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Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital Offers Supervised Exercise Therapy For Those With Peripheral Artery Disease

For those who suffer from leg cramps caused by poor blood circulation, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) now has a program that can help.

The cardiopulmonary department has added a new service, Supervised Exercise Therapy (SET) for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), for those who suffer from intermittent claudication (IC) due to limited arterial blood flow to the lower extremities.

Pain and cramping in the legs is the main symptom of claudication. The discomfort can be sharp or dull, aching or throbbing, or burning. IC is an aching, cramping, tired, and sometimes burning sensation in the legs that comes and goes. It typically occurs when walking or exercising and goes away with rest. The condition is quite common, more so in men than women.

The program is specifically designed for PAD patients and involves the use of walking on the treadmill to a mild to moderate pain level alternating with periods of rest. As patients improve their walking ability, the exercise workload and time is increased.

Studies have shown that patients who participate in this type of program significantly increase their walking distances. SET has been recommended as the initial treatment for patients suffering from IC, the most common symptom experienced by people with PAD.

“We are ready to help patients suffering with this condition,” said Julie Terry, BSN, RN, cardiopulmonary department supervisor. “All that is needed is a referral from their primary care provider.”

Education will also be provided on how to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

The goals for the SET program are to relieve symptoms, increase walking distance, improve quality of life and reduce cardiovascular morbidity/mortality.

The SET program is a covered service for Medicare beneficiaries and some private insurance companies. The program is covered for up to 36 visits over a 12-week period.

For more information call the cardiopulmonary department at 573-883-7743 or visit to find a doctor.

(Information in a release from Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.)

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