Tag: Houston PAD Doctor

6 PAD Symptoms to Know and Watch For

We recently completed PAD Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to teach you about identifying PAD symptoms. First, a definition: Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a disease. It develops when arteries in your lower legs narrow.

Because many PAD symptoms mimic those of other conditions, this disease is often hard to diagnose. About 20 million Americans have this disease. Even worse? Almost 500,000 people end up in the hospital because of PAD each year. (A number that rose sharply between 2011 and 2017, according to a study from Yale University. Especially for men younger men, under the age of 65.)

On its own, that’s a scary statistic. But here’s a fact that should shake you up further. Up to 200,000 Americans with PAD don’t even know they have it! So, in order to prevent a missed diagnosis, we need you to know and identify PAD symptoms. If you experience any of these problems, it’s important to see your Houston vein specialist right away.

Painful Symptoms of PAD

Muscle pain is one of several symptoms of PAD

  1. Pain in Your Legs After Walking or Exercise. One of the most common symptoms of PAD, this pain or cramping occurs with movement because your lower extremities don’t get enough oxygen to support the increased activity.  Most often, PAD sufferers will experience this pain in their calf muscles, but it may manifest anywhere in the lower legs. Pain will typically not resolve until the PAD sufferer stops all physical activity.
  2. Wounds, Sores or Ulcers. This second symptom is also caused by a lack of oxygen reaching your lower limbs. When you cut yourself, and you don’t have PAD, proper circulation and blood flow will help your injury heal quickly. When you have PAD, however, even a small scrape can remain open and unhealed as the plaque in their arteries blocks blood flow to the wound. This symptom must be addressed immediately: left unchecked, a wound can lead to serious infection and even amputation.

    Physical PAD Warning Signs

  3. Skin Changes on Your Legs. Once again, poor circulation is behind this PAD symptom. Some of the physical changes that occur with PAD include skin that appears to be shiny, loss of leg and/or toe hair, and a blue-ish tinge to your skin. Your lower legs, especially your toes, may also feel cold, even when your feet are covered and should otherwise feel toasty.
  4. Muscle, Not Joint, Pain. We’ve already noted that leg pain and cramps are a symptom of PAD, but it’s important to note where that pain is located. Many people think of leg pain as a normal part of aging, and it CAN be–when that pain is happening in your joints. When it’s located in your muscles, however, that is a sign that something beyond normal aches and pains is going on.
  5. Dead tissue. Most people will identify their PAD before reaching this point, but if you have gangrenous or dead tissue on your toes, feet or legs and you haven’t been checked for PAD, get a diagnostic vein scan ASAP.

    Emotional PAD Symptoms

  6. Depression. Especially for women, your depression symptoms may develop or worsen with PAD. So if you have the symptoms we described above, and depression, it’s time for a PAD check.

Can You Prevent PAD Symptoms?

According to the American Heart Association, following life’s “Essential 8” rules can help prevent cardiovascular diseases, including PAD. (In 2022, this list was updated from the Simple 7, adding sleep as an essential lifestyle choice to prevent cardiovascular disease.)

What are these crucial eight steps you can take to prevent periphery arterial disease and other forms of heart disease?

  1. Follow a healthy diet
  2. Move more, every day
  3. Get sufficient, quality sleep each night
  4. Manage weight
  5. Control your cholesterol levels
  6. Watch your blood sugar levels, too
  7. Control your blood pressure
  8. Break up with tobacco

Preventing and Treating PAD in Houston, TX

We urge you to watch for PAD symptoms. But it’s also important to know your risk for this disease, since you may not develop symptoms until your disease has progressed dramatically. After all, if there’s one thing we need you to remember, it’s this: PAD is a progressive disease. If you ignore early warning signs, your symptoms of PAD will get worse. Don’t wait until you’re in pain. Call our Houston area clinics today and schedule an immediate PAD consultation!

