Features of rehabilitation after a heart attack

Features of rehabilitation after a heart attack

Features of rehabilitation after a heart attack

Myocardial infarction is a dangerous disease in which the blood supply to the body is disrupted, which leads to the development of tissue necrosis. Official statistics show that in 40% of cases, the cause of death is precisely a heart attack.

Thanks to the possibilities of medicine, in most cases, the patient can be saved. But he will need to undergo a long course of rehabilitation in order to restore his working capacity and return to a full life.

It is impossible to say exactly how long the recovery process after a heart attack will take, since its duration depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. With a small-focal uncomplicated heart attack, it is possible to return to the previous life in six months. With an extensive heart attack with large areas of necrosis, accompanied by complications, recovery may take 1-2 years.

Tasks and principles of rehabilitation after a heart attack

During the recovery period, it is necessary to solve several problems:

Take the patient out of a difficult situation and stressful condition;
Restore myocardial contractility;
Adapt the body to new conditions;
Increase endurance;
Prevent the development of complications and relapses;
Stabilize the condition;
Improve the quality of life and increase its duration.

But in order to succeed, you must strictly follow the basic principles:

Early start of rehabilitation measures – within the first two days, immediately after the elimination of the acute phase;
Stages and gradualness;
Individual approach;
Participation of various specialists: cardiologist, rehabilitation therapist, psychologist, nutritionist, exercise therapy doctor, social workers.
Stages of recovery after a heart attack
The rehabilitation period consists of three stages: stationary, post-stationary and supporting.

Stationary stage

In the hospital, the patient undergoes drug therapy, gets used to moderate physical exertion and receives psychological assistance, which allows him to stabilize the condition and adapt to the changes that have occurred.

The success of rehabilitation depends on the professionalism of doctors and medical personnel, constant monitoring of vital signs. It is necessary to pay attention to the patient and surround him with care.

Post-stationary stage

Post-stationary recovery is possible in:

Boarding house for the elderly;
Specialized sanatorium;
Rehabilitation center;
Home conditions.
It is much more difficult for older people to recover and adapt, which requires 24/7 care. Therefore, it is advisable to temporarily settle the patient in a boarding house for the elderly, where he will be provided with qualified high-level care and organized leisure.

In the sanatorium, the patient can not only undergo treatment, but also relax and take part in recreational activities.

The rehabilitation center has all the necessary conditions for a high-quality recovery of the body. Experienced highly qualified specialists work here, there is modern equipment, methods that have proven their effectiveness are used.

When undergoing rehabilitation after myocardial infarction at home, it is necessary to provide systematic examinations of a cardiologist and psychological assistance. It is imperative to monitor compliance with the regimen and the intake of medications prescribed by the doctor. All this is quite possible, but very difficult, since it requires maximum discipline from both the recovering person and his loved ones.

Most often, after the inpatient stage, doctors send patients after a heart attack to a specialized rehabilitation center , after which they recommend continuing the recovery at home, periodically visiting the clinic.

Supporting stage

This stage lasts a lifetime. To minimize the risk of relapse, you will have to constantly take supportive medications, follow a diet, do feasible physical work, lead a correct lifestyle, and regularly visit doctors.

Rehabilitation types

The attending physician individually selects a rehabilitation program, taking into account the severity of heart failure, the severity of the condition, the presence of complications and other diseases, the nature of the heart attack, the age and physical fitness of the patient.

There are several types of rehabilitation:

Drug rehabilitation
People who have had a heart attack need to take medications.

In some cases, in addition to medication, surgical treatment may be required – stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting.

At the post-stationary and supportive stages, the attending physician prescribes medications individually, taking into account the characteristics of the body, concomitant diseases that caused the thrombus formation. Regular monitoring of the condition is very important, which will allow, at the slightest deterioration, to adjust the treatment.

Physical rehabilitation

Particular attention is paid to the restoration of physical skills. This process should be gradual. In the hospital, the patient re-learns to turn on the bed and sit, wash and brush his teeth. After a while, he begins to perform the simplest exercises and move around the room. In the next step, he is allowed to walk down the hospital corridor and then go up and down the stairs.

In the post-stationary period, the loads are gradually increased.

Physical activity should include:

Everyday activity – work at home, in the garden and in the garden (hard work and weight lifting are categorically contraindicated);
Physiotherapy – the doctor selects a set of exercises individually;
Dosed walking (terrenkur) – normal (walking) and Scandinavian, as well as climbing and descending stairs;
Cardiovascular exercises (exercise bikes, treadmills, walking simulators, climbing stairs, skiing, rowing);
Aerobic exercise (jogging, skiing, cycling, swimming, yoga).
At first, it is enough to practice daily for a quarter of an hour. Each week, the duration of the session is increased by five minutes until it is brought to an hour. You need to know that in the absence of physical activity, the likelihood of a second heart attack increases by 25%. But do not overload the body, which can also provoke a heart attack. The loads should be dosed and correspond to the capabilities of the person.

Mental rehabilitation

In the first month, increased attention should be paid to the psychological state of a person who has suffered a heart attack. It is at this stage that he especially acutely feels his helplessness, begins to realize the consequences of the disease, experiences fear of a new attack. Therefore, the patient becomes nervous and irritable, can show aggression, which often becomes the cause of depression or neurosis. In this case, you will need the help of a psychologist. The specialist will help you accept the situation and get rid of negative thoughts, tune in to the positive and believe that a normal life is possible after a heart attack, will teach you how to control emotions. Thinking positively will dramatically speed up your recovery.

What is included in the post-infarction rehabilitation program

In addition to drug treatment, the resumption of physical performance and the stabilization of the psychological state, the rehabilitation program involves adherence to a diet and a healthy lifestyle.


A properly composed diet will allow not only to restore the body after a serious illness, but also to prevent relapse. In the first days, the patient is given small portions to reduce the load on the heart. The menu consists of soups and vegetable purees without added salt and spices.

In the future, you will have to follow the principles of rational nutrition:

There are often, but little by little;
Refuse harmful products (fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, sauces, smoked meats, spices, pickles, canned food, sweets, fast foods, semi-finished products, coffee);
Increase the consumption of seafood, vegetables and fruits, fish, lean meat, dairy products;
Drink no more than one and a half liters of liquid per day.
If you have excess weight, you need to lose weight. To do this, you should reduce the calorie content of food. In no case should you “sit down” on a strict diet.


In the future, you will have to follow the principles of rational nutrition

To prevent a second attack, you will have to “forget” about bad habits: quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol. It is also necessary to fully rest and sleep for at least 8 hours, refuse to visit the steam room, baths and saunas, learn to avoid stress and dose physical activity, formulate the correct life attitudes, maintain calmness and emotional stability.

Regular preventive examinations by a cardiologist, laboratory tests, ultrasound, ECG and stress tests are required, which will allow you to notice and prevent possible complications in a timely manner.

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