Promoting an increased awareness and standardized approaches in diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease


Benefits of Supervised Exercise Therapy

The benefits of SET have been well described in more than 25 randomized trials dating back to the 1960s. However, there has been considerable heterogeneity in the exercise prescriptions used in these exercise trials. The effectiveness of SET is most commonly assessed via claudication onset time, claudication onset distance, peak walking time (PWT), and peak walking distance (PWD). The 2012 meta-analysis by Fakhry et al demonstrated a 180-meter increase in maximal walking distance (MWD) and a 128-meter increase in pain-free walking distance (23). While the early benefits of SET are noted after 4 weeks, the majority of the benefits from SET are achieved between 8 and 12 weeks after therapy initiation. Treadmill and non-treadmill markers of exercise performance may differ in terms of their degree and rate of improvement. Improved treadmill performance typically occurs after 4 weeks, whereas 6-minute (non-treadmill walk) walk test often improves significantly later (24).

Click here for a personal account of one patient’s progress with a walking program.


23. Fakhry F, v. d. (2012). Supervised walking therapy in patients with intermittent claudication. J Vasc Surg, 1132-1142.

24. Mcdermott, M. (2018). Exercise Rehabilitation for Peripheral Artery Disease . Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention , 63-69.