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Peripheral Arterial Disease and Exercise

Overview

Specialized exercise programs may help relieve leg pain that occurs with exercise (intermittent claudication) in some people who have PAD. If you have trouble walking because of your symptoms, this type of program may help you walk more easily. footnote 1

Your doctor may recommend a supervised exercise program. You'll work with a therapist at a facility such as a rehab center. In the sessions, you'll walk until the pain starts, then rest until it goes away before continuing. Your therapist may ask you to try to walk a little farther each day before resting. Don't try to walk through the pain. The goal is to increase the amount of time you can exercise before the pain starts.

You may start a similar walking program at home (with your doctor's approval). You'll get instructions and guidance from a healthcare professional, but the program isn't supervised. This is called a structured home-based exercise program.

References

Citations

  1. Gerhard-Herman MD, et al. (2016). 2016 AHA/ACC guideline on the management of patients with lower extremity peripheral artery disease. Circulation, published online November 13, 2016. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000471. Accessed November 25, 2016.

Credits

Current as of: January 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine