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Clinical exercise testing is an extremely beneficial procedure that provides both diagnostic and prognostic information to evaluate an individual’s capacity for dynamic exercise. There are many reasons to utilize clinical exercise testing, two specific purposes for conducting clinical exercise testing are: to evaluate the level and causes of exercise intolerance, and to evaluate the effect of therapeutic interventions.
Evaluating the level and causes of exercise intolerance is important for medical professionals to be able to identify and understand. Although there are many causes for exercise intolerance, the clinical studies on multiple participants can provide more information to help medical professionals know how to help those with this condition. “Although total body and myocardial oxygen consumption (MV ̇O2) are directly related, the relationship between these variables can be altered by exercise training, medications, and disease. For example, exercise-induced myocardial ischemia may cause left ventricular dysfunction, exercise intolerance, and a hypotensive blood pressure (BP) response” (Medicine pg. 143, 2013). Individuals undergoing this testing may suffer or show symptoms of orthopedic limitations, pulmonary disease, obesity, neurologic disorders, Left ventricle dysfunction, and deconditioning.
Evaluating the effect of therapeutic interventions is also important when helping individuals overcome medical barriers. There are multiple therapeutic interventions that can be utilized, knowing what method works best for each specific condition and individual is why evaluating the effects of therapeutic interventions is so important. Those undergoing this type of testing my suffer form or show symptoms of hemodynamics, ECG waveforms, and ventilatory gas exchange responses.
One exercise test modality is the Cycle Ergometer Test. This test is most widely used in European countries. This is an aerobic fitness test that is appropriate to use for individuals with limitations that could hinder their movement on a treadmill such as orthopedic limitations, those that are obese, and those that suffer from peripheral vascular or neurologic imitations. The cycle ergometers require less movement in the patients arms, and core during exercise making results more accurate for reading ECG recordings and blood pressure measurements.
Each individual patient vastly differs from another regardless of possible similarities in their medical histories. For this reason, it is crucial for medical professionals to individualize exercise protocols for each patient. “Whichever exercise protocol is chosen, it should be individualized so that the treadmill speed and increments in grade are based on the subjects perceived functional capacity,” (American College of Sports Medicine, 2014, p. 126). By individualizing patients exercise protocol there are advantages in the patient’s improvements in their tolerance and test qualities.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2014). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (9th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ERS Education. (2011, Aug. 25). Cardiopulmonary exercise testing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/YDZxVtRJtMo