First Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Rehabilitation Patient Touts Success of Program


Ralph Peripheral Artery Disease Patient Story

Northsider and longtime Galter LifeCenter (GLC) member Ralph recently became the first participant in the peripheral artery disease (PAD) rehabilitation program, and he’s very pleased with his results. After completing the 12-week session, he’s now able to walk pain free, which has made a significant positive impact on his mobility and lifestyle.

“I couldn’t walk for more than five minutes without significant pain in my legs,” said Ralph, whose cardiologist also suggested he try the PAD rehab program at GLC. “Now that I’ve competed the rehab program, I’m able to walk for more than 30 minutes or more at a good pace without having to stop due to leg pain.” This newfound mobility has enabled Ralph to enjoy his daily workouts at GLC, get to doctors’ appointments and even walk through Costco without having to stop and rest. 

After experiencing significant pain in his legs while walking, Ralph knew something was wrong. He was planning to have vein surgery, but it could not be scheduled due to his PAD diagnosis. Ralph heard that the PAD rehab program could help open up the arteries in his legs, so he signed up and became the first to enroll in the program. 

PAD rehab helps patients experiencing fatigue, discomfort, cramping or pain in the leg muscles while walking increase their exercise capacity and quality of life while reducing mortality rates and cardiovascular risk factors. Using a team approach, nurses and exercise physiologists develop a personalized plan for each patient. 

Ralph worked with Linda Granato, supervisor of cardiac, pulmonary and PAD rehabilitation, who he had known for years as a longtime GLC member. “His results were quite excellent and they were driven by his persistence and determination,” said Linda. “At the start of the program, he had to stop after walking 4.5 minutes on the treadmill due to severe leg pain, and now he’s able to walk for more than half an hour at the same speed without experiencing pain!”

Ralph is very pleased with his results and strongly recommends the program. “Based on my results, I believe that anyone with PAD should do the rehab to get their mobility and quality of life back,” said Ralph. “The more they work at it, the easier it will get. You just have to keep at it and you’ll see results.” 

The program usually lasts 12 weeks and includes supervised exercise, education, lifestyle counseling and group support. Classes meet three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes. Typical results from the program include an increase in exercise capacity (function) as well as ‘pain-free’ walking time, according to Linda.

For more information, please call the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at 773-878-8200, ext. 7321

By Bill Ligas | Published May 16, 2019.

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