Recovering From a Heart Attack

Heart attacks can occur when blood flow to the heart is greatly reduced or completely blocked, which could be due to a blood clot or plaque build up in the arteries. Following a heart attack, it is important to take the proper steps to fully recover and prevent further cardiovascular issues. The board certified providers at NOVA Cardiovascular Care in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, specialize in heart attack prevention and care and can help you recover and improve your cardiovascular health. 

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Heart attacks are also known as myocardial infarctions. They occur when most or all of the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, usually due to a blockage such as a clot. When there is not enough blood flow to the heart, the muscle can be damaged due to lack of oxygen. Restoring the blood supply as quickly as possible can help prevent permanent damage to the heart. 

Heat attacks usually come on suddenly and are often associated with several different symptoms. The specific symptoms experienced can differ from one person to another. You should call 911 immediately and seek emergency medical assistance if you believe you or someone else might be experiencing a heart attack. Major symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain, discomfort, or tightness in the chest that lasts for several minutes or more
  • An uncomfortable pressure or painful squeezing in the chest 
  • Pain and discomfort in the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach 
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Nausea 

Heart Attack Recovery

Many steps can be taken to recover and stay well following a heart attack, such as resting, engaging in light physical activity, and making dietary changes. Our cardiovascular specialists develop recovery plans tailored to the needs of each patient. 

During the early stages of recovery it is important to rest and relax. You might need a few weeks or months before returning to your regular activities. Taking time to rest gives the body a chance to begin repairing damage and slowly regain strength. 

At some point it will be important to become active again, but you’ll need to slowly ease back into activities. Taking short walks and other light activities will help you safely regain strength and improve heart health while you are recovering. In conjunction with exercise, adopting a heart-healthy diet is also important. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a heart-healthy eating plan. 

Reducing the Risk of a Heart Attack 

The experienced cardiovascular providers at our offices in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA, are experts in heart attack prevention and recovery. They can develop an individualized plan to help you recover from a heart attack and improve your cardiovascular health. Some steps that can be taken to improve heart health include:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight 
  • Consuming a balanced and health diet 
  • Engaging in moderate exercise regularly 
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels 
  • Practicing stress reduction techniques 
  • Limiting alcohol consumption 
  • Quitting smoking 

We can help you recover and improve cardiovascular health after experiencing a heart attack. Schedule an appointment with one of our providers to learn more about recovery following a heart attack by calling NOVA Cardiovascular Care in Woodbridge & Stafford, VA. Call (703) 492-6822 for the Woodbridge office or (540) 628-2173 for our Stafford location.

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