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Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 1(28), p. 74-82

DOI: 10.1097/jcn.0b013e318239f419



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A Program of 3 Physical Therapy Modalities Improves Peripheral Arterial Disease in Diabetes Type 2 Patients

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:: Type 2 diabetes is 1 of the main causes of peripheral vascular disease. The beneficial effects of exercise on glucose homeostasis include a marked stimulation of blood glucose utilization during and after its performance. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a program of 3 physical therapy modalities on blood circulation in patients with type 2 diabetes with peripheral arterial disease. SUBJECTS AND METHOD:: A randomized controlled trial was undertaken. Sixty-eight patients with type 2 diabetes with Leriche-Fontaine stage I or IIa peripheral arterial disease were randomly assigned to an exercise or placebo group. For 20 weeks, the exercise group underwent treatment comprising 3 exercises at proximal, medium, and distal segments of the lower limbs, and the placebo group received sham treatment with disconnected ultrasound equipment. Peripheral arterial disease was determined by evaluating the ankle/brachial index (ABI), Doppler flow velocity, blood parameters, cardiovascular risk score, and heart rate during exercise test. RESULTS:: After 20 weeks of treatment, significant differences between groups were found in the following: right (P < .039) and left (P < .023) ABI; Doppler flow velocity (cm/s) in the right (P < .010) and left (P < .026) posterior tibial artery and in the right (P < .012) and left (P < .022) dorsalis pedis artery; and fibrinogen (P < .045), hemoglobin (P < .021), cholesterol (P < .012), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < .031), and HbA1c (P < .034) values. There was no significant difference in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol values (P < .110) between the groups. CONCLUSION:: A program of these physical therapy modalities improves ABI, Doppler flow velocity, and blood parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes.