Created: January 21, 2015
Amy Pastva, PT, PhD; Kara Schworm, MSPT, Board-Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist; Allyson Hemstreet, DPT
Asthma is a common and complex chronic disease of the pulmonary airways, with symptoms that include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. The severity, frequency, and progression of these symptoms vary greatly among individuals and age groups. Limitations in daily activity and generalized deconditioning can occur. Physical therapists, both as private practitioners and as members of a pulmonary rehabilitation team, provide skilled examinations, therapeutic interventions, and education that have the potential to help people with asthma manage the condition, reduce symptoms, increase physical fitness, and improve quality of life.