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24 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 June, 2019 12:24:58 AM
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Hot water soak may help ease poor leg circulation

Hot water soak may 
help ease poor leg 
circulation

Could soaking in hot water followed by light exercise work as well on peripheral artery disease (PAD) as a longer bout of exercise does?  The authors of a new study suggest it could, but some PAD experts aren't convinced. Peripheral artery disease affects about 8.5 million Americans. Only about one in four people in the United States is even aware of the disease, however. PAD occurs when cholesterol builds up in blood vessels supplying blood to the legs. This slows or even blocks the flow of blood. Symptoms include pain or cramping when walking (claudication), loss of muscle mass, skin that's cool to the touch, and sores or ulcers on the legs or feet that are slow to heal, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.  Regular physical activity and supervised exercise programmes are key treatments for PAD. If someone is a smoker, quitting smoking is crucial. Treatment also includes controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, the CDC says.

In the new study, researchers compared blood pressure and walking distance in two groups, each with 11 PAD patients.  One group did up to 90 minutes of walking and resistance training once or twice a week. The other group -- dubbed the heat therapy group -- soaked in a pool with warm water (about 102 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 to 30 minutes and then did up to 30 minutes of calisthenics three to five times a week. They were encouraged to submerge up to their shoulders. "There was no evident difference between the effects observed in heat therapy via spa bathing and a supervised exercise programme," wrote Ashley Akerman and colleagues from the University of Otago and Dunedin Public Hospital in New Zealand.

Three PAD specialists who reviewed the findings said it's too soon to say that having a hot water soak allows you to forgo a longer exercise session.

"Because the study participants got out of the water and performed 15 to 30 minutes of calisthenics, the study can't say whether or not heat therapy is a replacement for exercise," said Bruno Roseguini. He is an assistant professor of health and kinesiology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Roseguini also noted that the study wasn't an equal comparison. The exercise group averaged just one session a week compared to the heat therapy group that averaged four times a week.

Dr. Darren Schneider, director of the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said heat therapy might help people walk more. Pain is common when people with PAD walk.

"People who get pain when they walk, don't want to walk," Schneider said. "So this therapy is not necessarily a replacement for walking, but this might help get some improvement in walking."

For people who can't walk, such as patients with joint disease or knee problems, Schneider said this might be an alternative.  Dr. Yi-Ming Yang, associate director of peripheral intervention at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, called the idea of using heat therapy to alleviate symptoms of claudication "provocative."

HealthDay

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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