Claudication. It is the medical term for pain in the legs with activity. It can be neurogenic in nature, meaning that the problem relates to the nerves in the lumbar spine being choked off by arthritis in the spine. It can also be vascular in nature due to plaquing in the arteries of the common iliac artery that feeds the legs.
Neurogenic claudication can be treated very effective with Flexion Distraction adjusting in a chiropractic office. Vascular claudication is not so easy to address. Both conditions are the result of decades of abuse and degeneration–one condition to the spine, one to the cardiovascular system.
Claudication can be debilitating and drastically impact a patient’s quality of life. Walking time can be reduced to minutes. Certainly one of the absolute best approaches is to change the lifestyle that put the problem there in the first place. While this approach encompasses all aspects of lifestyle, exercise is certainly a component. Although exercise can be painful, exercising within a patient’s abilities can help to improve walking distance. While this study reports a measly improvement of 78 steps, but it is still an improvement. Keep in mind, however, that this study used only exercise and did not include a comprehensive overall of the lifestyle, which likely would’ve produced much better results.
But, for those of you who think lifestyle changes are just WAY too hard and want the easy way out, you’re in luck!! You can have a stent placed in the common iliac artery to improve blood flow. And since this procedure has been done since the late 1980’s you can assume it’s been well studied and is very effective and damn the cost!
Wellllll….maybe not really all that effective.
This particular study compared exercise therapy to stent placement. The result for this approximately $10,000 surgery? A whopping 42 more steps. Yup. 42 more steps. What’s that? Like less then the difference one way to the mailbox?
So what is the bottom line? Surgery for this condition is not going to get you as far as you might think, but lifestyle changes will take you to a new life.