Taking Steps to Better Health

Older couple walking at the park

Taking Steps to Better Health

If your legs or hips hurt when you walk, climb stairs or exercise it could be due peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when certain arteries narrow due to blockage. This most often affects the arteries servicing the legs, but it can affect the arteries to the arms, chest, and stomach as well.

     You may assume that being diagnosed with an artery blockage means having to undergo a surgical procedure. While that is sometimes the case, did you know there is a possibility you could reverse some of the damage by implementing a simple walking routine?

     If it hurts when you walk you are probably wondering how you are supposed to walk to get rid of the pain. That is a bit of a conundrum, but not an impossible situation. The key is to work with your medical professional to come up with a good walking routine that will not cause too much pain for you to continue.

     Usually, your medical provider will have you walk on a treadmill at his clinic. The two of you will work together on a plan for you to walk a few minutes and rest a few minutes. It will take several weeks, but eventually, you will be able to walk for up to 45-60 minutes without having to stop to recuperate every few minutes.

     In order to achieve this, it takes patience. Your arteries did not become blocked due to a week of unhealthy choices and they won’t reverse with just a week or a month of an established walking routine.

     The key to being able to use a walking routine to help reverse PAD is to catch the disease as early as possible. In order to do that it is important that you discuss with your provider any symptoms – pain in your legs or hips when you walk or exercise, wounds on your feet or toes that won’t heal, poor toenail growth, gangrene, or even erectile dysfunction – you are experiencing. If you’re a diabetic don’t assume your leg or foot pain is due to your diabetes. It’s painless to be checked out for PAD and it’s definitely worth the extra minutes spent in your provider’s office.

     Remember, anything worth having is worth working for. Isn’t good health worth having?


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