Showing posts with label Cardiac physical therapy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cardiac physical therapy. Show all posts


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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

High-intensity interval training also called HIIT is the group of exercises which are more intense jogging, swimming and even sprinting. These types of exercises burn 10 METs per minute. Mets are the markers of calories burnt by any exercise. Most famous Tabata workout is also a type of HIIT. However, this article will discuss the benefits of HIIT on cardiac health and the details of HIIT will be covered in a separate article.

Effects on Coronary vessels:

The blood vessels which are responsible to supply blood to the heart are called the coronary vessels. The heart is the main organ for blood circulation throughout the body. It supplies blood to every crucial organ of the body including the brain. The main source for nutritional exchange for the heart is also the same blood of our body. So, it is highly essential to increase the capacity of coronary vessels to maintain the proper blood supply to the heart and thus to every organ of the body. HIIT training clears the coronary blood vessels from plagues of cholesterol. These types of exercises lead to the increased flexibility of cardiac blood vessels. This increased endurance of coronary vessels leads to the increased blood supply to heart which is essential for the proper working of the heart.

Effects on Oxygenated blood:

Oxygenated blood is rich in oxygen and nutrients which are supplied by arteries. Lungs purify the deoxygenated blood to convert it in more oxygen-rich type. HIIT leads to increased oxygenation of the blood and it also leads to more healthy blood production from the spleen. This highly oxygenated blood leads to more nutrition for heart and thus it increases the endurance of cardiac muscles.

Effects on cardiac muscles:

Our heart is a muscular organ. It is made up of specialized types of muscles called the cardiac muscles which have specific characteristics. HIIT positively affects these types of muscles by increasing endurance and flexibility of these muscles. Increased cardiac endurance and strength lead to decreased chances of cardiac arrest and early fatigability.

7 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient

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Sunday, September 8, 2019


The prevalence of heart failures in the world population has increased incredibly. Despite of the advancement of health care facilities, the issue tends to remain stagnant. Caring for a heart failure patient at home is equally essential, same as the intensive care provided in the hospital.

In a research conducted in the US, the Cardiovascular disease continues to be the chief cause of death in the region. Patients who had been fortunate enough to receive immediate care in the hospital, had to maintain a healthy lifestyle for maximum recovery.

Here, we have gathered 8 useful tips when caring for a heart failure patient at home.

1. Managing fluid intake

The marvelous benefits of having optimum water and fluid intake, has been preached, ever since the health system came into being. Although water makes up 70% of the body's total body weight, it can become a problem for a heart failure patient.

Heart failure compromises the kidney function, which leads to poor excretion of water and sodium. This leads to a higher water content in the body and in turn increases stress on the heart, that already struggles to function after heart failure.

It is therefore recommended to keep the liquids equal to 2 quarts or less per day. But  the fluid intake must not be reduced to the point, where the body becomes dehydrated. Try consulting the health care professional, to decide the accurate amount of fluid intake as per your condition.

2. Consumption of medicine on time

Doctors will most definitely prescribe a list of medications after the event of heart failure. These medicines target problems which arise subsequent to inadequate functioning of the heart.Some medications that are usually given to heart failure patients are:

1.     Digoxin: It slows down the heart rate by reinforcing the muscles of the heart.

2.     Beta-blockers: This drug lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.

3.     ACE-inhibitors: These medications keep the blood vessels relaxed. This lowers blood pressure and excessive load on the heart.

4.     Diuretics: This set of drugs is utilized in excreting excess water from the body.

5.     Hydralazine and Isosorbide dinitrate: These also take part in relaxing blood vessels.

Hence, medications are to be taken religiously and on time, to reduce the risk of another incident of heart failure.

3. Noticing abnormal functioning of the heart

The heart is not able to function effectively in a heart failure patient and hence faces trouble to supply blood to distant organs. These distant organs include the lower limbs, which often swell due to retention of water.

Abnormal functioning is manifested through symptoms. These signs signify the negative response of the heart to stresses.

The common symptoms involve:

1.     Shortness of breath
2.     Abdominal swelling
3.     Fatigue
4.     Coughing due to abnormal respiration

Such signs must not be overlooked and dealt with, promptly.

4. Rest is necessary for recovery

Older people are always on the go, to run errands. The long time taken in recovery from a heart failure episode, might agitate them. Caretakers around must make sure that they do not compromise on their health, just to walk long distances to buy some groceries.

Furthermore, it is suggested that an effective plan for the week be made to help in the management of daily activities and taking rest.

