Those that are afflicted with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) have to deal with impaired lower extremity functioning. For the most part, this shows itself as a sharp or numbing pain in the legs and feet that occurs directly after or during exercise. Of course, the more severe the condition of the patient is, the faster the rate of their mobility loss would be.
In order to deal with this debilitating symptom, patients are either provided medication, surgery, or a form of supervised-exercising. However, for people that do not have access to supervised-exercising (or do not want to have to go through intensive surgery), the next solution is home-based exercises.
What are the best home-based exercises for PAD? Let’s break it down.
Why Home Based Exercises for PAD?
Before we introduce you to the most commonly recommended home-based exercises for PAD. Let’s go over why it’s been said to be effective for clearing the symptoms of this circulatory condition. According to certain studies, supervised exercises (specifically on a treadmill) offer the most benefit.
This is in comparison to medication — which is used more for their placebo-like effect than anything else. Unfortunately, access to supervised exercising is very limited — especially for patients who lack the funds to do so and are so limited in their mobility that traveling to and fro between the hospital and their home is impossible.
In this case, the next best solution is home-based exercises. It’s not only inexpensive but it also poses as a convenient alternative to the more involved supervised treadmill exercises.
The first bout of recommended home-based exercises, of course, are leg exercises. These are usually restricted mainly to walking, either on a treadmill or in an enclosed and safe area. These don’t need to take too long.
You’ll find, that the duration of pain-free walks will increase over time. This was confirmed by a study from a Dr. Mohler, who published a journal on a six-month-long treadmill walking routine. If you’re well off enough to walk long distances. You might even want to consider taking a more scenic-route and taking your walk outside!
Now, for patients with extremely poor lower extremity maneuverability, even just a short walk might not be possible. In this case, the most recommended solution is to go with simple arm exercises — which may sound ineffective but has been discovered to provide benefits similar to supervised treadmill walking!
These are perfect as a home-based exercise too! You won’t have to go anywhere far in order to get your exercise-time in, and you won’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. Quite literally, it can be just you on a chair, working out the muscles in your arms and allowing your blood vessels to expand as oxygen passes through them.
Conclusion — Home Based Exercises for PAD?
For those without the means to afford supervised-exercising or those with such poor motor-ability that they cannot move long-distances, home-based exercises are the perfect solution. Not only is the patient able to stay at home, but they can take their progress at their own pace — just so long as they ensure that progress is being made, they can keep in full control of their recuperation.
- McDermott, Mary M, and Tamar S Polonsky. “Home-Based Exercise: A Therapeutic Option for Peripheral Artery Disease.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Oct. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572122/.
- Murphy, Timothy P, et al. “Supervised Exercise versus Primary Stenting for Claudication Resulting from Aortoiliac Peripheral Artery Disease: Six-Month Outcomes from the Claudication: Exercise versus Endoluminal Revascularization (CLEVER) Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090168.