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Physical Therapy Guide to Heart Disease and Heart Failure

By: Anna Hilpertshauser PT, DPT

February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health.

Heart disease and heart failure are systemic cardiovascular diseases. They can affect exercise tolerance, endurance, and quality of life. Cardiovascular diseases make it difficult for a person’s heart to keep up with their body’s daily demands.

Heart disease is widespread. It resulted in 859,125 deaths in the United States in 2017, according to the American Heart Association. It also is the leading cause of death globally, with 17.8 million related deaths in 2017. This number is expected to grow to more than 2.2 million by 2030. Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death each year, taking more lives than cancer and lung diseases combined.

Heart failure affects an estimated 6.2 million Americans older than age 20. This number is expected to increase to affect greater than 8 million adults by the year 2030.


At A Step Ahead Physical Therapy, our skilled physical therapists can work with you to improve your cardiovascular endurance and capacity through our Wellness program. The Wellness program and an Annual Physical Therapy Exam can help people reduce their risk for developing heart disease and heart failure by identifying potential risk factors. After identifying risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, we develop a personalized plan to help reduce the symptoms and/or secondary effects from the disease to get you back to doing the things you love without as many limitations. Call our clinic (770) 998-6636 or schedule online to get a personalized evaluation and action plan to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and the symptoms that are associated with it.


Anna joined A Step Ahead Physical Therapy in 2022 and has been a physical therapist since graduating from Mercer University with her Doctorate in physical therapy in 2021. As a PT, she enjoys working with youth athletes, but also enjoys working with the weekend warriors and golfers. She has previously worked with and treated an array of orthopedic conditions within all lifespans.


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