5. Perform exercises

Physical health is key to having a normal functioning heart. But being physically active, immediately after leaving the hospital, is discouraged by medical experts.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation team is appointed to gradually aid the patient in resuming his daily routine. They are not hasty and instead, train the individual patiently, in getting physically fit again. All of this, is practiced based on the principles of Cardiac physical therapy.

6. Install a home monitoring device

Most children start living separately from their parents, as soon as they reach puberty. This could be done for the aim of getting higher education or simply because a job they applied for, is located outside their town.

A patient with heart failure needs constant attention as there's a high chance of their health being deteriorated at any time.

To avoid such a situation, it is recommended to install a monitoring device, for e.g: a CCTV camera. This saves the family from witnessing an unfortunate death, just because there was no one around to help, while the patient struggled during a cardiac arrest.

7: Emotional health must be taken care of

Often after undergoing an  experience of heart failure, the patients fall into emotional distress. A beneficial mental counseling is important to pull out the patient from the mental trauma and assist him to continue living positively.

This can be achieved by convincing the patient to take therapy sessions from a psychiatrist. Along with this, emotional support from the family is equally integral to the overall improvement in the patient's health.

We hope to make things easier for you to understand. For further query, write to us in the comment section below.

6 beneficial habits you must adopt after angioplasty

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Why is angioplasty indicated?

The built up of cholesterol infused plaque in coronary arteries, causes a condition known as "atherosclerosis." This plaque occupies a substantial space in the vessel and reduces the overall diameter, through which blood passes. An occluded artery poses a threat of cardiac arrest due to inadequate blood supply to the heart.

Angioplasty or "Percutaneous Coronary Intervention" is performed with the aim of increasing the diameter of the vessel and allow enough blood to pass through. The physician installs a balloon in the occluded artery. Upon inflation of the balloon, the cholesterol plaque is pushed against the wall of the vessel. This leads to a  wider diameter of the artery and adequate blood flow to the heart.

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A set of recommendations is advised to the patient, after the surgery. It is important for the individual to follow these instructions and incorporate them as habits in his life.

Here, we assembled 6 beneficial habits you must adopt after angioplasty.

1. Balance rest and physical activity

Your doctor might refer you to a Cardiac Rehabilitation team after performing angioplasty. It is essential to adjust the activities taught by the rehabilitation team, into your daily lives.

Cardiac physical therapy can help you in avoiding the next admission in the hospital due to a heart problem.
Along with practicing the activities instructed by physical care therapists, make sure to take rest when needed.

2. Plan your diet

Surgeries often cause significant weakness in the body. Nutritionists have set some guidelines that must be followed after angioplasty.

These guidelines are as mentioned below:

Ø The nutritionist might suggest taking clear fluids, while your body is in the recovery phase. These do not cause stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting, which are usually experienced after a surgery.

Ø Amount of sodium must be reduced to only 1500-2300 mg daily. This is indicated because sodium can cause retention of fluid.

Ø A low fat diet must be adopted to cut down the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

3. Reduce risk factors that lead to further heart problems

There are a number of risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiac episode. Hence, it is highly stressed upon to be careful and avoid the leading causes of heart cardiac arrest.

Some of these risk factors are as follows:

Ø Smoking: The tobacco in cigarettes participates in the formation of fatty plaques called "atheroma", in the arteries. This plaque plays as a direct etiological factor in causing cardiac attack, due to diminished blood supply to the heart.

Ø High blood pressure: Excessive blood pressure reduces the elasticity of blood vessels and can rupture them with its massive force.

Ø Obesity: People who are overweight experience various symptoms of decreased cardiac activity, as the heart has to pump blood to the extra bulk of tissues.

Ø Sedentary lifestyle: This habit is extremely discouraged as the human organs can lose function if not used for their purpose.

4. Be vigilant in recognizing abnormal symptoms

Patients who have undergone a heart surgery are trained in checking their heart rate and pulse independently. This lesson must be remembered at all time, so that any abnormality in symptoms is correctly judged by you.
Although it is great to know about symptoms, it is highly dangerous to self treat yourself. On experiencing unusual symptoms, you must consult the doctor without further ado.

5. Try cutting down stress from your life

Stress is classified into two types: Mental and physical

Mental stress, such as depression is a serious illness and can affect a patient who has undergone a major surgery. Sessions with a psychiatrist are seldom attended. The Cardiac Rehabilitation is a program that helps in the improvement of mental health of the patient. All patients must be encouraged to not ignore their mental therapy sessions.

