Research Article

Intermittent claudication: is a supervised exercise class worth while?

Br Med J 1980; 280 doi: (Published 21 June 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;280:1503
  1. P C Clifford,
  2. P W Davies,
  3. J A Hayne,
  4. R N Baird


    Twenty-one patients (19 men and two women) with disabling exercise-related leg pain attended a physiotherapy department on one afternoon each week for an exercise training programme lasting one month. The clinical diagnosis of intermittent claudication and localisation of the atherosclerotic occlusions were confirmed in all but one case by pulse volume recordings and segmental Doppler systolic pressure measurements. Two patients whose symptoms worsened underwent arterial reconstruction. Post-training assessment at six months showed that the remaining 18 patients walked 80% further and performed 75% more step-ups. They also felt much healthier, having unduly restricted their activities before because they had feared the onset of ischaemic leg pain. These results suggest that supervised exercise training is a simple and effective method of treating patients with intermittent claudication.