Millions of people across the world suffer from cardiac health disorders and making a full recovery from these can be a big challenge for patients, especially senior citizens. In such cases, cardiac rehabilitation which includes physiotherapy plays an important role in the recovery of patients. Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and information sessions to help you get back on your feet again after a heart attack, heart surgery or procedure.
When is cardiac rehabilitation required?
- a heart attack
- a coronary angioplasty
- heart surgery
- some people who have angina or heart failure
- some people who have an ICD implanted.
For patients who have suffered a heart attack, cardiac rehabilitation is an ongoing process over months, and perhaps longer. During the rehab process, your physiotherapist will come up with a number of relaxation techniques to reduce stress and teach you exercises that will make your legs and core muscles stronger. Nowadays physiotherapy can also be availed in the comfort of your home. The patient can book an appointment with the physical therapist and get treated without having to step out. This hassle free solution is particularly useful for senior citizens who find it difficult to traverse long distances.
During the commencement of the rehabilitation process, the physiotherapist will do an assessment to tailor the program to the patient’s fitness level. The type and intensity of physical activity recommended will depend on the severity of the patient’s heart condition, and the therapist may check the patient’s blood pressure and oxygen level several times during the session.
How does physiotherapy help with cardiac rehabilitation?
Physiotherapists at cardiac rehab programs usually focus on:
- Aerobic exercise: ellipticals, bikes, ergometers, and rowing machines to name a few while monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure;
- Mobility and strengthening exercises;
- Trunk stability and strengthening;
- Improving exercise tolerance and endurance; and
- Flexibility exercises
Any physical activity like walking will be gentle at first. This will build physical endurance and build confidence. As the patient and his/her heart become stronger, the introduction of gentle aerobic exercise helps decrease heart rate and resting blood pressure. Exercising regularly will improve muscle strength and help utilise oxygen more efficiently.
The sessions will give the patient and the caregivers the information, support and advice they need to get back to everyday life as efficiently and successfully as possible.
Physiotherapy-led cardiac rehabilitation programmes are clinically effective in:
- Reducing mortality
- Improving health and quality of life
- Reducing length of hospital stay
- Reducing the number of hospital readmissions.
- Support return to work and self-management of the condition
Many doctors believe that home physiotherapy service is a better option, as patients recover faster in the familiar surroundings of their home. Trusted by many, HealthCare atHOME’s home physiotherapy service is a great option for cardiac patients. We offer a wide range of services including world-class medical equipment for postoperative rehabilitation at the convenience of your doorstep.
Get FREE telephonic consultation at our Physiotherapy Helpline 0120-6783277, from our expert team of physiotherapists.