SET-PAD Walking Program for Peripheral Artery Disease
If you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), you’re probably very familiar with leg pain when walking. Most people with symptomatic PAD can’t walk for more than 15-20 minutes before painful cramps and a tightening sensation or other symptoms occur in the calves, thighs, or buttocks. As the condition worsens, many find the pain may even occur when at rest.
Paradoxically, walking can help relieve that pain – and help you walk without pain for longer periods of time and farther distances. The key is supervised exercise therapy (SET), which is specially designed to target the muscles used when walking. The cardiopulmonary rehab therapists at Ringgold County Hospital are specially trained at helping patients with PAD through this very effective therapeutic intervention.
Why Does Leg Pain Occur With PAD?
Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory disorder that involves the buildup of plaque inside blood vessels in the arms and legs. This narrows the inside of the arteries, so that less oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart makes it to the limbs. This is especially evident during activity, when the muscles in your legs are working harder and thus require more oxygen.
In patients with PAD, restricted blood circulation delivers inadequate oxygen to leg muscles. As a result, the muscles may seize and spasm, causing a specific type of leg pain called intermittent claudication. Rest typically relieves these symptoms.
How Does SET-PAD Help?
Supervised exercise therapy is considered the gold standard when it comes to treating intermittent claudication, the type of leg pain associated with peripheral artery disease. At Ringgold County Hospital, we offer this therapy, commonly referred to as SET-PAD.
What Is SET-PAD?
SET-PAD are walking exercises that alternate moderate- to high-intensity walking with rest (walk-rest-walk). These exercises are monitored by a medical professional, in a controlled setting, for the safety of our patients – especially those with heart disease, diabetes, or other serious medical conditions.
SET-PAD improves blood circulation to relieve pain and other symptoms in your legs, while improving your ability to walk greater distances and for longer periods of time. After completing the full series of SET-PAD sessions, many of our patients report little to no pain when walking.
What to Expect
At your first visit with us, our therapists will assess your health, review your medical history, and discuss your symptoms. You will be asked to take a brief walking test, which will help us determine how far, how long, and at what intensity you should be walking during your therapy sessions.
Each SET-PAD session lasts an hour or so and involves a series of interval-training walking exercises, where you will walk, rest, then walk again. These supervised sessions should be performed several times a week for 3 months.
After all recommended SET-PAD sessions are completed, patients will be instructed on how to continue at-home walking exercises to maintain the gains seen with the SET-PAD program. Health coaching and other patient education resources are available for patients undergoing SET-PAD therapy.
SET-PAD Walking Program for Leg Pain
If your physician recommended supervised exercise therapy (SET) to help alleviate symptoms associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD), you’ve come to the right place. At Ringgold County Hospital, we have therapists who can guide you through this safe and effective walking program – right here in Mount Ayr, Iowa.
Contact the cardiopulmonary rehab providers at Ringgold County Hospital at (641) 464-3226 to find out more about our SET-PAD walking program. You can also request an appointment now.