it. It is normal to go for a pre-course assessment before you start. In my case they decided that I would need to use a portable oxygen unit while on the course.

The sessions are usually held in church or village halls or community centres. What happens when you arrive varies slightly from region to region so I will explain my experience. On arrival I was welcomed by one of two qualified nurses. They checked the amount of oxygen in my blood stream with an oximeter. This is just a little thing that clips onto your finger for a minute or so. They call this taking your SATS. They then explained to me how the course was run.

We started off with fifteen minutes of very gentle warm up exercises. This is to avoid pulling muscles in the slightly more strenuous exercises that follow. After these I was again checked that I was ok. Next it was on to ten separate disciplines. These involved things like riding an exercise bike, lifting small weights, press-ups against a wall, stretching oversize elastic bands and step overs. I was given a clipboard with an alarmed stop watch on and told to press start on it and do just one minute of the exercise. At the end of the minute you write down how many repetitions you have done. Between each discipline you walk twice round the hall.

All of this took up about an hour. We then had the best bit, tea. Following the tea we had a talk on ways of breathing better. We were also told about continuation courses after we had finished the PR one. Did I enjoy it? Yes I did, very much so. Will I keep going for the full 8 weeks? Oh yes!

I am 70 years old and have emphysema moderate/severe. I am 4 stone overweight. If I can do it …….

Good luck, Bobby

31 Replies

  • Thank you Bobby. As someone who hasn't attended PR, I did find your description really interesting... so much so, I'm exhausted from reading it .... but once I recover my breathlessness, I'll read it again... it was that good :)

    Many thanks for that insight and thanks for sharing your experience :)

    Sandra x x x

  • If you ae exhausted reading it think how I felt writing it. I actually wrote it yesterday but I am not to good today (must be that ruddy PR) so I just edited it and posted it today.

    Love from Bobby xxxx

  • You're bound to be knackered after all that. Take care Bobby :)

    Sandra x x x

  • Am almost at the end of my PR course.. We are encouraged to try but never pushed. 'you gain confidence because you are supervised and sometimes stopped for a bit if you are stressed. Have a go and surprise yourself.

  • Wish I could, boadicea, but we don't have it in my area, sad to say :)

    Sandra x x x

  • Write to your Member of Parliament, keep asking your doctor and anyone you can think of who might help. PR really does give you confidence and that is what I had lost with my diagnosis of COPD. Good luck. Doreen

  • Thanks for that Bobby, I must admit when I first joined this site about 8 weeks ago I did wonder what PR meant, took me a while to work it out, because of being a newbie did'nt want to ask, didn't want to look stupid.

    So its good to post this info every now and again for newbies like me !!!!!!!


  • Thanks Peta. We all tend to use acronyms for things and forget that lots of people don't know what they mean. Hence the blog. Mywife is terrible. She works in education and she comes home speaking a foreign language. lol

    Bobby xxx

  • Just a point - this describes Bobby's experience and different areas may vary. All good though. x

  • Funny you should mention PR today Bobby I asked about it at my surgery yesterday and my respiratory nurse told me funding had been withdrawn for it and I might get lucky with another towns hospital, but will have to wait and see.Needless to say, I was very disappointed, especially as I had been told my lung function is down to 50%.

  • It's the same all over Gene. In my area it is difficult to get PR now. It seems false economy to me, it must save the NHS money in the long run.

    Love from Bobby xxx

  • I agree with you Bobbyxxxx

  • That's great news Bobby and well done for given this course a go.

    You mentioned having some oxygen which was prescribed for you at the begining - are you finding this helps during the excercises ?

    Anyhow ~, more power to your elbow... and of course the rest of your bod! :) xxx

  • Thanks Lovelight. When I went for the assessment my SATS dropped from 93 to 83. They would only let me do the course if I used oxygen. I felt a right pratt for all of 5 minutes then I just forgot I was wearing it.

    Love from Bobby xxxx.

  • Sorry Lovelight I forgot to say. The oxygen was a great help. I don't think I could have done it without it.

    Bobby xxxx

  • Well done Bobby,I've got all that to come.i hope the nurses here will be as pretty as yous,

    Pleased for you,go

    E you feeling a bit better this afternoon :)

  • Feeling a bit better John. I have popped half a hundred weight of pills so I ought to. Certain people have banned me from talking about the nurses but there was one young Indian one. Pwooor! I hope yours are as good.


  • That was very well timed, Bobby! I read it with BIG interest because a week Monday, I will be attending an assessment course. Do hope they accept me because I need an aid when I walk. Nervous about that.

    Sad there have been cuts with PR. Necessary for our mental as well as our physical well being. I wonder if them in power ever cut anything that affects themselves.

    Did you see anyone with a rollator.

    Love and appreciation from annieseed xxx

  • There were several there with sticks Anne but no rollators. I would think you could do most of the exercises even allowing for your rollator. You will enjoy it I am sure of that.

    Love from Bobby xxxx

  • Annie,

    When I did PR last year there were 2 different people using rollators and they coped pretty well, resting when necessary. Don't worry, you'll be ok if they let you do it. Good luck

  • Sigh of relief here. Desperate to have a go. It would be great to get more active, and learn a few facts about lungs. A long time ago, since I did anatomy and physiology - things might have changed with lungs - modified or updated!!!! (Smiley)

  • I will let you know. I would be so disappointed if they said no. love Annie

  • The beauty of any PR course is that everyone has different conditions and are at different stages and absolutely everyone puffs for Britain whilst doing it. Congrats on your first session - by the end of it you will be a leaner, meaner breathing machine :) xx

  • You lied to me Bobby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You told me, the other day, that PR meant something enitrely different. How could you.

    I'm pleased that you are on your PR course and I hope that you benefit from it a lot (because if I catch up with you then you are in serious trouble for telling me fairy stories).

    You're a grand man Bobby.

    Love and hugs



  • Was trying to remember what I told you it was Annec. he he. Me! Tell fairy stories? Nah. Is a good boy. My mum said I was.

    Bobby xxxxx

  • I went for my assessment a fortnight ago but don`t start course until 11th August.which I am looking forward too. I`ll have to dig my old netball trainers out of the shoe cupboard, they are probably a home to a family of spiders by now! The nurse explained that in the long run it saves the NHS money because fewer people are hospitalized when they have been on the course. Its a shame that it depends on the area you live in as to whether you can get on a course or not.

    Sue x

  • You will thoroughly enjoy it Sue, I know I did. As you say it is a great shame that more people can't get on the courses.

    Bobby xxx

  • I have done Pulmonary Rehabilitation and also many talks at sessions in Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group area. I advise everyone to persevere with the course to realise full benefit, you will feel like a different person at the end.


  • I'm on pr course at the moment on my 4th wk and I have greatly improved ??

  • Good for you Nik. Keep it up.

    Bobby xx

  • PR pulmonary rehabilitation is great if you can get it one of the only things that works for every person with a stable lung problem - 

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