Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common, yet serious, health concern
that raises a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke. The disease
develops when leg arteries become built up with plaque, which limits blood
flow to the legs.
Signs and symptoms of PAD:
- Leg and muscle pain that occurs when walking, but goes away with rest.
- Foot or toe pain when resting, that often disturbs sleep.
- Skin wounds or ulcers on the feet or toes that are slow to heal.
Studies show a structured walking program can be one of the best treatments
for reducing leg pain or cramps that develop when walking. In fact, these
programs can be more effective than medicine or surgery, for helping people
with PAD to walk longer and farther without having to stop due to pain.
With the importance of walking in mind, Mile Bluff’s Health Promotion
Department is now offering PAD Rehabilitation. During this 12-week program,
registered nurses, respiratory therapists and registered dietitians work
with patients to establish a care plan. The team provides counseling,
education and support to participants to assist them in managing their
symptoms and reduce their risk factors by developing positive and long-lasting
Rehabilitation may include help:
- managing blood pressure
- losing weight
- quitting smoking
- managing diabetes
- decreasing cholesterol
- beginning and maintaining a walking program
- making informed nutrition choices
- keeping up with proper foot/wound care
- managing medication
If you have PAD and would like to relieve your symptoms, check with your
insurance company to see if this program is covered. Many health insurers
will reimburse for outpatient PAD rehabilitation. In many cases, the program
is covered by Medicare.
If you would like more information about the PAD program, call Mile Bluff’s
Health Promotion Department at 608-847-1845.