What is a Stress Test?

The Stress Test is known by several names, including the Treadmill Test or the Exercise Tolerance Test. Basically, the stress test is performed to determine whether your heart gets enough blood flow and oxygen when it’s working the hardest, such as when you are exercising. These tests are often given to people who are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms and who may appear to have coronary artery disease. Stress tests may also be used to address the effectiveness of heart disease treatment or determining the safety of a proposed exercise program.

How do I prepare for the test?

Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and athletic shoes. It is important to tell us if you have had any chest pain or pressure on the day of your test. Also, try to avoid eating a large meal just before the test.

What can I expect when the test is performed?

First, you will have an EKG. Your blood pressure will also be taken. Several plastic-coated wires (or leads) will be taped to your arms and one leg. This helps us detect your heart’s electrical pattern while you are exercising. Your blood pressure and heart rate will also be monitored during the test. You will be asked to walk on the treadmill for about 10 minutes. The speed and also the steepness of the treadmill will incrase several times while you are exercising.

Let the person monitoring you know immediately if you feel chest pain or heaviness, shortness of breath, leg pain or weakness, or other unusual symptoms. Also let us know if you think you can’t continue exercising. After the exercise period is complete, your blood pressure will be checked again.

If you have any questions, please call one of our Outpatient Diagnostic Centers.