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Peripheral Artery Disease Rehabilitation

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when plaque builds up in a peripheral artery, creating blockages that significantly limit the blood flow through the artery.  With less blood flow, the surrounding muscles and tissue are starved for oxygen and nutrients.  If left untreated, PAD leads to pain, gangrene, and loss of limbs.

PAD is very common and affects 8.5 million Americans. People with PAD are six times more likely to die from cardiac disease, too. Starting treatment early is key to healthy survival.

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • A dull ache, pain, cramping, or numbness in the legs during activity that goes away upon rest
  • Pain in toes or feet at night
  • Changes in skin color and/or persistent cool skin
  • Infections that don’t heal or are slow to heal
  • Sores or ulcers
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of circulation which can cause gangrene

Risk Factors for PAD

Between 12-20% of Americans age 60 and older are living with PAD. In addition to age, risk factors for PAD include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and family history.

Benefits of PAD Rehab

PAD rehabilitation is proven to be both beneficial and safe for people diagnosed with PAD who exhibit leg pain during activity.

Benefits of PAD Rehab include relief of symptoms, improved limb function, enhanced mobility and improved quality of life.

Managing PAD

Treatment options for PAD include medication; procedures such as angioplasty, stenting or surgery; and supervised, structured exercise program as recommended by your doctor.

Lifestyle changes can help to manage PAD:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Manage any underlying conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Follow a heart healthy diet
  • Talk to your doctor about PAD rehabilitation

Peripheral Artery Disease Rehabilitation

Medicare and many other health plans now cover supervised exercise therapy (rehabilitation) as a beneficial and safe treatment for patients living with PAD. Studies have shown that PAD rehabilitation significantly improves quality of life.1

PAD rehabilitation is proven to be beneficial and safe for people diagnosed with PAD who have leg pain during activity.  The focus of PAD rehab is to build stamina and reduce symptoms through exercise therapy, medical monitoring, education, and risk factor modification. The PAD rehab support team includes nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians and social workers helping you to a better quality of life.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiopulmonary/PAD Rehabilitation Programs

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento 
3810 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Mercy General Hospital 
(916) 453-4521 
4001 J Street 
Sacramento, CA 95819

Mercy San Juan Medical Center
6555 Coyle Ave., Suite 250 Carmichael, CA 95608

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
(530) 274-6103 
155 Glasson Way 
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Woodland Healthcare
(530) 662-3961, ext. 4531
1325 Cottonwood Street Woodland, CA 95695


1 ACCF/AHA Management of patients with peripheral artery disease, November 2011 guidelines.