The Autonomic Cardiovascular גדי ברטור 18-1


The Autonomic Cardiovascular Control System in Physical Therapy Treatments:
Heart Rate Variability with and without Biofeedback

 Gadi Bartur, Sara Peleg-Shani



The autonomic nervous system controls and regulates proper functioning of all the vital organs of the body. The functioning of the cardiovascular control system is commonly assessed non-invasively, by measuring Heart Rate Variability (HRV), during rest and activity. Autonomic instability presenting with signs of increased sympathetic tone is a common phenomenon following stroke, COPD, and chronic pain.


Aim: To propose the use of the HRV measure in physical therapy research and practice.
Methods: A non-systematic search of the professional and scientific literature for studies that usedHRV to assess the cardiovascular control system


Results: The useof HRV to assess health and disease is well documented in the scientific literature.HRV can be influenced through physical training or paced breathing exercises. The autonomic cardiovascular system has been found to play a major role in relation to pain, cognitive functions, physical training,and physical and emotional resilience.
Conclusions: The abundantresearch documenting ways to influence the cardiovascular system calls for the incorporation of these methods into the field of physical therapy research and practice for the treatment of stroke, chronic pain, COPD, as well as for healthful practice of exercise and sports.

Keywords: Heart Rate Variability, Cardiovascular Control System, Biofeedback, Paced Breathing        

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