Heart Health

Chartered Physiotherapists work in heart health across a variety of settings alongside other members of the healthcare team to help manage conditions and optimise quality of life.

Why focus on Heart Health?

A healthy heart is fundamental to overall health and wellbeing.

Chartered Physiotherapists working in cardiac services are specially trained in the area of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and the management of cardiac health conditions.

They are also experts in the field of exercise testing, prescription and progression; to help you if you experience a cardiac event or new diagnosis. Physical inactivity and living a sedentary lifestyle can increase your cardiovascular risk for developing certain heart conditions.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Heart Health

Physiotherapy therefore plays an important role in your recovery, education and ongoing prevention and management of your condition. Physiotherapy also forms a key part of the rehabilitation for the following Cardiac conditions:

  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Surgery
  • Heart Failure
  • Aneurysms
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Angina

What will a Chartered Physiotherapist do for me?

Cardiac Rehabilitation programmes are specialised programmes which combine exercise, education and self-management components, with the aim of improving physical fitness and the ability to self-manage your condition. Physiotherapists are a vital part of the team of health professionals that run these programmes.

Your Chartered Physiotherapist will first assess you at an individualised level, they will take into consideration what you are doing right now at your baseline and then devise a specialised treatment plan and programme for you. If appropriate, your physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor, hospital consultant or other health care professional, to help you manage your heart condition to the best of your ability.

What can I do?

Move more and sit less. Physical activity helps to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure, increasing your ‘good’ cholesterol levels, helping you maintain a healthy weight and by keeping your heart healthy. Adults should aim to do 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity each week.

Moderate intensity activities include fast walking, recreational swimming, golf and physical gardening. Vigorous intensity activities include circuit training, football, jogging and fast cycling.

Your physiotherapist can recommend suitable activities for you.

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Benefits for your Heart Health

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Lowers risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Reduces narrowing of the arteries
  • Reduces risk of irregular heartbeat
  • Reduces angina (chest pains)

Useful Links

Exercise Videos
Irish Heart Publications

Resources

GUIDE

Aerobic Exercise for Heart Health

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GUIDE

Exercise after Cardiac Event In Hospital & Beyond

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GUIDE

Strength Training for Heart Health

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Disclaimer

The content on this page is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to replace a physiotherapy or medical consultation. The ISCP is not responsible for the content of any external sites, nor should selection be seen as an endorsement of them.