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Older people in particular suffer from the window disease - sport can help
The shop window disease is a widespread complaint from which many older people in particular suffer. At the symposium “Sport in Vascular Medicine”, experts from the University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD) will provide information about the symptoms and possible approaches to alleviate them through sporting activities.
According to a message from the university hospital, complaints of shop window disease “are part of everyday life for 1.3 million patients (around eight percent of all people over 65 years) in Germany.” Typical signs are severe, cramp-like pain in the calf, but also in the foot, thighs and Buttocks that occur when running or climbing stairs and quickly subside when stopped. Special sports exercises that are presented at the symposium on “Sports in Vascular Medicine” on Wednesday, September 27 by experts from the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the UKD can help.
Only shorter walking distances possible
Due to pain, the walking distances in patients with shop window disease (technically: peripheral arterial occlusive disease / PAD) are significantly shortened and frequent forced breaks have to be taken, reports the UKD. Circulatory disorders of the arteries in the legs are to blame for PAD, but these can be remedied by special training structures and exercises.
In the long term, there are significant complaints
In the case of pAD, according to the UKD, “deposits (including limescale) cause the arteries of the legs to narrow or completely close.” This affects the blood flow through the artery and leads to an insufficient blood supply to the legs. In the early stages of the disease, the pain already mentioned appears and in the long term there is a risk of “tissue changes up to the possibly necessary amputation or blood poisoning from infections of the wounds,” reports the UKD.
Every fourth patient affected
According to figures from current studies, it can be assumed that around one in four patients in Germany over the age of 65 is affected by PAD and that around one in ten shows symptoms, according to the UKD. Men are affected four times more often than women and diabetics and smokers are considered to be particularly at risk: for them, the risk of developing PAD is significantly increased.
Create new ways for blood flow
If the affected person already shows a shortening of the walking distance, the German Society for Vascular Surgery and Medicine (DGG) recommends regular walking training with which the walking distance can be extended again and surgery or even amputation can be prevented, reports the UKD. If the main arteries in the leg are closed, the blood has to get there in another way, explains Professor Dr. Hubert Schelzig, Director of the Clinic for Vascular and Endovascular Medicine at the UKD. "We always tell our patients: The main street is closed, so we have to expand the side streets," continued the expert.
Sports therapy to strengthen the vessels
According to Professor Schelzig, targeted sports exercises can help to strengthen the so-called collateral vessels through impulses. Thanks to the structured vascular training, the blood can flow over the secondary vessels of the main arteries and be routed around the constipation, so that the leg is better cared for again. Such a structured vascular training has been offered since 2014 by the UKD together with the Association for Health Sport and Sport Therapy Düsseldorf-Ratingen e.V. Once a week, this takes place on the premises of the university hospital under the guidance of a licensed vascular sports trainer.
Every time 100 meters more on the treadmill
Participants in sports therapy report that they notice every week how the course works for them, according to the UKD. "With every examination I can go 100 meters on the treadmill", participant Wolfram Voßhage is quoted by the university hospital. His team member Andreas Gob adds that sport in the community is simply more fun and that the exercises alone are not done regularly at home. "In the vascular sports group everyone has symptoms similar to mine and understand my problems," said Andreas Gob in the UKD announcement. This motivates him additionally.
At this year's symposium of the UKD, in addition to the sports concepts, the general advantages of sports for the cardiovascular system will also be discussed and an education campaign against tobacco consumption should be presented as the main reason for arterial calcification, reports the University Hospital Düsseldorf. (fp)