How your body reacts to physical activity or other stressors is a key indicator of your heart health. Stress testing including treadmill stress tests and exercise stress echocardiograms are among the diagnostic services that may be performed. Some tests are designed to measure your heart rate while you’re at rest, while others will require physical exercise.
Learn more about specific heart conditions and treatments below.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A stress test (also called treadmill or exercise ECG) is done to monitor the heart while you walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike. Your doctor also monitors your breathing and blood pressure.
A stress test may be used to detect coronary artery disease, or to determine safe levels of exercise after a heart attack or heart surgery. This test can also be done using special medicines that stress the heart in a similar manner as exercise does.
Some heart problems – particularly those involving the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle – occur only during physical activity.
For a stress echocardiogram, ultrasound images of your heart are taken before and immediately after walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. If you’re unable to exercise, you may get an injection of a medication to make your heart pump as hard as if you were exercising.