Intermittent claudication is characterized by pain in the blood vessels of the arms and legs. It happens when there is not enough blood flowing through. This condition is most noticeable during exercise, but as the condition progresses, it may start to occur while the patient is at rest as well. Intermittent claudication is not usually considered a disease; rather, it is a symptom of several diseases, specifically those that restrict blood flow in some way. The good news is intermittent claudication is treatable, and most of the treatment options are in the hands of the patient.
Even though exercising tends to set off claudication pain, it is important for a patient with intermittent claudication to exercise regularly. Exercise helps in the long run because it improves cardiovascular health. This, in turn, leads to better blood flow and less claudication. Someone who is new to exercise should start slowly, such as beginning by walking for thirty minutes a day. Swimming and working out on a stationary bike are some great low-impact exercises as well. Overweight and obese patients should not do high-impact exercises such as running and plyometrics immediately because these activities can put a lot of pressure on their joints. Exercise can seem like torture at first for individuals who are out of shape, but it gets better over time. The key is consistency. Exercise does not have to be intense, but it should be done regularly.