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October is National Physical Therapy Awareness Month What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

By Dr. Joseph Freedman MD, MBA

October is National Physical Therapy Awareness Month, but we rarely think of therapy as an aftercare option for our heart disorders. If you’ve suffered from a heart attack, heart disease, or have had a cardiac procedure than you could greatly benefit from cardiac rehabilitative therapy.

The Details
Therapeutic rehab for your heart entails a multifocal approach. Your cardiologist will provide a step-by-
step program to keep your heart as healthy as possible. This will help to stop or stave off any future cardiac issues through education and lifestyle changes. Cardiac rehabilitation includes diet changes, exercise programs, lifestyle changes, stress reduction, and continuous monitoring and adjusting of your personalized rehabilitation as you heal.

Because each patient’s needs are unique, they will require precise plans depending on the severity of their overall health and contributing factors. First, a diet program will be implemented to keep your heart, and blood free from plaque build-up and atherosclerosis. The Mediterranean diet is usually one of the favored approaches by cardiologists due to its proven results.

Second, an exercise program will be put into place to keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing with oxygen density and nutrient-rich platelets. Not everyone is going to be able to exercise at the same intensity; some patients will be asked to do chair exercises, while others may be expected to walk 30 minutes per day. It’s going to be tailored to your particular case and then adjusted as needed, once you begin to feel more comfortable and stronger.

Third, you’re going to be asked to make any needed lifestyle changes. For example, if you smoke, you will be put on a smoking cessation plan with attainable goals and actions. If you drink excessive alcohol, you will be provided with help to decrease and quit drinking. If you have a difficult time with undue stress, anxiety or depression, your doctor will make the appropriate decision to get you the help you need or put you on specific medications to help you become less stressed or depressed.

Cardiac Rehabilitative Therapy is designed with you and your future heart health in mind. It’s always best to speak directly with your physician before completely changing your diet or exercise program, so once you seek care for cardiac rehab, your doctor will construct a precise plan to suit your specific needs and incorporate a coordinated lifestyle strategy. Your program will be monitored closely to make certain that it’s working accurately for you and it will also be adjusted as needed as your progress in your heart health.

Joseph Freedman, M.D., Cardiac Care Group
Dr. Freedman brings many years of experience as a cutting edge cardiologist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all cardiac disease. He trained at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, continually ranked #1 in Cardiovascular Care, where he focused on cardiac imaging. He achieved five board certifications in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Comprehensive Adult ECHO, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT. During his tenure as the lead noninvasive cardiologist at Florida Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, he helped lead the hospital to achieve Level 5 chest pain certification, the highest designation of cardiac excellence.

He has spoken on national health care radio programs and has appeared on local news, highlighting the latest in cardiovascular care. Dr. Freedman prides himself on being an advocate for the patient. Every patient is unique, and he works carefully with leading local and national experts to make sure patients receive the best specialty procedural care possible for that particular case. Dr. Freedman has done research in cardiac MRI studies of the heart, in nuclear scanning, and has participated in the research trials of several leading cholesterol-lowering drugs. Dr. Freedman also has extensive experience in pulmonary hypertension and ran a large clinic in Broward County for these specific and often undiagnosed patients. Dr. Freedman speaks Spanish.

Contact Cardiac Care Group at (239) 574-8463

Cardiac Care Group
3208 Chiquita Blvd S., Suite 110, Cape Coral, FL 33914
(239) 574-8463

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