Exercise Program Beats Surgery for Peripheral Artery Disease

People living with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a condition where blood flow to legs is poor because arteries are narrow or blocked, now have one more option for reducing pain and improving quality of life: a supervised exercise program.

The program, which can deliver similar outcomes to surgery including decreased leg cramping and better quality of life, is now covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans.

One such offering is Hartford Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Each 60-minute exercise session is conducted by registered nurses and cardiovascular exercise physiologists. Assessments, stretches and exercise evaluations with aerobic therapy help each patient progress through the 12-week program.

Participants attend 36 total sessions and may attend between three and five sessions each week. The structure of the program offers guidance and encouragement from clinical experts, along with motivation from peers in a group environment.