Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Heart Conditions- How Therapy Can Be Modified for A Beneficial Treatment

February is known as the American Heart Month. CV disease is a rising concern in our society today. Especially with poor eating habits and inactive lifestyles. Heart conditions range from high and low blood pressure, to angina, heart attacks and CHF. Many people with these kinds of conditions may be hesitant to receive any type of manual therapy. However, treatment can be done with some simple modifications to positioning and pressure to ensure a safe AND beneficial treatment.

Before treatment consult your family doctor. They will be able to tell you if manual therapy is right for you and your condition. Once your doctor has given you the green light, book an appointment for the therapy you are wanting to try. Your therapist will then ask you to complete a health history form. The most important thing to remember is to be as honest and open as possible. Include as many details as you can about your health to give the therapist information relating to your treatment.

Make sure to have an open conversation with your therapist. Keep those lines of communication open during the length of your treatment and following. Here are some things your therapist may do as modifications for your treatment:

  1. Take your blood pressure before and after treatment- This will give the therapist an idea of what your blood pressure normally sits at. From there the therapist can modify your treatment accordingly. Following the treatment they will take it to ensure that the treatment was safe and did not cause any altering effects.
  2. Position you semi-reclined or right side lying- These positions will take the pressure off of the heart. They will usually be more comfortable for the patient.
  3. Shorter, segmental strokes- A lot of the time a therapist will use shorter, segmental strokes opposed to long, full limb effleurage .
  4. The use of relaxed breathing- Deep belly breathing is a great tool to use. It helps to increase relaxation and keep BP from rising.
  5. Using sedative techniques rather than exciting ones- The therapist will use more relaxing strokes rather than exciting ones. They may also avoid using any deep, painful pressure to keep BP from rising.
  6. Remove heat therapy applications.
  7. Checking in regarding pain scale, pressure and comfort levels- The patient is the main priority.

With these changes, treatment can be possible, safe and can be very helpful for the patient. Most importantly, work within your comfort level. Ask as many questions as you can. Be willing to share with your therapist and your doctor regarding any concerns you may have. Your therapist and doctor can work together to ensure a safe treatment that will benefit you, your body and your health.

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