Chronic Disease Management
Chronic disease is defined as a persistent or long lasting health condition. The term chronic is applied when the condition lasts longer than 12 weeks or 3 months. Chronic disease can be debilitating and affect many aspects of life. Often, the management of people with chronic conditions require a multidisciplinary and team-based approach between a General Practitioner (GP), Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist and other allied health care providers. People with chronic disease may suffer from pain and other symptoms that can be managed through a management plan. Management plans can be prescribed by an Enhance Physiotherapist or Enhance Exercise Physiologist and can include patient education, pain relief, self-management strategies and advice, guidance and support for weight management and individualized exercise programs.
Exercise is one of the most cost-effective medicines proven to prevent and treat a wide range of health conditions. Our clinical team is trained in prescribing the most effective exercises to treat your condition, while delivering a program that best suits your goals and needs.
Chronic diseases can include (but are not limited to):
- Cardiovascular disease
Also known as heart disease, heart attack, angina, heart failure, cardiomyopathy or stroke.
Exercise can help reduce or manage your risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, being overweight, and diabetes. It can also reduce disability and improve quality of life. 1
- Pulmonary disease
Also known as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Emphysema, Asthma, Bronchiectasis, Pulmonary Fibrosis or Pulmonary Hypertension.
Exercise can improve breathlessness, quality of life and reduce your risk of being admitted to hospital. 2
This can include Type I, Type II or gestational.
Exercise helps to manage diabetes by improving the body’s ability to move glucose out of the blood stream and improve insulin sensitivity. Exercise can prevent diabetes, which can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, nerve and vascular disease or complications during pregnancy. 3
Involves the “wearing” down of the joints in the body and can lead to joint pain and stiffness, reduced mobility and strength.
Exercise may assist to reduce pain and improve strength and stability around your joints. It can also help with weight loss, resulting in reduced load and pressure through your joints. This can lead to an overall improvement in function and quality of life. 4
Results in weak and brittle bones due to reduced bone density over time.
Exercise, specifically weight bearing and resistance exercise, helps build strong bones by improving bone density, and can slow the progression of osteoporosis. Balance and strengthening exercises can protect against falls, which can increase the risk of fractures in those with osteoporosis. 5
This includes all types of cancer.
Exercise can help prevent certain types of cancer (breast, colon, lung and prostate) and may be effective in boosting your treatment and immunity, improving treatment outcomes, and can improve your quality of life both during and after treatment. 6
- Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is pain lasting more than 12 weeks after injury.
Exercise is an essential part of treatment as it can help break the chronic pain cycle by reducing pain, managing stress and anxiety levels associated with chronic pain, improving sleep, and assisting you with returning to your normal activities quicker.7
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- Foundation, T., 2020. Cardiovascular Disease Fact Sheet. [online] The Heart Foundation. Available at: <https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/heart-disease-in-australia/cardiovascular-disease-fact-sheet.
- Lung Foundation Australia. 2020. What Is Lung Disease? | Lung Foundation Australia. [online] Available at: <https://lungfoundation.com.au/patients-carers/lung-health/what-is-lung-disease/?gclid=CjwKCAjwvtX0BRAFEiwAGWJyZA3joqbZwqG7ls07510ss2Gyb1cSKTxd7kEJrrOwMF6jsVPWszXMWxoCk6YQAvD_BwE.
- Diabetes, A. and diabetes, W., 2020. International Diabetes Federation – What Is Diabetes. [online] Idf.org. Available at: <https://www.idf.org/aboutdiabetes/what-is-diabetes.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwvtX0BRAFEiwAGWJyZOzTz97ATxrx23xjaIcXYvLwFhS2C4nl3ERUXsLb2txinWzwdh8DVhoCkroQAvD_BwE.
- Arthritis Australia. 2020. Osteoarthritis — Arthritis Australia – The Most Common Arthritis In Australia. [online] Available at: <https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/.
- Osteoporosis.org.au. 2020. Risk Factors | Osteoporosis Australia. [online] Available at: <https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/risk-factors.