 

Sources: Mayoclinic.org , Healio Cardiology 

PAD Risk Factors for Women and African Americans

Today, we need to talk about PAD risk factors for women. And for African Americans. Because both groups may be more vulnerable. In fact, according to a J&J campaign to raise PAD awareness, millions of Black Americans don’t even know they have this disease. (You’ll hear more about this campaign in a minute. But first, let’s talk PAD.)

Remember, PAD (peripheral arterial disease) is a thickening of the arteries that affects blood flow. It’s a form of cardiovascular disease with symptoms such as painful leg cramps. And those cramps mostly show up when walking or exercising, but get better with risk.

Now, we don’t know why, but women and African Americans are nearly twice as likely to be affected by PAD. That’s the case even for women and Black people without other heart issues. Regardless of age. Now, while this statistic is scary on its own, we also have to share warnings about things that further increase the PAD risk for women and African Americans.

PAD Risk Factors for Women Smoking: one of many PAD risk factors

Not every woman has the same PAD risk factors. Therefore, you have to look at other factors to figure out your own risk for PAD. Women who are over 60, or who have high blood pressure or cholesterol, have higher PAD risk. But, studies show that PAD risks for women without these factors are almost double that for men without heart disease.

And that’s not all. In a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, we learned other concerns about the PAD risk for women. As it turns out, women get diagnosed with PAD later than men. Then, after their PAD diagnosis, women’s health deteriorates faster than men’s. In particular, women with PAD lose their ability to walk at a faster rate than men do. Which is why women should start early screening for PAD to help prevent these concerns. As should African Americans, who have additional worries when it comes to their PAD risk.

BMI and PAD

Regardless of your race or gender, your body mass index has an impact on your PAD risk. In a recent study, researchers found a u-shaped relationship between BMI and PAD risk. They discovered that people with BMIs below 25.7 saw a 27% decrease in risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease. And, while there wasn’t a concrete number, people with a BMI level above 25.7 had a significant disease risk increase. Want to know your BMI and relative PAD risk? Start with this resource from the National Institutes of Health.

Smoking and PAD Risks

According to a different study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, smoking is a known risk factor for PAD. But it increases PAD risk for African Americans more than for other at risk groups. In this study, researchers followed 5300 participants between the ages of 21 and 84. Of those participants, 13% were current smokers and 19% were former smokers.

Researchers found that current smokers were twice as likely as non-smokers to have PAD in their lower extremities. They were also eight times as likely to have calcium buildups in the aorta. And how much you smoked matters too: the more cigarettes a participant had smoked each day, the worse off their arterial health.

In the wake of this study, Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association, says: “The findings from this study give us strong evidence of the specific debilitating and life-threatening risks African American smokers face, especially the more they smoke. This type of research can be useful in the development of clear messages targeted to our African American population to underscore the real physical costs of tobacco product use.”

Reducing PAD Risk Factors

Even if your PAD risk is high, you can take steps to prevent disease. In a new study in the European Journal of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery, researchers found that making four healthy lifestyle choices helped prevent peripheral arterial disease.

What were these four choices?

  1. Avoiding too much alcohol.
  2. Following a healthy diet.
  3. Staying moderately to highly active.
  4. Never smoking. (But you probably guessed that one already.)

In fact, these measures were so effective that they reduced your risk by 12%, 16%, 26% and 54% respectively. So imagine what an impact they could have if you worked with all four in combination!

Efforts Toward Equity

In further attempts to improve health equity outcomes, Johnson & Johnson has launched a multi-year, $100 million campaign titled “Our Race to Health Equity.” Launched at this year’s American College of Cardiology conference, their first initiative is titled, “Save Legs. Change Lives. Spot Peripheral Artery Disease Now.”

As the initiative gets going, J&J will send an “empower PAD” mobile health unit into communities where PAD rates are high. Their goal is to test between 50 and 60 people at each of their 90 screening events. And they will make special efforts to reach Black Americans, since they are more likely to have PAD without displaying any symptoms.

