The Link Between Physiotherapy and Heart Attack Recovery

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Most people do not associate heart attack recovery with physiotherapy. Why would they? Isn’t physiotherapy only helpful to people who have back or neck pain? Physiotherapy can be healing for bodily pain, but it is also an effective treatment for heart attack recovery.

Why Heart Attack Survivors Should Work With a Physiotherapist

Have you ever heard of cardiac rehabilitation, also known as cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehabilitation can prevent, stabilize and sometimes even reverse cardiovascular disease. A physiotherapist is an important member of a cardiac rehab care team. Physiotherapists participate as part of such teams in order to assist patients in recovering from a heart attack by…

  • Strengthening/stabilizing a patient’s core (trunk) muscles.
  • Administering exercises that increase flexibility.
  • Working with a patient to increase cardiovascular endurance.
  • Teaching heart attack survivors how to use exercise equipment, such as elliptical machines, rowing machines, bikes, and other types of machinery that promote health.

No cardiac rehab team is truly complete without a physiotherapist, as this type of healthcare professional is invaluable in helping someone fully recover from a heart attack. Those who’ve had a heart attack simply can’t afford not to receive treatment from a cardiovascular rehab team complete with a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy Keeps Healthy Hearts, Healthy

It’s worth noting that physiotherapy is beneficial to people who have not had heart attacks, particularly those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. However, even those who don’t have any perceivable threat of heart problems can still keep their cardiovascular systems in great shape with physiotherapy. How? By participating in regular exercise.

Simply exercising cuts one’s risk of cardiovascular disease significantly. Physiotherapists are highly skilled at designing exercise programs for both the healthy and the sick. These healthcare professionals are not glorified personal trainers; they are experts in how the human body functions, and they understand how to help people reach their health and fitness goals. Almost anyone can benefit from a physiotherapist-designed exercise program.

Only 15 Percent of Heart Attack Victims Participate in Cardiac Rehab

According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, only about 15 percent of Canadians who suffer a heart attack will participate in cardiovascular rehab. This is extremely unfortunate, especially when you consider the fact that this type of rehab can, in some cases, reverse cardiovascular disease. If you have had a heart attack and want to make a good recovery, ask your physician about cardiac rehab, and be sure to connect with a physiotherapist, as well.

Are you part of the small percentage of Canadian heart attack survivors who have undergone cardiovascular rehabilitation, or are you currently in cardiac rehab? If so, in what ways was (or is) a physiotherapist pivotal in your total recovery? Leave us a comment in the space below.

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