Can Exercise Cause Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Can Exercise Cause Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

If you are suffering from mitral valve prolapse and still continue to perform vigorous exercises then it may be possible that it can cause mitral valve regurgitation. In general, if people who have weaker heart due cardiomyopathy, endocarditis, rheumatic fever, and atrial fibrillation continue to perform high strength exercises, then there is a chance of mitral valve regurgitation.

Mitral valve regurgitation can happen because of bacterial endocarditis, rupture or deterioration of papillary muscle, Mitral valve prolapse. Impaired mitral valve does not close completely and allows the tiny flow of blood leaking back into the atrium producing a heart murmur. Moderate to severe form of prolapse can cause mitral regurgitation.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by walking, exercise and physical activity is very helpful in maintaining good health. Like all the body parts, heart muscles get stronger with exercise. Exercise helps the heart to function efficiently and cardiologist advice patients to perform physical activity depending upon the patients’ health status. Individuals who do not do physical activity should start with mild intensity activity for a short duration of time.

Can Exercise Cause Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Aerobic exercise in the form of walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling can be started after seeking to advice with the cardiologist. Aerobic exercise for a period of 30 minutes at a stretch is a good way to start. A person suffering from mitral regurgitation should monitor vital heart functions such as heart rate. If the person feels the heartbeat is very fast or feeling lightheaded or faintness stop exercise.

Mitral valve regurgitation is not a life-threatening condition, patients with mitral valve prolapse may show the symptoms of heart murmurs which progresses gradually and the surgeons advise for mitral valve replacement or mitral valve repair.

Patients suffering from mild to moderate form of mitral valve regurgitation (MR) usually do not produce any symptoms and hence there is no restriction on your physical activity. Patients, who have developed symptoms of mitral regurgitation in the form of irregular heart rhythms, increase in the size of the heart, impaired functioning, and such patients should be cautious about the duration and intensity of the exercise.

Usually, a low-intensity physical activity in the form of walking can help you to keep your heart healthy. Increase physical activity only after you confirm with the cardiologist. Doctor can be the best guide to create a safe exercise plan. Your cardiologist can narrow down the physical activities which are good for your heart depending upon the heart strength and health status. If patients are suffering from severe mitral regurgitation doctors advise limiting the physical activity as this adds stress to the already weak muscles and the impaired valve.

Stage Of Mitral Valve Regurgitation And Exercise

People with mild to moderate regurgitation who have normal heart function can perform physical activity and it will not add to the symptoms.

Care should be taken in patients who have impaired heart function. Such patients are advised to undertake a mild to moderate form of physical activity such as walking and swimming.

People with severe mitral regurgitation should limit exercise and should consult the cardiologist

Patients with mitral regurgitation should avoid exercises which cause contraction of muscles to tone and strengthen it. Avoid all exercises which cause sudden exertion, as it will cause the heart to put extra efforts to pump blood and can also increase the blood pressure. Basically, such patients should avoid isometric exercises.

Mitral valve is present between the left atrium and ventricle plays an important role in the flow of blood and the volume of blood which is pumped with each heartbeat. The mitral valve should close completely and tightly after each heartbeat to prevent backflow of blood. A normal functioning valve closes regularly. The word regurgitation refers to leakage of the blood which was pumped into the ventricle back to the atrium.


Exercise helps in managing heart-related ailments and your cardiologist will be the best guide to decide the type of exercise, intensity, and duration. Patients with mild to moderate mitral valve regurgitation can perform exercise whereas patients with severe mitral valve regurgitation are asked to avoid or limit exercise and exertion. Ideally, patients with mitral regurgitation should do about two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in a week. Patients are encouraged to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 15, 2019

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