Aortic Valve Regurgitation Exercise

Is there an aortic valve regurgitation exercise?

Aortic valve regurgitation can be a very debilitating condition. It can be uncomfortable and, in worst case scenarios, fatal. So, is there an aortic valve regurgitation exercise?

So, what is it and how can you help manage the condition using aortic valve regurgitation exercises?

First things first, we'll look at the condition itself.

Aortic valve regurgitation is a problem that occurs in the aortic valve of the heart (as you've probably guessed).

The job of the aortic valve is to let blood flow from the lower left chamber of the heart - known as the ventricle - into the aorta itself, and subsequently into the rest of the body.

Aortic valve regurgitation occurs when the valve doesn't close as it should and allows some blood to leak back into the left ventricle. As a result of this, the heart is forced to work harder in order to compensate for the lack of blood in the body.

Interestingly, it's possible for someone to have aortic valve regurgitation for years without symptoms emerging. This is usually referred to as chronic aortic valve regurgitation.

What are the causes of aortic valve regurgitation?

There are a number of different causes of chronic valve problems, including:

  • Being born with the condition
  • Aging
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Enlargement of the aorta as a result of high blood pressure
  • Enlargement of the aorta following the hardening of the arteries

In certain rare cases, aortic valve regurgitation can occur suddenly and without warning, which is known as acute aortic valve regurgitation, and it can be dangerous. Again, there are a number of different causes to the acute version of the condition:

  • Endocarditis, an infection in the heart
  • The inner layer of the aorta becoming separate from the middle layer, a condition known as aortic dissection
  • Issues following an aortic valve replacement
  • Trauma to either the heart valve or aorta

How can you help to combat aortic valve regurgitation?

If you're currently a smoker, consider quitting. Your doctor should be able to offer you advice and recommend products that'll help you give up.

Don't overdo drink. Again, the same principle applies here: excessive drinking can cause issues with your heart over the long term.

Follow a healthy diet. It's important that you take in food and drink that's good for your heart, and to avoid taking in too much sodium. You should try to avoid food that raises your cholesterol. Take in plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy whole grains.

Lose weight. This obviously won't be necessary for everyone, but if you do have excess weight, losing it can have a positive impact. You should try to weigh yourself daily to make sure you stay on top of any changes: gaining weight rapidly can be a sign of issues.

Light exercise. Again, this will depend on your individual symptoms. Some people will be unable to start an exercise program if their regurgitation is too severe. Consult your doctor if you're unsure whether or not exercise will be suitable for you personally.

The important thing to bear in mind about aortic valve regurgitation exercises is this: you need to be VERY careful when exercising with this condition. It is a very serious issue and can potentially be fatal. You should only ever raise your heart rate with your doctor’s consent.

Ensure you take care of your day-to-day health

Aortic valve regurgitation exercise: As well as exercising and taking in a healthy diet, there are a number of ways that you can help maintain your current level of health, and avoid your symptoms worsening over time.

See your doctor as soon as you encounter symptoms. Chest pain or chest pressure, fainting and shortness of breath can all be signs that you're in need of surgery. Should you feel the beginnings of any of them, seek medical assistance immediately.

Have checks regularly. There are a number of tests that will help you monitor your health as relates to your aortic valve issues. These include echo-cardiograms, electrocardiograms, MRIs, chest x-rays and exercise electrocardiograms, as well as others. Your doctor will usually recommend you undergoing these tests.

Make sure your dental hygiene is good. You might not be aware of this, but taking care of your teeth can help reduce your risk of further damaging your heart, because bacteria in the teeth and gums can spread to the heart valves.

Work to try and relax. A reduction in stress will help to reduce the pressure on your heart. Even day-to-day activities like yoga, meditation or getting a massage can help keep your heart rate down.

Get a regular flu shot. Again, this can help reduce the risk of aggravating your condition.

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Last Reviewed:
August 22, 2017
Last Updated:
October 17, 2017