According to the Irish Heart Foundation, approximately 10,000 people die annually from cardiovascular disease. The most common form of Heart Disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), accounting for a third of all deaths between the age of 45 and 64. Smoking, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure and lack of exercise all contribute to Heart Disease. Physiotherapists, working as a part of a team, develop a treatment programme, taking into account the person’s age, lifestyle, previous history and severity of the disease. Exercise plays a key role in tackling heart disease.
It occurs where the heart is damaged by the narrowing or blocking of coronary arteries which supply the blood to the heart muscle. Insufficient blood reaches the heart leading to chest pain (angina pectoris) and heart attacks. The narrowing of arteries is caused by patches of cholesterol rich fatty deposits and by blood clots forming on these patches.
The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina. This is characterised by discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, squeezing or a painful feeling in your chest. Other symptoms of CAD include shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness and sweating.
If you suspect a heart attack this is a medical emergency and you should seek medical assistance.
Rehabilitation after a heart attack may take several months or more. The Physiotherapist will teach relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and exercises to gradually strengthen leg and trunk muscles. Gradually, gentle activity such as walking is introduced. Throughout the programme the Physiotherapist aims to rebuild the person’s confidence, to improve exercise tolerance and to teach them to recognise signs and symptoms of excess exercise.
Regular aerobic exercise decreases the heart rate and blood pressure at rest and during exercise. This helps to reduce the work load on the heart and anginal symptoms may be alleviated. Regular exercise improves muscle function and the ability to take in and utilise oxygen better.
Our Physiotherapists are highly trained and qualified to provide expert care to our patients. They are fully insured and are chartered by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP).
They have extensive clinical experience in the management of Heart Disease and will advise and guide you through every step of your rehabilitation program. Through detailed assessment, they will prescribe appropriate exercises to reduce your symptoms and risk factors for heart related conditions.
We have a team of Clinical leads who visit our Physiotherapists regularly so you can be sure your heart is in safe hands.