The key in this initiative, and in our Houston area offices, is to get an early diagnosis before you develop devastating complications. So, if you’re worried about your risk for PAD, we’re here to help. If you are in a vulnerable population, or have any type of heart disease, preventative screening is important. Schedule an appointment with our Houston vein specialists right away. We can help determine your PAD risk level, and start you on preventative care or treatments.

Sources: Journal of the American Heart Association

Need Help for PAD: Try these 4 Foods and 2 Drinks

Need help for PAD? Well, guess what? Researchers have discovered that drinking hot cocoa could help improve your gait if you have peripheral arterial disease (PAD.) And that’s not all: science also suggests that Vitamin K2 can lower your risk for developing PAD, or other types of coronary disease. Plus, water-based exercises can help restore your mobility. Often as effectively as gym-based workouts, which could be painful when you’re dealing with this health concern.

You see, PAD is a serious condition that sets in when athelosclerosis (hardened arteries) limit blood flow to your lower limbs. And one of the worst PAD symptoms is sudden pain with walking, so we’re excited about preventing PAD, but we’re also excited about this tasty discovery regarding symptom relief! Let’s take a closer look.

Flavanols Offer Help for PAD cocoa offers help for pad

First things first: let’s clear up our cocoa discussion. Cocoa is rich in flavonols, which is why it can help PAD patients. But not all cocoa is created equally. As study author Mary McGrae McDermott explains, “A large amount of chocolate available without a prescription is alkalized, which improves taste [but destroys] the beneficial cocoa flavanols that have therapeutic effects.”

What does that mean? You need powder with more than 85% cocoa content to get health benefits. Simply grabbing some Nesquick at the super market just won’t cut it—even though your cocoa will probably taste pretty great.

Still, the right kind of cocoa has lots of healing properties. According to the study, cocoa flavanols, including epicatechin, “have therapeutic properties that can improve performance when walking in people with PAD.” More specifically, cocoa can help target therapy directly to your legs (limb perfusion) and improve cell and muscle regeneration in your legs. Finally, McDermott notes, previous studies have also discovered that blood flow and muscle health improve with cocoa consumption.

Now we know why cocoa is such a valuable ingredient, let’s take a closer look at how you can leverage cocoa to improve your PAD symptoms.

How Cocoa Fights PAD

The purpose of this study was to see if cocoa could help PAD patients walk longer distances before experiencing leg pain. And, happily, it did! To reach their findings, McDermott’s team studied 44 patients aged 60 and older. Every day, participants drank either cocoa or a placebo drink. By the end of the study period, cocoa drinkers found it much easier to walk for six minutes, as compared to their placebo-drinking counterparts. People who drank three cups a day saw the best results.

In presenting her findings, McDermott explained, “Our study showed better health in the blood flow to the legs, improvements in the 6-minute walking distance and also improved the health of the calf skeletal muscle. Since people with PAD have difficulty walking due to blood flow problems, we think that this particular therapy can be particularly beneficial.”

While these findings are certainly exciting—for our taste buds and our symptom management—don’t start planning to ditch your meds. As mentioned, you’d have to have the exact cocoa makeup included in the study. Plus, while cocoa can help with symptom relief, it’s unlikely to clear up your underlying disease trigger. So, by all means, talk to your doctor about including cocoa in your diet. And take a look at the findings about Vitamin K1 and PAD!

Vitamins and PAD Risk

According to long-term studies in Atherosclerosis, daily vitamin K2 can reduce your PAD risk if you have hypertension or diabetes.

After following over 36,000 men and women for just over 12 years, researchers 489 participants developed PAD. But they found that taking vitamin K2 reduced that PAD risk. All the people benefited from the supplement. But the risk reduction was strongest for those with hypertension, and strongest for those with diabetes.

Based on their discovery, the study authors can recommend daily vitamin k2 supplements. Great sources of vitamin k2 include dairy products, fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut, and some animal products.

Of course, if you already have peripheral arterial disease, you may notice symptoms such as leg cramps while you walk. In which case, you’ll want to read more about water based workouts that offer help for PAD.

