Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common disease of the blood vessels located outside the heart and brain. It is often a result of a buildup – made up of cholesterol and fatty acids – in the arteries. This restricts the blood flow to the arms, kidneys, stomach, and legs and causes pain and cramping in the legs. But exercising regularly is one of the best ways to improve walking performance in people with PAD, suggests a new study published in the journal JAMA.
The findings suggest that people with peripheral artery disease, walking for exercise at an intensity that ischemic leg pain improves walking performance.
How Exercise Can Help People With Peripheral Artery Disease?
The study examined 305 people with peripheral artery disease at four healthcare centres. They were divided into high-intensity exercise, low-intensity exercise and a control group that got telephone calls that were not about exercise. People involved in the trial were asked to walk up to 50 minutes per session, five days a week. People in the high-intensity group were asked to walk at a fast pace to obtain ischemic leg symptoms using exercise, while those in the low-intensity group were asked to walk at a comfortable pace.
After following the participants for 12 months, researchers found that walking elicits ischemic leg pain reap the benefits of exercise. Lead investigator Dr Mary McDermottt, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that the pain will reduce over time, and they will eventually be able to walk without discomfort. It could help people with PAD as exercise promotes the growth of new small blood vessels to their muscles.
No Pain, No Gain For People With Peripheral Artery Disease
Preliminary research has suggested that intensive exercise stimulates certain biologic pathways that promote improved mitochondrial activity, the cell’s chemical energy source. McDermott said, “for people with PAD, the exercise promotes the growth of new small blood vessels to their muscles.”
As per the study results, people in the high-intensity group significantly improved the distance they could walk in sex minutes compare to those in the low-intensity or control group. By the end of the study, the high-intensity exercise group was also able to improve the length of time they could walk on the treadmill.
Exercise: The Best Way To Help People With PAD
When your muscles cramp every time, you walk due to peripheral artery disease, exercising may be able to help in such a situation. According to McDermott, it is the most effective non-invasive therapy that could help people with PAD. “Patients with PAD should be advised to walk for exercise at a pace that induces ischemic leg symptoms in order to get a benefit.”
(with inputs from agencies)
Published : April 8, 2021 11:38 pm