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CentraState is Helping Patients with PAD to Walk Without Pain

By |2018-05-07T11:55:08-04:00February 28th, 2018|

CentraState Medical Center now offers a supervised exercise therapy (SET) program for people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Nearly 9 million Americans have PAD where plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, limbs and organs. Plaque, which is made up of calcium, fat, fibrous tissue, cholesterol and other materials in the blood, can over time harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to organs and other parts of the body.

PAD is caused by the same risk factors that cause cardiovascular disease, including smoking, followed by high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. The most prevalent symptom is discomfort in the legs, which often prevents patients from walking and further complicates the effects of underlying heart disease. Left untreated, PAD can lead to disability and even leg amputations. When a patient has PAD, the goal is to prevent cardiovascular events and to improve walking ability and function.

The SET for PAD program offered at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at CentraState is a simple treatment approach that can help patients get back to an active lifestyle. Conducted by a nurse, the customized program involves walking on a treadmill at a certain incline and speed until the patient develops mild discomfort, then taking a break until symptoms subside, then restarting. The benefits are significant, including improved exercise tolerance, more stamina, better quality of life and a reduced probability of having a cardiac event.

The program is three times a week for 12 weeks, and participants usually advance from being able to perform 15 to 30 minutes of exercise to 50 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. Once the onsite program concludes, patients are encouraged to exercise on their own at home or a medically-supervised fitness center.

For more information about the SET for PAD program at CentraState, call 866-CENTRA7.

CentraState Healthcare System is a nonprofit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, a health and wellness campus, three senior living communities, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and a charitable foundation. CentraState’s teaching program is sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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