Adding Spinach to the Mix  spinach lowers PAD risk

Want to really kick PAD to the curb? A brand new study reveals that eating one cup of spinach a day lowers your PAD risk by 26%! This power green helps in several ways. But their most important job seems to be lowering blood pressure.

As a result, just a few leaves a day also reduces stiffness in your arteries. (Which is likely why it helps lower PAD risk.) And it also means you’re less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. All of which is great news, as far as we’re concerned!

Fighting PAD Symptoms in and with Water

According to researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, water based exercises can be an effective part of a PAD rehab program. Plus, these workouts could offer protective cardiovascular health benefits. Because, according to lead author Markos Klonizakis, getting four water workouts a week offered the same protective heart and arterial benefits as four weekly workouts in the gym.

Now, this news is especially important for older adults. Because water workouts are lower impact. Which means they’re easier to do, even if you already deal with joint or PAD pain.

So, getting in the water can help reduce your disease risk. But drinking water–at least 8 glasses per day–can further reduce your risk. How? Staying well hydrated is a great way to lower your blood pressure. And lowering blood pressure to a healthy range reduces your risk for all forms of CVD, including PAD.

Find it hard to swallow all that H20? Consider giving cranberry juice a try! In addition to helping you stay hydrated, cranberry juice is also packed with vitamin c. And that vitamin c can improve blood flow, again reducing your peripheral arterial disease risk factors.

Of course, all of these dietary and lifestyle changes can offer help for PAD. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on any of your other PAD medications. And if you’re worried about your risk, be sure to explore PAD treatment options with your Houston area vein specialists. If you come in to see us, real relief could be available, and sooner than you think.

Sources: Atherosclerosis, Journal of Circulation Research, Nutraingredients.com, British Medical Journal 

Check Out These 3 Minimally Invasive Vein Treatments

The doctors in our practice offer minimally invasive vein treatments. But, so often, we get asked about our medical specialty: what is an interventional radiologist? At the most basic level, it means we treat medical conditions such as spider veins  and peripheral arterial disease with minimally invasive techniques.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to perform more invasive procedures. After all, the doctors at our Houston area vein clinics attended four years of medical school. Next, they completed four-year diagnostic radiology residencies and Interventional Radiology fellowships.

So, what’s the difference between our specialty and those of other doctors? Our goal as interventional radiologists is to offer less expensive, less invasive alternatives to surgery. And our procedures come with shorter recovery periods, less pain and lower risks of complications.

But what does an interventional radiology procedure look like? We’ll take a closer look in a moment. But first, we must explain the difference between spider and varicose veins.

Spider veins vs varicose veins: What’s the difference?

People use the terms spider veins and varicose veins interchangeably. But that’s a problem, since these similar concerns have important differences. (And they impact your ultimate treatment options!)

Here’s the story: both spider and varicose veins are enlarged because of pooling blood. They develop when something goes wrong in your body, causing your valves to fail and blood to pool. But here’s the difference. Varicose veins typically develop in larger veins that sit deeper within your legs. They won’t just change color, but they’ll likely bulge under your skin, possibly looking like they’re tangled or twisted. In contrast, spider veins usually impact your legs’ smaller, superficial veins (close to the skin’s surface.) And, rather than bulging, they simply change color, their darker shade becoming the reason they’re visible on your skin.

Also, spider veins usually don’t hurt. But varicose veins are often very painful. And, while minimally invasive vein treatments can work for both conditions, they’re really best suited for spider veins. Because varicose veins may need different interventions.

What is a minimally invasive vein treatment? minimally invasive vein treatments

During an IR procedure, your interventional radiologist is guided by an image, such as that from an ultrasound. This gives us a live picture of less accessible parts of your body. Making just a small incision, we guide that image to  the remote location in your body using a catheter. And that’s why your treatments don’t require major surgical incisions!

