Can You Exercise If You Have Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Mitral valve regurgitation significantly reduces the energy available to the body due to low blood flow. Thus, doctor’s advice is recommended prior to any exercise in the patient suffering from this condition.

Can You Exercise If You Have Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Can You Exercise If You Have Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Mitral valve regurgitation is the condition caused due to mitral valve insufficiency. Mitral valve is present at the opening of the left auricle and left ventricle and aids in unidirectional blood flow. When the abnormality in the mitral valve occurs, the blood from the ventricle flows back into the auricle. This leak of blood from ventricle back to auricle is known as mitral valve regurgitation. Acute mitral valve regurgitation causes severe symptoms such as severe shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and severe dizziness.

Exercise in some conditions makes the symptoms worse and may also cause heart failure. Further, the patient gets severe fatigue and may faint due to the reduced blood supply.

The symptoms and severity of the mitral valve regurgitation differ from patient to patient. Some patients do not experience any symptoms related to mitral valve regurgitation while the others are presented with mild symptoms. Mitral valve regurgitation may cause serious complications in some patients and these patients also experience severe symptoms. The ability to do exercise in patients with mitral valve regurgitation is evaluated on the basis of severity of the disease. If the patient does not experience any symptoms, patient should not have to limit exercise and physical activity. If the patient experiences mild to moderate symptoms, patient may participate in the exercise and physical activity while the patient with severe symptoms has to reduce the physical activity. Such patients have to ask the healthcare provider regarding which exercise is safer for them. Doing exercise in severe symptoms may further damage the heart and may lead to severe shortness of breath.

Some exercises such as isometric exercises should be avoided by the patient suffering from mitral valve regurgitation. These types of exercises are done to increases the muscle tone and create excess stress on heart. This will result in increased blood pressure as well as increased risk of heart failure.

Assistance and advice from doctor should be primarily important before starting any exercise or doing any work that requires significant physical activity.

Symptoms Of Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Various symptoms are associated with the mitral valve regurgitation. As the mitral valve regurgitation is related to the heart, the symptoms may be associated with heart as well as other organs as these are attached to the heart through blood supply. Following are the symptoms experienced by the patients suffering from mitral valve regurgitation:

Shortness Of Breath. Mitral valve regurgitation results in reduced blood flow due to the leakage of blood from the ventricle to the auricle. Thus, the oxygen supply to the organs gets reduced which result in the reflex of increased breathing and the patient feels shortness of breath.

Increased Blood Pressure. Mitral valve regurgitation causes a low amount of blood in the system causing the heart to supply more power. This results in increased blood pressure.

Chest Pain. As the heart has to work faster, and also there is a shortage of oxygen in the coronary artery, the energy crunch muscles are not able to work properly causing pain in the chest area.

Rapid Heartbeat. The heartbeat of the patient increases in order to compensate for the reduced blood flow and oxygen levels. In acute conditions, there are rapid increases in rate of heartbeat.

Fatigue. Patient with mitral valve regurgitation feel severe fatigue as there is reduced blood flow. The oxygen and other nutrients are not sufficiently available leading to increased weakness.

Swollen Ankles. Patient may also experience swollen ankles due to reduced blood circulation.

Neurological Symptoms. Patient also has the feeling of nausea and fainting and may also experience dizziness.


People with mild or no symptoms may perform exercise and can do physical activity. However, patients experiencing the severe symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation should avoid strenuous exercise.

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:December 22, 2023

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