There are different types of vascular disorders and arterial disorder is one of them. Physical therapy management for each vascular disorder is different. There are different types of arterial disorders like acute arterial occlusion, arteriosclerosis obliterans, Buerger’s Disease, Raynaud’s Disease. Exercise, direct heat and support hose is contraindicated in any acute arterial disorder.
There are lot of symptoms for arterial disorders but it’s not necessary that an individual experiences all of them. Symptoms are as follows: skin discoloration (bright red), sensory changes, exercise and rest pain, treatment for chronic pain, muscle weakness.
Physical therapy management for acute arterial occlusion is heating or warming the limb by raising the temperature of the torso or the opposite limb or by elevating the head of the bed. Patient should be encouraged to change position in bed a not doing so can cause bed sores. Any kind of exercise and modality on the affected limb is contraindicated in acute arterial occlusion.
Physical therapy management for chronic arterial insufficiency has different approaches. Patient has to be given proper education about changing habits and teach self-management. Patient is to be taught to stop smoking and stop caffeine intake. Patient has to be educated for weight control and reduced salt intake.
There should be gradual increase in exercise intensity as tolerated. Exercises mainly would include walking or bicycling or any other suitable aerobic exercise as tolerated by the patient. Patient is supposed to sleep with legs in dependent position or with head elevated. Patient should wear proper shoe and take care of the nails and skin of feet and hands. Patient should avoid using support hose, restrictive clothing and heat or cold. Patient should perform range of motion exercises without any resistance or minimal resistance. Wound management is necessary.
Patient is supposed to perform aerobic exercises as tolerated in arterial insufficiency disorders to improve exercise tolerance and functional capacity. There is another set of exercise- Buerger’s exercise, which can be performed in arterial insufficiency disorders.