Lifestyle diseases have started to find their way into our already available list of diseases and cardiac conditions to that list. But, the good news is they are preventable and also curable.
In our cardiac rehabilitation clinic, you can expect 360-degree care, including rehab after open heart surgery. The cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services we provide are extensive and up-to-date with the current technology. What differentiates us from other cardiac rehab centers is that we give importance to not only clinical assistance but also focus on emotional and psychological well-being as well.
The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include relief from the following conditions
- Myocardial Infarction – A condition where there is irreversible death to the heart muscle due to decreased oxygen supply.
- Post-bypass surgery – After surgery, another blood vessel is used to bypass the blocked artery.
- Post angioplasty – After a procedure where stents are placed due to a blocked artery.
- Heart failure – A condition where the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of the body to meet the oxygen demand.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy – A condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and is unable to pump blood.
- Non-ischemic heart disease – A heart condition that is not caused because of blocked blood vessels and could be because by various factors such as infections, inheritance, etc.
- Arrhythmias– They are conditions where there is a problem with the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat.
- Heart valve problems and post-heart valve repair or replacement – Individuals with heart valve problems continue to decline functionally for several years before surgery and also during the convalescent period post-surgery.
- Post Heart transplant and left ventricular assistive device – Individuals with heart failure problems continue to decline functionally for several years before surgery and also during the convalescent period post-surgery. There is also surgical cutting of nerves of the heart, which makes it difficult to adjust to the body. In addition to this, patients are on chronic steroid or immunosuppressant therapy, which increases the risk of muscle weakness.
Symptoms commonly noted in individuals with a cardiac condition related to rehabilitation are
- Easy fatiguability
- Breathing difficulty
- Poor endurance
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty in walking or performing daily activities, when these symptoms are severe, leading to poor quality of life
Our comprehensive, interdisciplinary team approach (i.e. care being provided by various disciplines in a coordinated fashion) with Physician (Physiatrist), Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Neuropsychologist, Nutritionist and a Nurse can help reduce your symptoms directly related to the injury as well as prevent and treat common medical complications post brain injury. Not all patients will require all services and usually, a combination of these services is required for an individual patient. You will be evaluated at the initial visit to determine what services you require and a tailored treatment plan will be initiated.
Patients will be evaluated by the Physician first to determine the nature and severity of the medical condition then come up with a treatment plan that best suits them. Depending on the patient’s symptoms and medical complications (listed above), the treatment plan will include recommending therapy services, prescribing medications and performing injections. Medications are commonly prescribed for medical complications as well as to reduce symptoms directly related to brain injury such as arm and leg weakness, muscle tightness, speech impairment, mood and behavior issues, cognitive impairment and impaired arousal. The physician performs injections such as tendon injections, joint injections for joint or muscle pain as well as Botulinum toxin (commonly referred as Botox injections) and nerve block injections to help relieve muscle and tendon tightness.
A Physiotherapist will focus on various physical exercises to improve weakness in the arms and legs, improve their walking and balance and to reduce muscle tightness. They might use physical modalities to reduce pain and inflammation, muscle and tendon tightness and prevent muscle atrophy. They can also fit you with an orthosis to reduce muscle tightness as well as improve your walking and arm function.
An Occupational Therapist will focus on various physical activities required for daily living for patients with severe physical and/or cognitive impairment and also teach cognitive exercises thereby compensating the cognitive deficits. Visual Training exercises are provided to individuals with visual impairment due to the neurological problem. The final phase of treatment involves patient training for successful community integration (education, employment etc).
A Neuropsychologist evaluates patients with depression and anxiety, that is commonly seen after any major life-changing illness or injury and guides them through the process of rehabilitation thereby improving their quality of life through motivation and counseling. Performing an in-depth cognitive assessment and planning cognitive re-training exercises and compensatory strategies is also a major treatment aspect of a Neuropsychologist.
Malnutrition or undernourishment is a common problem in this population. For optimal recovery, a Nutritionist recommends an appropriate intake of nutrition.
A Rehabilitation Nurse trains patients with central nervous system injury to manage their bowel and bladder independently. Performing and training wound care management for patients with pressure ulcers are also handled by a Rehabilitation Nurse.
Expectations of Recovery
The goal of this structured physical exercise program is to improve oxygenation to your heart and other muscles of your body as well as train them to extract oxygen from blood in an efficient manner which in turn will decrease blood pressure, lower heart rate, decrease shortness of breath, increase endurance, improve mood, decrease fatigue, improve walking and other physical activities. Studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation program decreases complications and mortality due to cardiac conditions.