Exercise therapy for claudication: Latest advances

Ryan J. Mays, Judith G. Regensteiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Opinion statement: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) creates a significant national and international healthcare burden. A first line treatment for PAD is supervised walking exercise in hospitals and clinics. Specifically, supervised walking exercise seeks to improve the classic symptom associated with PAD, intermittent claudication (IC), which is characterized by cramping, aching, and pain of the muscles in the lower extremities during walking. While effective, supervised walking exercise is often not prescribed or utilized due to a number of treatment barriers such as lack of transportation to clinical centers and lack of insurance reimbursement. Walking exercise in community settings is an option that has gained attention due to the limitations of supervised walking exercise, as community walking is generally more convenient in terms of a patient's schedule and may circumvent potential barriers such as treatment cost and transportation difficulties. However, more research is needed to improve the effectiveness of community-based walking programs since far less is known about the optimal structure of such programs. Other exercise therapy options are becoming available for PAD patients in addition to walking exercise. These modalities include but are not limited to leg and arm ergometry, polestriding and resistance training. These exercise therapy options have not to date been as well validated as supervised walking exercise. However, they may potentially be used in the event supervised walking exercise is not feasible or patient preference warrants an alternative exercise strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Arm ergometry
  • Community-based exercise
  • Cycle ergometry
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Physical activity
  • Plantar flexion
  • Polestriding
  • Quality of life
  • Strength training
  • Supervised training
  • Walking exercise

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise therapy for claudication: Latest advances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this