Cardiovascular inactivity is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. It is now widely recognised that appropriate exercise can be an effective disease prevention strategy and is integral to the management of patients with a variety of cardiovascular conditions.
Role of physiotherapyPhysiotherapists can assess, plan and implement programs to assist patients with conditions such as:
- peripheral vascular disease
- post myocardial infarction
- cardiac or valve replacement surgery
- lung volume reduction surgery and
- chronic lung diseases
Benefits of physiotherapyExercise can be tailored to patient needs, modified if necessary, and graduated according to individual responses. A physiotherapist supervised program can:
- assist with offsetting the deleterious effects of prolonged bed rest;
- gradually improve fitness;
- give confidence to resume regular activities;
- provide regular review of progress in a safe environment; and
- promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Physiotherapy plays a vital role in rehabilitation after cardiac surgery. Physiotherapy programs are designed to educate patients and their relatives on lifestyle changes necessary to achieve optimal post operative recovery and minimise the risk of relapse. Patients who have undergone cardiac surgery are frequently apprehensive about resuming activities which previously caused them pain or breathlessness.