Interventional radiology procedures include:

  • Spider vein ablation

    This out-patient procedure sends heat to your malfunctioning veins, using a small catheter that we insert to your vein. The high, controlled temperature permanently closes up the problem vein or veins. And it eliminates the appearance on your skin, while preventing vein disease progression.

  • Uterine fibroid embolization

    This is a, out-patient, in-hospital, non-surgical procedure that effectively kills these tumors without an overnight hospital stay! First, we gain access to your uterine artery through the radial artery in your wrist. (We can also begin with the femoral artery in your thigh.) Then, as with vein ablation, we insert a catheter to your artery, working towards the uterine artery and your fibroid. Finally, we insert embolic material to block blood flow to the tumor, causing it to shrink and, eventually, disappear.

  • Sclerotherapy:

    This is a great option for varicose veins that don’t look great, but aren’t showing signs that you’ve got serious vein disease. Essentially, this is a great cosmetic treatment. With liquid sclerotherapy, we inject your veins with an FDA-approved solution. It’s designed to irritate the inside lumen of your spider veins. And that irritation causes spider veins to gradually collapse and shrink, so your body reabsorbs them. You’ll need between three or four 30-minute treatments, spaced at least three weeks apart. But if you have multiple varicose veins, you may require even more injections.

    We love this treatment option for a few reasons. You don’t feel any pain with the injections. It’s safe and effective. (While your veins may look worse right after treatment, you should notice fading and improvements between 4-6 weeks after your injections.)

    With sclerotherapy, most people can get right back to walking after treatment. (You’ll typically wait two days before getting cleared for strenuous activities.) But if your visible veins are large, painful or break down the overlying skin, sclerotherapy may not be your best choice. Instead, you may need to combine treatments with leaky valve repairs. Plus, you may want to remove your troubled veins with treatments like phlebectomy, highlighted below.

  • Phlebectomy

    This is a surgical procedure, but it’s still minimally invasive. Basically, when your bulging veins are located right under your skin, we can use local anesthetic, then make several tiny incisions in your leg. Through those incisions, we remove your bulging vein and, because the slits were so small, you won’t need stitches and any scarring will be minimal. Plus, six months after your procedure, any marks should disappear entirely!

There are so many more ways we can address your vein health challenges without invasive surgery.  But we want you to understand why that’s such a big deal for your overall health. So please keep reading to find out why you should explore minimally invasive vein treatments.

Interventional Radiology vs. Surgery: What’s the Benefit?

As we mentioned, IR procedures hurt less than surgeries. They are less likely to leave a scar and, thanks to image guidance, are often more precise than surgical procedures.

Many times, they can be performed with no overnight hospital stays. And no hospital stay means less out-of-pocket expenses for most patients!

So, does less pain, less cost, less risk and more accuracy sounds like what you’re looking for in a vein treatment? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Simply schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained Interventional Radiologists to learn if you are a good candidate for our treatment protocols.

Sources: Radiology Info

Here’s How the Benefits of Chocolate Can Help Arteries!

Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of chocolate? But, you’re not sure how they can help your life? Well, chocolate lovers, rejoice: science suggests that eating cocoa can improve function in your arteries!

Now, before you grab for the Snickers bars, you’ll want to read more. Not all kinds of chocolate are considered beneficial; the type of chocolate we’ll be talking about in this post is unprocessed, undutched cocoa powder. Let’s take a closer look at what this kind of cocoa can do for your blood vessels: benefits of chocolate

 

Benefits of Chocolate: Cocoa Can Improve Blood Flow

Here’s an exciting fact! Within two hours of eating this kind of cocoa, your coronary arteries start working better. That means the vessels in your eyes are able to dilate more quickly. And what about the vessels in your legs? Well, the impact in that area is even more exciting!

Recently, researchers tested 20 patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease to see how cocoa could affect their ability to walk. Remember, with this condition, narrowed arteries lead to reduced blood flow to your legs. As a result, PAD patients often experience painful leg cramps, especially when they walk or exercise, because their legs don’t receive enough blood and oxygen to support increased activity.

