It is always interesting when someone asks you what line of work are you in? Quite often when I say I am a cardiac physiotherapist I am asked what is that. There is a generally a good understanding of what a general physiotherapist does but there is a fascination with what a cardiac physiotherapist do.
So what is a cardiac physiotherapist?
A cardiac physiotherapist is an exercise professional who is competent at exercise testing and prescribing an exercise regime that can optimise your cardiovascular benefit from exercise. Physiotherapy led cardiac rehabilitation programmes have been found to improve your quality of life and your health by optimising your performance. These programmes reduce your readmission and length of stay in hospital significantly and as well as reducing your risk of a further cardiac event by almost one third.
A cardiac physiotherapist is able to interpret abnormal findings from the testing and recommend an appropriate intervention. He/she is in a unique position to prescribe an exercise regime to optimise blood pressure management, diabetes management, optimisation of energy sourcing. He/ she is in a unique position to adapt your exercise if you suffer from joint limitation e.g.arthritis, back pain, joint replacements, stroke and respiratory conditions. These conditions can be treated promptly.
Their knowledge base includes all areas of human movement and energy production. This enables them to listen you how you are feeling apply the appropriate exercise test and start a care plan that will help improve your symptoms. For example if you are suffering from fatigue, a cardiac physiotherapist is able to exercise test you to see if there is anything that needs further review by your doctor. He or she will also examine blood results and prescribe exercise to improve blood pressure, glucose tolerance testing, cholesterol and weight management. The cardiac physiotherapist’s training allows him or her to prescribe exercise that will not compromise your heart and will enhance your overall performance thus improving your energy levels. This offloads the work of the heart and improves your longevity.
As with all physiotherapist when you list yourself as a specialist physiotherapist in an area he or she has completed specialist training in the area of cardiology and will have worked in the area for a number of years in the speciality.
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