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Angiology. 2009 Aug-Sep;60(4):477-86. doi: 10.1177/0003319708322388. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

Benefits of low-intensity pain-free treadmill exercise on functional capacity of individuals presenting with intermittent claudication due to peripheral arterial disease.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center and Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Program, University of Florida, Department of Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Program, P O Box 100164 Zip 32610, 101 South Newell Drive Suite 2101, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Patients with intermittent claudication due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) experience muscle aching during walking secondary to ischemia. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of low-intensity pain-free exercise (LIPFE) on functional capacity of individuals with PAD. A total of 12 participants with PAD underwent training on treadmill for 6 weeks, twice a week, for about 45 minutes. Outcome measures included walking distance (WDI), walking duration (WDU), mean walking rate (WR), estimated oxygen consumption (EVO(2)), metabolic equivalent (MET), estimated total energy expenditure (ETEE), and estimated rate of energy expenditure (EREE). Mean improvement of WDI, WDU, and MWR were 104% (an addition of 1.0 km), 55% (an addition of 13.3 minutes), and 41% (0.9 km/h faster), respectively. Mean improvement of EVO(2), MET, ETEE, and EREE, were 20%, 20%, 80%, and 20%, respectively. In conclusion, it appears that LIPFE training is an effective intervention for individuals presenting with PAD.

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