The Effects of Physical Activity on Exercise Duration and Workload in Patients Suffering Intermittent Claudication
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Intermittent claudication is the pain felt when a muscle is worked to the extent that sufficient blood flow is not available to supply it with the oxygen needed to function. People with peripheral vascular disease affecting the lower extremities suffer from this pain upon short duration exercise. However, controlled exercise may have therapeutic benefits on this condition. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of controlled, regular exercise on workload and walking duration in six patients suffering from intermittent claudication. The study consisted of an initial evaluation, a three month training program, and a final evaluation. The initial evaluation included utilizing a treadmill exercise protocol to determine the participant's maximum achievable workload before the onset of intolerable pain in the affected legs; the percentage of the maximum workload effective for a training workload; and the recovery duration of the subjects. The three month training program followed the initial evaluation, and utilized the determined training workload and recovery period. A final evaluation was administered after the three months and followed the same protocol as the initial, serving to identify any changes in workload and walking duration as a result of the training program. The results of the comparison between the initial and final evaluations showed statistically significant improvements in the achievable maximum workload, the training workload, and in walking duration.