Photo: Nick Lister, MS, cardiac rehabilitation therapist, Hudson Hospital Rehabilitation Center works with patients at the Fitness Center on equipment like this NuStep recumbent cross trainer. Hospital volunteer Donna Christensen gets some instructions on using the cardiac rehabilitation equipment.
Life after a heart attack or other serious heart problem isn’t simple. It takes months of rehabilitation to keep your ticker healthy and strong. Hudson Hospital Rehabilitation Center offers patients a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program including education, therapy and activity for optimal heart health.
Cardiac rehab is a professionally supervised program to help people recover from heart attacks, heart surgery and procedures such as stenting and angioplasty. Cardiac rehab programs usually provide education and counseling services to help heart patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms, improve health and reduce the risk of future heart problems. A personalized treatment plan is designed to fit the patient’s personal needs and goals. Each patient’s cardiac rehab may vary, however, the typical session runs between 6 and 15 weeks, exercising and meeting with professionals 2-3 days per week.
Regular physical activity helps your heart and the rest of your body get stronger and work better. Physical activity improves your energy level and lifts your spirits. It also reduces your chances of future heart problems, including heart attack. Counseling and education can help you quit smoking, eat right, lose weight, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Counseling may also help you learn to manage stress and to feel better about your health. Patients have the advice and close supervision of healthcare professionals to help you improve your health and lower your risk of future problems. These professionals can also communicate with your primary care doctor or cardiologist. Most patients participating in cardiac rehab also work in groups – with other patients recovering from similar problems.
The patient’s primary physician is the best source of information for referral to cardiac rehab therapy. Most insurances will cover cardiac rehab for patients who have had a heart attack, angioplasty – with or without stents, valve repair/replacement, CABG or stable angina. Some insurance companies will cover cardiomyopathy or CHF. Patients should contact their insurance providers to verify coverage. Physicians should inform their patients that cardiac rehabilitation is supervised exercise with continuous monitoring of heart rate and rhythm. Also, blood pressure will be taken before, during and after exercise and for patients with diabetes. Blood sugar will be measured pre- and post- exercise. The Rehabilitation Center also offers options to extend fitness, counseling and other activities after the session has ended.
Lincoln Likness, DO, Spine & Sports Medicine, Hudson Physicians, is the 2013 medical director for Rehabilitation Services and provides oversight of the cardiac rehabilitation program. Dr. Likness enjoys working with the patient’s primary care provider or cardiologist to ensure best possible outcomes and experience. For more information about the cardiac rehabilitation program at Hudson Hospital Rehabilitation Center, contact Nick Lister, cardiac rehab therapist at (715) 531-6400.