New research indicates that one in five patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) will experience kinesiophobia, or fear of movement. The result of kinesiophobia is that patients who suffer from it move less, and this lack of movement may have a detrimental effect on thier health.
After an acute cardiac event, like a heart attack, many people feel that movement will harm them. Therefore, some patients may be less likely to participate in essential exercise or cardiac rehabilitation.
A doctoral thesis from Maria Back at the University of Gothenberg, Sweden, looked at 332 patients who had an acute cardiac event. Of these patients, one in five demonstrated kinesiophobia up to six months after their acute cardiac event. Those with kinesiophobia performed worse on muscle tests, had a poorer quality of life, and were more likely to experience anxiety and depression.
The information lead researchers to conclude that identification of those patients with kinesiophobia is essential to ensure that they are participating fully in a progressive exercise and cardiac rehabilitation program.
If you have had a heart attack or suffer from CAD, talk to your doctor about your current exercise and physical fitness level. You may benefit from a specialized cardiac rehabilitation program to help you improve your fitness level. This may help decrease your chances of future cardiac problems and may help improve your quality of life.