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Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs

Cardiac rehabilitation programs help people to develop a lifestyle that will not only get them back to living a normal life, but reduce their risk of having problems in the future. These services may include diet plans, exercise plans, counseling for the elimination of smoking or drinking, and learning techniques to lower stress. Understanding the risk factors of heart disease as well as the other diseases this problem can cause is as important as the management of lifestyle in order to reduce further instance. If other diseases or conditions are contributing to a persons risk or have developed due to the onset of heart disease, cardiac rehab programs can aid in successful management.
Finding a program that seems to understand all the aspects of a persons unique situation is important to overall management. If a heart condition is not the only problem then related problems need to be treated as well. In addition, all aspects of physical and occupational therapy must be addressed. The administration of medication and recommendation of surgery should only be done by certified cardiac professionals. It is one thing to make a suggestion and a whole other thing to request drastic treatment; however, even the best doctor can be wrong so personal knowledge of up-to-date medical information as well as the understanding of ones body is crucial to making the final decision concerning drastic measures such as surgery and medication. Likewise, if a doctor suggests a person is fighting a losing battle or some discrepancy is found, searching for another doctor is required. The goal should be total possible recovery. In some instances total recovery is impossible due to the complete destruction of tissue caused by previous strokes or heart attacks.

Some services offered include proper nutrition counseling, detailed plans to reduce high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Cardiac rehabilitation programs also include getting a patient back where they previously were in terms of work and home functions. These include eating, dressing oneself, and mental concentration in order to perform on the job. In addition the elimination of drinking and smoking problems as well as the introduction or increase of physical activity will aid anyone in sustaining a healthier life. Any effort in obtaining and sustaining a healthier life will decrease disease, infection, and illness, which in turn offers a more enjoyable life. All this sounds good, but can be very wearing on the nerves and overall mental capacity. Cardiac rehab programs also offer emotional support during these major life changes. Additionally, if a person believes in the treatment then a positive view of the actions and outcome will further move a person toward success. “An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.” (Psalm 41:8)

This type of program may even be offered at the hospital making the transition from serious injury to a road to recovery much smoother. However, these cardiac rehabilitation programs tend to not have special equipment or resources required by some individuals. Outside sources focusing on the entire recovery may sometimes be more beneficial depending on the severity and uniqueness of the situation. In addition, some hospitals offer treatment starting in the hospital room with continuation in another area of the hospital for further treatment. Talking with the insurance company before any decision is made concerning treatment will aid in maximizing the dollar spent on continued care. Beware of the quality of the honored cardiac rehab programs from the insurance company; if the quality of the program is poor than it may be better to spend the money to get better care. Poor cardiac rehab programs can lead to continued health problems, which include more cost due to increased treatments and tests. The goals of all cardiac rehabilitation programs include strength conditioning, prevention, and getting back to a normal physical life. There are four main parts in any program: medical evaluation, implementation of physical activity, lifestyle education, and support. What this means is that past medical occurrences, possibility of future disease based on genetics and previous lifestyle choices, and good or bad habits need to be evaluated. Formulating a plan for these changes is key in the success of lowering risk for heart dysfunction. Support is important for the hard lifestyle changes that may be necessary in making a significant improvement in the life of any heart disease sufferer. Emotions may be elevated due to the dramatic changes to life when mortality issues are at hand. No matter whether a person is old or young, mildly impaired or significantly damaged, cardiac rehab programs can help. If a patient is older, careful monitoring is necessary for successful and safe treatment.

People who benefit include those who have a history of heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, chest pain, cardiomyopathy, or basically any type of heart problem. Some programs have specific time frames they work with, while others offer continued care throughout the rest of a persons life. Generally cardiac rehabilitation programs include cardiologists, nurse educators, dietitians, exercise rehabilitation specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. With a good team like this, successful management of any condition is possible. There are two types of treatment: early treatment and ongoing treatment. Most of the efforts during treatment will be complete lifestyle changes, therefore needing continual support and education. Without continued care, a person may end up slipping back into old habits and worsening health that was accomplished by the early efforts of treatment.

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