Exercise improves leg pain caused by arterial disease

Feb 02, 2009

Patients with leg pain caused by arterial disease may be able to forego treatment of the affected artery by participating in hospital-supervised exercise, according to a new study published in the February issue of Radiology.

Intermittent claudication is a painful leg condition affecting some patients with peripheral arterial disease. Various treatments are available, including drug therapy or endovascular revascularization, a minimally invasive technique that widens and restores blood flow to the affected artery.

"The results from our clinical trial demonstrate that after six and 12 months, patients with intermittent claudication benefited equally from either revascularization or supervised exercise," said the study's lead author, Sandra Spronk, Ph.D., researcher in the Department of Epidemiology and Radiology at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. "However, improvement is more immediate following revascularization."

For the study, 151 patients with intermittent claudication were randomly assigned to undergo revascularization or hospital-supervised exercise. Supervised exercise consisted of 30-minute, semi-weekly sessions of walking on a treadmill. Follow-up was performed after six and 12 months.

The patients who had undergone revascularization showed more immediate improvement. However, no significant differences were observed between the two groups after six months or 12 months with functional capacity and quality of life scores increasing for all patients.

"Revascularization is increasingly being performed as a first line of treatment," Dr. Spronk said. "This study emphasizes that all patients with intermittent claudication should initially be treated with exercise training, and that invasive procedures should be considered only if symptoms fail to improve."

Source: Radiological Society of North America

Explore further: Group B streptococcus incidence rises significantly among newborns

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fatty liver disease can lead to heart attack

Apr 19, 2011

Because of the prevalence of obesity in our country, many Americans are expected to develop a serious condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can lead to cirrhosis, fibrosis, and in some cases liver ...

Recommended for you

EU seeking to create $1.27 billion Ebola fund

19 minutes ago

European Union nations are working to reach 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in aid by the end of the week to fight Ebola in West Africa and are seeking a common approach to the crisis.

Panic over Ebola echoes the 19th-century fear of cholera

21 minutes ago

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed ...

EU tackles Ebola response

3 hours ago

European Union foreign ministers thrashed out measures to help halt Ebola's deadly spread on Monday, as Nigeria—Africa's most populous country—was expected to be declared free of the disease.

WHO declares Nigeria Ebola-free (Update)

3 hours ago

Africa's most populous nation Nigeria was on Monday declared officially Ebola free but warned that it remained vulnerable as long as the virus was raging elsewhere in west Africa.

User comments : 0