During this study, the PAD patients walked for as long as they could, and stopped when they experienced leg cramps. Then, they were given one of two types of chocolate: unsweetened dark chocolate or milk chocolate. Two hours after eating the milk chocolate, the PAD sufferers were barely able to walk their initial baseline distance. But two hours after having unsweetened cocoa, they walked a dozen yards farther and an average of 17 seconds longer than their baseline distances.

Is it time to become chocoholics?

Because people love chocolate, they also love to go on and on about the benefits of chocolate.  (And it does have many.) BUT, we must also remember that even dark, unsweetened cocoa is packed with fat and calories. So it’s a potentially beneficial treat that should still be enjoyed in moderation.

Having said that, we all need to indulge a little. So, when you’re ready to make a little cheat? If your cravings steer you towards the chocolate aisle, look for the dark stuff and you may just score a little extra time to walk it off pain-free, after you’re done snacking!

Beyond Diet: Other PAD Treatment Options

Diet alone is usually not enough to treat PAD symptoms. (Even with the benefits of chocolate, or other heart-friendly dietary additions.) Now, exercise can certainly help improve blood flow in your body. And walking workouts can be particularly beneficial, as long as you’re medically cleared for this activity.

Still, most people with advanced PAD will need some sort of medical intervention. Fortunately, in our Houston area offices, we can treat PAD with minimally invasive procedures such as Angioplasty, Stenting, and Atherectomy. hat With most of these options, you won’t need an overnight hospital stay, large incisions or open surgery. That means a shorter recovery time without sacrificing the results you’re seeking.

Want relief from PAD pain? We’re here to help! Simply reach out and schedule an appointment with our team. We can assess your PAD risk and help determine your best next steps to preserve your long-term health.

This is Why a Summer Birthday Means More than A July Birth Flower

If you’re born in spring or summer, you may know your April or July birth flower. But did you that the time of year during which you were born can actually determine the way you die?

Yes, that’s scary…but true! And, more specifically, your birth month is directly linked to your odds of dying from heart disease! Want to know the worst birth months for heart health? Just keep reading!

Spring and Summer: The Seasons of Heart Disease

In a study published in The BMJ, researchers discovered that heart disease is more likely to kill you if you’re born between April and September, the spring and summer months.

Unfortunately, scientists can’t say exactly why these birth months increase your risk. But they do suggest that there’s a connection between your birth month, and your early exposure to seasonal dietary changes, available sunlight and air quality.

To reach these conclusions, they followed 116,911 women who were recruited for the study, and between the ages of 30 and 55 in 1976. Researchers examined the timing of their births, overall causes of death, and deaths caused specifically by heart disease.  Every two years, ending in 2014, the women completed health and lifestyle questionnaires.

By the end of the study period, over 43,000 of the women had died. And 8,360 of those women died of issues related to heart disease. While that figure may not seem so surprising, here’s what is: spring and summer babies were significantly more likely to have that cause of death when compared to their peers who were born in the fall. Still, without a direct causal link, the scientists warn us that this study is observation only. After all, they can’t completely rule out other, unmeasured factors that may contribute to the increased risk.  Still, if your birthday falls in this range—or even if it doesn’t—it’s important to learn the early warning signs of heart disease, so you can seek treatment at the first sign of a problem.

These are the Warning Signs for Heart Disease

Whether you have an April or July birth flower, and regardless of your risk for cardiovascular disease, you should never ignore these tell-tale symptoms. Especially if they are sudden and unexplained:

1. Chest pain

2. Stomach pain

3. Sweating

4. Leg pain, especially when cramps appear with movement. This could be an early sign of of PAD (peripheral arterial disease).

5. Arm pain

6. Swollen ankles (edema), which can indicate circulatory problems or even heart failure.

7. Chronic exhaustion

Treatment Options for Symptom

Luckily for all our July birth flowers out there, we can treat many of these early warning signs of heart disease. When it comes to PAD, our minimally invasive treatments, including angioplasty and atherectomy, can help return blood flow to your outer limbs. In turn, this should boost your overall circulation, and could even reduce your risk for progressive heart disease.

Got edema? We’ve got solutions. First, the FDA recently approved a new edema medication, known as Soaanz. It’s meant for patients who have heart failure and/or kidney disease. So, if you’re not there yet, you may prefer this easy lifestyle solution for leg swelling: eat more zucchini!

It’s simple, but effective for minor cases of edema. Because this veggies has water contents between 90 and 95%, it can help you stay hydrated. And, while you may think adding more water to your body will make your swelling worse, the opposite is true. Because, when you add extra hydration to your system, your body may relax its hold on other water sources. Which could help ease water retention and swelling.

Remember, on their own, any one of these symptoms should be a sign that it’s time to discuss your heart with a healthcare provider. But, in combination, consider these symptoms a potential emergency. Seek medical attention right away. And, if you’re noticing early warning signs of PAD or other symptoms of vein disease, schedule an immediate consultation with our team of Houston vein specialists!

 

 

Move it Monday: 2 Workouts for PAD

Did you know you can boost your health with workouts for PAD? When you have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), your arteries narrow. First, that reduces the amount of blood flow to your legs and feet. Then, you may experience painful muscle cramps in your hips, thighs and calves. This pain is typically at its worst when you’re walking, climbing stairs or exercising. And it should improve when you rest. At least at first.

Now, while exercising may make you experience painful cramps, research shows that certain exercises will, in fact, help you manage PAD.

According to one study in the Intervention Journal, supervised treadmill workouts are the most effective form of exercise for people with PAD. Study authors suggest: “exercise sessions should progress up to a target goal of accumulating 30 to 45 minutes of treadmill walking per session” and “exercise should be carried out at an intensity that elicits mild claudication pain within 5 minutes, and moderate to moderately severe claudication within 10 minutes followed by rest until claudication pain subsides.” In other words, the goal of this workout is to work to the point of pain until the pain takes longer to show up. In this way, PAD patients can experience longer periods of walking comfort in their real lives as well.

Optimal Walking Times

When you’re beginning a walking program, you may wonder how much time is enough? Luckily, according to the World Health Organization, it doesn’t have to be that long. In fact, 150 minutes of walking a week gives you so many health benefits!

What does that mean for you, if you’re doing supervised treadmill sessions for PAD? To hit your weekly walking goal, you could do three 45-minute sessions, and one 30 minute session. That way, you’d get all the benefits of walking workouts. And, you’d see progress with PAD symptoms such as claudication.

Not able to hit that 150 minute per week mark? Or struggling to hit 10,000 steps? Don’t worry. Any walking you can fit into your day will improve your health. Of course, it doesn’t have to be on a treadmill either. It can be scattered throughout your day. Or a part of these alternative workouts for PAD.

Alternatives to Treadmill Workouts for PAD

Of course, for some PAD patients, treadmill walking may be too difficult–or simply unappealing. Not to worry: the study suggests other forms of exercise that can also be effective. The authors suggested walking around your neighborhood as one obvious alternative to treadmill workouts. Seated exercise bikes can also help people with PAD, as can workouts that involve resistance training, with your body weight, bands or weighted dumbbells.

While exercise can help improve your ability to walk comfortably with PAD, it cannot cure the condition. Fortunately, in our Houston vein center, we can easily diagnose and treat your PAD. We star with a bedside test, called an Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), which uses ultrasound and blood pressure cuffs to evaluate the circulation in your arms and legs. If this test is abnormal we may order further imaging tests such as Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) or Computed Tomography (CT) to determine the extent of your problem and help us plan your treatment.

Once we determine the extent of your issue, treatment can begin. Our doctors will determine the most appropriate, and least invasive, treatment option that will help you find relief. So if you are experience leg cramps and suspect PAD may have set in, schedule an immediate consult to begin finding relief!

Sources: www.interventionjournal.com, Cardiology Today

 

Request an AppointmentRequest Appointment