Physical stress:  Overexertion falls under the category of physical stress. Daily activities, such as climbing up the stairs is discouraged for cardiac surgery patients.
They are advised to be patient when carrying out these daily activities and not exhaust themselves in doing those.

6. Abstain from consuming high sugar or high cholesterol diets

Why stop excess sugar intake?

High sugar drinks such as soda are the direct causes of obesity. A research was conducted to know about the harms of soda consumption. It was found that people who consumed soda on a daily basis, were more likely to have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight and diabetic can effectively reduce the heart's function and lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Why stop high cholesterol diet?

Fast food is rich in low density lipids (LDLs), which are commonly known as bad cholesterol. This bad cholesterol has the tendency to get deposited in the arteries and cause problems such as: hypertension and stroke. Hypertension will eventually lead to a heart problem.


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Saturday, September 7, 2019


Cardiac arrest patients are often admitted to critical care units after an episode of cardiac attack. A vast series of instructions are outlined subsequent to the care provided by the hospital. Once conditions are stable, patients are referred to physical care therapists who help the affectee to return to his optimum level of functioning.

A set of rehabilitation activities are implemented to ensure that the patient continues to live a normal life again, without any hindrance. This rehabilitation process  is practiced to improve mobility, cut down the risk contributing factors and reduce any psychological stresses that may affect the recovery of the patient.

Physical care therapists are an integral part of the medical field, who are appointed to facilitate the members of the cardiac rehabilitation team. They are
required to monitor cardiac functioning, analyse injuries that may pose a problem in mobility and specify exercises that are directed to regain proper mobility and functioning.

The core part to achieving a successful post operative health of the patient, is to educate them about the ways to take control of their heart's health.
Some common instructions given for post operative care of the heart, are stated below.


Patients are provided with a list of guidelines to take effective measures in preventing cardiac arrest in the future. These instructions are generally enlisted by a physical care therapist, who assesses the impairments in a patient, following  a cardiac attack. The usual list of advices are as mentioned below:

  1.         Increase in physical activity
  2.         Refraining from risk factors such as: cholesterol, stress and smoking
  3.         Exercises performed near the bed side in the hospital
  4.         Independent monitoring of heart rate and pulse
  5.         Report any negative responses of the body to the exercises
Summing up, cardiac care is essential to resume living a healthier life which is free from restrictions posed by immobility.


The rehabilitation procedure consists of 4 phases. These are as follows:

Phase 1: Critical Care Phase

This phase constitutes of the time when the patient is admitted in the hospital after encountering a heart attack. The patient is received by a dedicated medical staff, which works towards saving the life of the individual. Following the operation and after a complex maintenance of the patient's condition, a set of instructions are provided to prevent a relapse of the attack.

Phase 2: Continuation of care at home

The patient would be allowed to return to his home once the doctors approve of the health stability. In this phase, a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse is appointed to contact the patient and to provide him with an appointment. On acceptance of the appointment, the patient has a good opportunity to ask questions related to his recovery. The nurse inspects the cardiac pulse and pressure of the patient and quotes any further specifications regarding proper care.

Finally, the nurse carries out an extensive assessment and concludes whether  phase 3 rehabilitation is mandatory for the patient or not.

Phase 3: Physical activity to improve function

This phase comprises of exercises that are practiced under a special supervision of a physical care therapist. In this phase, the patient is taught to monitor his Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and his body's response to the exercise. Along with this, a lesson is conducted on monitoring the heart rate independently, to help the patient in avoiding attacks in the future.

As the program progresses, the physical therapist tailors a set of exercises which work to enhance flexibility and strengthening. The exercises are kept to match the maximum rating of perceived exertion, in a patient. Any negative response to a particular intensive exercise, would denote the maximum RPE of the patient.

Phase 4: Patient adherence to physical activity and change of lifestyle

Majority of the patients fail to continue the physical activity that they had commenced during their recovery period from cardiac arrest. To circumvent further mishaps in the future, it is vital to continue adhering to the positive change. Failing to do so, has drastic effects as this negligence increases the chance of a recurrent cardiac arrest.

In order to evade such a situation, one must not wait to experience a cardiac attack, to incorporate physical activity in his lifestyle. There are a plethora of communities, which work together to motivate the members, for continuing a healthy lifestyle.

Cardiac arrests are becoming extremely prevalent in the developed world. Considering the reduction of physical activity and the unhealthy choices related to diet, an episode of cardiac attack seems inevitable. The heart is a crucial organ and requires good care in order to keep functioning effectively. Various awareness programs have been conducted, but the problem still stays significant. To keep away from facing  a cardiac arrest, it is advised to take heed of instructions given by health care workers around you.

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