Peripheral Artery Disease Patients Reduce Pain By Stretching

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries other than those that supply the brain or heart.  PAD is most commonly seen in legs but can affect other body parts.  Classic symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease are leg pain when walking which resolves with rest (intermittent claudication), skin ulcers, bluish skin, cold skin and poor nail and hair growth.  Peripheral Artery Disease is common in cigarette smokers and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

A recent study found that a very safe, easy intervention that improves tolerance for walking is simply calf stretching prior to walking.  The scientists found that this simple stretch increased blood flow to the affected area and reduced pain. 

The stretching consisted of passively stretching the calf muscles for 30-minutes a day using a splint to flex the ankle.  After one month of these stretches, the study found that participants could walk about ½ a block farther than before and extended the time they could walk before leg discomfort.

If you suffer from peripheral artery disease, you should speak with your doctor and physical therapist about implementing more passive calf stretches into your exercise routine.

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Our firm has helped a few individuals with peripheral artery disease obtain disability benefits.  These cases generally require blood flow analysis and objective testing called ankle-brachial index (ABI).  If you are over 50, have worked in a job where walking/standing extensively is required, have limited office type skills, and are suffering from symptoms of PAD, our office may be able to assist you with proving your disability claim.  

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Disability, Personal Injury, and Divorce Attorney
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