Benefits of exercise in peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease affects blood circulation in the arteries that lead to the legs and feet. It results in pain, weakness, numbness, or cramping — mostly in older people.

Researchers from the University of Florida, in Gainesville studied the effects of low intensity treadmill walking.

First, the details.

  • 13 patients with peripheral vascular disease volunteered for twice weekly exercise sessions for 6 consecutive weeks.
  • Sessions included a 10-minute stretching warm-up.
  • Each patient exercised for 10 to 20 minutes as tolerated on the treadmill.
  • Proprioceptive (unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation) was conducted following walking.

And, the results.

  • There was an average 148% improvement in distance, 34% in walking rate, and 94% in duration of walking.
  • 5 patients had more than a 100% improvement in walking distance.
  • 1 patient had a 100% improvement in the rate of walking.
  • 4 patients had more than a 100% improvement in duration.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded that walking on a treadmill improve the ability of patient with peripheral vascular disease to perform tasks.

These results support findings reported by researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago.

3/1/10 19:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.