Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or some types of heart surgery. Having cardiac attack requires treatment to lull side effects. But, there are many new options for recovery.

 Heart Screening


If you or your loved one has gone through a cardiac event, such as a cardiac attack or a procedure like open-heart surgery, you most probably require thorough rehabilitation for you to return to your former level of function. Rehabilitation is care that can help you get back, keep, or improve abilities that you need for daily life.  Additionally, your cardiologist would most likely suggest that take part in a cardiac rehabilitation program, which is the physical therapist’s job to work with you particularly in the acute phase of the cardiac rehabilitation program.

There are four stages in the cardiac rehabilitation plan, but the first and acute rehab phase is done within the hospital, while the last two steps begin when you leave the hospital. Cardiac rehabilitation is usually done at home or in an outpatient cardiac rehab. The fourth and final stage of the cardiac rehabilitation program is the maintenance stage where you are required to perform a fitness rehab formulated by a physical therapist regularly and to practice a healthy lifestyle.

Cardiac Rehabilitation: Rehab 1

Cardiac rehab is done while the cardiac patient is still in the hospital just a few days after cardiac incident. The cardiac patient can start the cardiac rehab treatment in the intensive care unit or in the unit that he’s placed in. The physical therapist works with other health professionals at this phase to make sure that the cardiac patient quickly and safely goes back to his previous function. The family will probably feel anxious and worried that the cardiac patient is engaged while he is still in the ICU, but they shouldn’t be. The physical therapist is qualified and skilled in doing the needed assessment, evaluation, and treatment for cardiac rehabilitation without disrupting the tubes and bottles that be attached to the patient.

Cardiac Rehabilitation PT Evaluation

When the cardiac patient is given the doctor’s confirmation that he is stable, then physical therapy will be ordered to help him regain movement and function. The acute physical therapist is the expert on this area of cardiac rehabilitation and will be doing the initial assessment and evaluation in the hospital. While this is being done, the therapist interviews the cardiac patient and then takes several tests and measurements to help formulate a suitable cardiac rehabilitation treatment plan for him. Some examples of these tests include blood pressure, heart rate, upper and lower extremity range of motion and strength, oxygen saturation, and self-care and mobility tasks. The therapist then collaborates with you as well as with your family to make sure that you will have a better knowledge of how your cardiac rehabilitation program will benefit you and your health.

physical therapist walking cardiac patient through the hospital guidelines about his particular condition.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Patient Education

This is also a vital part of the cardiac rehabilitation process, and rehab involves your physical therapist walking cardiac patient through the hospital guidelines about his particular cardiac condition. Important instructions that are typically included are:

  • The risk factors for the patient’s specific cardiac condition
  • Sternal precautionary measures
  • Exercises that are required to be done on the bedside to prevent contractures
  • Self-monitoring strategies for heart rate

Aside from clear verbal instructions, the rehab therapist is encouraged to write these down so that the cardiac patient will not be confused.

Phase 1 Treatment For Cardiac Rehabilitation

An important goal of rehab therapy in the initial phase of cardiac rehabilitation is to safely and progressively increase the patient’s level of activity. Again, it is crucial that the rehab therapist regularly monitors the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen sat level during the exercise and as the exercises are increased. An electrocardiogram can also be done on the patient to ensure that the heart is responding normally.

In all activities especially on mobility, such as walking and moving from the bed to the chair and back, the physical therapist stands behind or in front of the cardiac patient at all times (depending on the position of the patient). He works with the patient as the patient advances in phase 1 of the cardiac rehabilitation program, for instance, stair climbing. He also meets with the other members of the cardiac rehab medical team to guarantee that everything so far is appropriately performed and the health professionals know what medications and other precautions are set for the patient’s safety.


Finally, when the patient leaves the hospital, the primary physician refers approves for him to progress to cardiac rehabilitation phase 2 to continue the development that he has made while he was in the hospital for cardiac rehabilitation. The patient is reminded to strictly follow his doctor’s orders when he is out of the hospital to prevent untoward incidents from happening.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Conclusion

If you’ve been a patient, you may have felt that you will never be able to regain most of the basic tasks. But if you try your best and work with your rehab therapist in the acute phase of cardiac rehabilitation, you will surely be able to return to your former activity level in no time gradually.


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