Showing posts with label Rating of perceived exertion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rating of perceived exertion. Show all posts

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Damage caused by heart failure and its targeted physical therapy

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Physical therapy is performed to improve the overall health of the patient. Major systems compromised due to long standing chronic heart failure are:

The circulatory system

Heart is the main organ that supplies blood to other tissues and organs. A long standing chronic heart failure condition can affect the normal supply of blood to these tissues. The care provided at home is as integral as given in the hospital premises. It is therefore essential to know about the tips when caring for a heart failure patient.

The Pulmonary system

The lungs and heart work in harmony to provide the body with oxygenated blood. Heart failure leads to pulmonary oedema due to the accumulation of blood in the air sacs. This can eventually lead to pulmonary failure too.

The Renal system (Kidneys)

Bean shaped kidneys play a role in "homeostasis" (maintenance of constant body environment). The heart of a patient with cardiovascular disease, does not have substantial ability to pump blood to the organs. Consequently. a high blood pressure is generated in the renal vein. This high blood pressure causes congestion in the kidneys.

So how can a heart failure patient avoid worsening this damage?

The solution to this question is: Cardiac physical therapy.


A complex medical intervention involves joint effort from various experts. The cardiac rehabilitation team includes:

*    Doctors

*    Nurses

*    Psychiatrists

*    Nutritionists

*    Pharmacists

Team may be composed of additional health professionals too.


The all-inclusive aim of the team is to help the patient in returning to his previous physical stability. Areas of work include:

Ø Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Ø Enhancing the flexibility and strength of the heart muscles

Ø Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Ø Tailoring a nutrition guide

Ø Training the patient to be independent

1. Reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease

The major risk factors for cardiovascular disease are well known. But most people choose to stay ignorant and end up experiencing an unfortunate event of cardiac failure.

An open heart surgery can be indicated in a compound heart failure. Measures you should take after an open heart surgery, involve keeping a track of the risk factors associated with the disease.

One aim of the Rehabilitation team is to advise patients in cutting down the amount of high sugar, high fat and high salt diets. All of these are paramount risk factors causing heart failure.

Smoking after an incident of heart failure is highly discouraged because tobacco can deteriorate the condition further more, by causing fat deposition in vessels.

2. Enhancing the flexibility and strength of heart muscles

A set of exercises is designed to improve heart rate and strengthen cardiac muscles. Aerobic exercises target heart rate while lifting weight and exercising with bands, reinforce heart muscles.

Patients of cardiovascular disease might face difficulty at first, but a dedicated struggle can have beneficial outcomes. Rating of perceived exertion or RPE of the patient is monitored constantly, with the aim of discovering the maximum capacity of his body to continue physical activity.

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3. Recommending regular mental therapy sessions

Together with training the patient to strengthen himself physically, a psychiatrist is appointed to keep a check of any mental instability. Mental health is still a taboo and people suffering from depression often find it difficult to seek a professional's health.

But the Cardiac rehabilitation team makes sure that the mental trauma encountered by the patient or his family members, is effectively dealt with.

4. Tailoring a nutrition guide

Healthy diet! Healthy diet! Healthy diet!. We can not stress more on the importance of a healthy diet, especially for an individual with a chronic heart failure.

A good amount of fruits and vegetables are a gateway to fitness. Intake of red meat must be reduced and fish must be consumed for proteins instead.

Foods playing a role of risk factors for cardiovascular disease must be kept to a minimum or other alternatives must be adopted in place of them.

5. Training the patient to be independent

The foremost aim of the cardiac rehabilitation is to make the patient understand his heart. Most deaths occur due to failure of recognizing symptoms. Patients arriving in the Rehab are taught how to keep a check on their heart rate and pulse.

Along with this, they are told about the Rating of perceived exertion. This information helps them in recognizing the amount of exercises they can withstand.

 This is all regarding the topic. For any questions, ask us in the comment section below.


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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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