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Does Walking Help Peripheral Artery & Do Compression Socks Help?

Patients with peripheral artery disease can experience limitations in their ability to walk and feel a reduced range of motion. These people often lead to poor quality of life. They cannot do their normal shopping activities nor going to the grocery stores and lift weights.

It’s sometimes called window-shopper’s disease because when a person walks, it causes leg cramps and pain that necessitates frequent breaks. However, the pain subsides after the individual rests. Studies demonstrate that peripheral artery disease is a widespread problem in older adults and about one in 20 adults are affected by this condition who are age 50 and above.

Does Walking Help The Peripheral Artery?

Does Walking Help The Peripheral Artery?

Most cases of peripheral artery disease are asymptomatic, and the patients mistakenly think that painful walking is due to aging. The conditions that are left untreated leads to advanced stages as a result of which ends up in increased complications of high-risk heart diseases such as heartache and stroke. Exercise is the first point of treatment for this disorder.

Most peripheral artery disease patients encounter walking discomfort that makes them shy from their movement however medically suggested exercises will help to improve walking, the betterment of symptoms, and reduce the progress of the severity.1 Exercises under the supervision of health care providers have the potential to build endurance and tolerance to help overcome the problem.

Studies demonstrate that pain is dangerous, and we should avoid pain. Peripheral artery disease patients generally feel pain when they walk, so it is often advisable to avoid walking. Several clinical trials have shown proven evidence that walking can make the condition worse in people with peripheral artery disease. However, certain exercises are fine always discuss with your doctor before beginning any form of exercise.2

Dr. Mohler, III, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania whose specialty was cardiology and vascular medicine suggests peripheral artery disease patients may work with a physical therapist to start a walking program. You may be able to work out an extensive and extended period if you take a treatment that improves blood flow to the brain, legs, and other parts of your body. Your walking program can

  • Increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness
  • Strengthen your calf muscles and enable you to be more active
  • It helps you lead a healthier lifestyle with no little or no risk.
  • Regulate blood sugar and pressure level.

Although the walking program could be stressful and seem difficult to follow a routine, yet research indicates that six weeks walking program produces a 100 to 300 percent improvement.3

Do Compression Socks Help With Peripheral Artery Disease?

Several research studies have demonstrated that compression materials such as stockings, socks, tights, and sleeves are often beneficial for numerous conditions. However, for peripheral artery disease patients wearing a compression sock can be harmful. Although compression socks and stockings can help tired and aching legs, they are not suitable for peripheral artery disease patients and can impede the blood flow and result in pain.

If you are already wearing compression socks for your muscle stiffness and leg swelling, talk with your chiropractor. When peripheral artery disease patients wear compression socks it can

  • Cause pain during walking due to lack of oxygen. This condition is referred to as intermittent claudication
  • Damages nerves in legs, arm, and feet
  • Worsen symptoms in people who have skin allergies. Wearing compression garments produce negative adverse reactions such as skin breaks and infection.4
  • Swelling in the limbs among the peripheral artery disease patients who have an underlying condition such as heart failure or cellulitis.


  1. “The Best Workout to Manage Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease – Penn Medicine.” – Penn Medicine, www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/heart-and-vascular-blog/2016/february/the-best-workout-to-manage-symptoms-of-peripheral-artery-disease
  2. Pogored. “Exercising With Peripheral Artery Disease: Take Steps to Reduce Leg Pain.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 16 Aug. 2019, health.clevelandclinic.org/exercising-with-peripheral-artery-disease-take-steps-to-reduce-leg-pain/
  3. “A Walking Program for Peripheral Arterial Disease PAD.” Mount Nittany Health, www.mountnittany.org/articles/healthsheets/35.
  4. “Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Leg: Care Instructions.” MyHealth.Alberta.ca Government of Alberta Personal Health Portal, myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=uf8392

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2020

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