Some heart abnormalities may be more likely to occur during strenuous exercise. Therefore, if you have shown signs or symptoms of heart disease or if you are at greater risk for certain heart conditions, your doctor may recommend a treadmill stress test.
The ‘stress test’ is one of the most widely used diagnostic and preventive cardiology interventions available. And at Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular, it is administered to patients while being closely monitored by a nurse, cardiologist and cardiovascular technician .
How does the Treadmill Stress Test work?
Because exercise makes our hearts pump harder and faster than it does for most daily activities, this test can detect heart conditions that would not be noticeable otherwise.
The test, which can also be performed on a stationary bike, analyzes how well a patient’s heart is working during strenuous physical activity.
The stress test is usually done via an electrocardiogram (known as an ECG or EKG), which is used to measure a heart’s electrical activity. For the ECG, painless electrodes are placed at specific locations on the chest, arms, and legs.
The patient then walks on a treadmill or pedals on a stationary bike. Breathing and blood pressure rates as well as heart rhythm are all monitored as the patient exercises. This results in a visual representation of the heart’s electrical activity, indicating if one or more of several heart-related conditions may be present (disorders that are not related to the heart can also be detected).