You’ve heard of the silent killer, and now you’re worried about your health.
Heart disease is that infamous silent disease that could sneak up on you.
Maybe you have a family history of heart disease that you’re trying to get ahead of, or maybe you have a few of the known risk factors and want to improve your odds for fending off this disease.
Whatever your goals, we’re here to help.
You might not think of a Washington DC physical therapist as your first line of defense against heart disease, but we can help you manage your risks.
The risk of heart disease can be scary, but you don’t have to navigate these fears all on your own.
With general health and wellness plans tailored to your needs, physical therapy can be the tool you need to keep yourself on track.
Let’s talk more about heart disease and how physical therapy can help you reduce your risk.
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is a systemic cardiovascular disease that can make it difficult for your heart to keep up with you and what your body needs.
This widespread disease is one of the global leading causes of death, contributing to 17.8 million yearly global deaths.
Heart disease affects the blood vessels, but not just in your heart – it also affects the vessels in your brain and limbs.
It’s an umbrella term that defines a variety of diseases that affect these blood vessels.
What we call “heart disease” includes each of the diseases below, and more:
- Coronary artery disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart arrhythmia
- Heart failure
- Heart infection
- Congenital heart defects
- Heart valve disease
- Pulmonary embolism
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What Causes Heart Disease?
You may already be on the lookout for heart disease if it runs in your family, and that family history is a risk factor that should be monitored.
What are some of the other risk factors that could lead to heart disease?
Here are some of the big ones to remember:
- Smoking tobacco
- Lack of physical activity
- High cholesterol
- For men: being over the age of 45
- For women: being over the age of 55
How Do You Know If You Have Heart Disease?
Often, heart disease doesn’t show any symptoms in its early stages.
This disease is often referred to as a “silent” disease as a result.
Often it won’t be until you have a heart attack or experience heart failure that you notice you have a problem.
It’s also possible to detect if your health care provider notices that your heart rhythm isn’t regular.
This is why it’s so important to regularly see your primary care provider for checkups, especially as you get older.
If you think you might be at risk, know the symptoms of a heart attack so you can catch it early if it happens.
Look out for chest pain, a pain in your arm (starting at the shoulder, jaw, or neck), or sudden shortness of breath.
It could also coincide with fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and your heart racing, which causes palpitations.
How Can Physical Therapy For Heart Disease Help?
Heart disease and being at risk for it can cause complications for your health.
It’s important to have a team that will work with you to keep heart disease at bay – your physical therapist will be happy to be a part of that team.
From improving your mobility to helping manage your pain and chronic conditions, physical therapy can help you mitigate your risk of heart disease.
With prescribed exercise plans and general advice that you can bring home with you, we’ll be there with you every step of the way.
Let’s talk about some of the specific ways physical therapy can help you fend off heart disease.
1. Empowering You With Knowledge
Your first line of defense against heart disease is always education.
This can help you to recognize what will help you and what will hinder you.
You’ll receive a personalized exercise plan and learn about how your lifestyle affects your overall health.
Learning what to look out for from a physical therapist will empower you to take control of your health.
2. Muscle Strengthening Exercises
By keeping up with your muscular strength, you’ll be allowing yourself greater overall health.
Your physical therapist will guide you and make sure you’re doing an amount of exercise that’s appropriate for your level of activity and health.
Strength training should be an effective way to work on your health that won’t increase your risk of a cardiovascular event – as long as you’re not pushing past your limits.
3. Aerobic Endurance Exercises
If you’re at risk for heart disease you likely struggle with endurance and your ability to exercise enough.
Your physical therapist will be able to guide you through increasing this endurance, within your limits and keeping things safe for you.
With aerobic exercise you’ll improve your quality of life while decreasing your risk of serious disease – including heart disease.
4. Improving Respiration
Aiding breathing will help with your aerobic endurance, and this is another thing your physical therapist can assist you with.
Physical therapy can help you target the muscles that help improve your breathing.
You and your physical therapist will be able to come up with a routine that target your unique needs, as improving respiration can lead to a healthier heart.
5. Reducing Your Risk Factors
Your physical therapist will also be able to give you advice about how to lower the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
Decreasing your blood pressure and cholesterol will reduce your risk of a cardiac event that could lead to more issues.
With an exercise program tailored for you, other risk factors like depression and diabetes can be prevented from exacerbating your heart disease risk.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
If you’re someone who is at risk of heart disease and want to get ahead of those dangerous and scary complications, look no further.
At Capitol Physical Therapy we’re here to help and guide you.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC