Have you been told by your doctor that you have PAD – or peripheral artery disease? Or that you have claudication – or clogged arteries in your legs? This all means the same thing – that fatty deposits have blocked the blood supply in your legs. When this happens, even a short walk can cause cramping or pain in the calf, thigh or buttock.
One in seven people over the age of 60 live with PAD. They are also more likely to have clogged arteries in other areas of the body like the heart and brain. This makes them more prone to heart attacks and strokes.
An effective therapy for PAD is now covered by Medicare and other insurance companies are considering it. “Supervised exercise training” involves walking on a treadmill while a trained therapist guides you. This takes place 3 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes over a 12-week period. If needed, additional sessions can be approved.
If you are having trouble walking because of PAD, ask your doctor if you qualify for supervised exercise therapy and get a referral. Programs are popping up at medical centers with cardiac rehabilitation services.
If you are not able to attend this type of program, ask your doctor if you are safe to start a home based walking program. Then get the advice you need to make it happen.
Or, ask your doctor if DHAC is an option for you. Our $60 for 60 Days program can provide you with the guidance you need to begin, progress, and maintain a walking program.
Call DHAC at 781-326-2900 or visit our website, here, for more information.
-Cathy M., Diabetes and Exercise Consultant at Dedham Health