People who suffer from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), often experience intermittent pain or numbness during exercise. This leads to an understandable reluctance to perform any physical activity that would strain the legs and feet. However, there are some studies that would suggest that this is the opposite of what a person suffering from PAD should do.
Why is that? Let’s take a closer look!
Why is Walking Good for PAD?
PAD has no known cure. Even surgical procedures, which might prove to be necessary in the most severe cases, cannot completely cure this condition.
However, there are ways that you can treat the symptoms of PAD. For example, the sensation that we described in the very beginning (pain/numbness during or after exercise), is a common symptom of PAD called claudication. This symptom can greatly affect how patients with PAD might live their life and is highly disruptive, even in the mildest of cases.
Now, even though straining the legs and feet can cause pain. There is reason to believe that walking can actually lessen or even get rid of the pain completely! Walking has also been said to prevent the disease from progressing further, which should help keep the patient from having to worry about highly invasive surgical procedures.
How Does Walking Help?
Of course, there are other ways that a healthy and regular walking routine can do to make PAD less disruptive. These can include the following:
- By helping treat claudication, patients are able to walk for longer periods at a time;
- The previous statement applies to other forms of exercise as well, allowing the patient to become more active as time passes;
- As a general benefit of walking, a patient’s health and well-being is improved;
- It can also help control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which can exacerbate the condition (especially in patients who are diabetic);
- Finally, walking comes at no cost or risk to the patient, which cannot be said for some of the more invasive surgical procedures or costly medication that might become necessary if PAD is left untreated.
The last thing to consider then is how a patient might want to go about adding a walking routine into their schedule. It is for this very reason that patients are recommended to sign up for supervised exercise. For this, a routine is drawn up to perfectly suit the patient’s unique capabilities by an experienced handler.
If you are a patient suffering from PAD, then that is the most recommended route. However, if that type of option is unavailable to you, then you can always request a recommendation for one of the more generic programs available from your handling physician.
Conclusion — Is Walking Good for PAD?
If treated early enough, PAD can be made less disruptive. For some patients, all it takes is a regular walk three to four times a week in order to improve! If this is an issue that you yourself are facing, then the time to take action is now. Find a nice place to take a stroll and take complete reign over your future!
- Rantner, Barbara, et al. “The Fate of Patients with Intermittent Claudication in the 21st Century Revisited – Results from the CAVASIC Study.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 3 Apr. 2017, www.nature.com/articles/srep45833.