Vascular atherosclerosis is a common pathology of the cardiovascular system, characterized by impaired blood supply due to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the endothelium of the arteries of the elastic-muscular and muscular types.
The factors for the occurrence of atherosclerosis are different, and are most often associated with improper lifestyle of a person. Such factors may be affected - diet, exercise, medication. Other causes are genetic, and are associated with a person's propensity for diseases of the cardiovascular system. The first group includes an unbalanced diet with a predominance of fatty foods, sources of saturated fat and cholesterol (eggs, sausage, offal, lard, chocolate), a reduced amount of vegetables and fruits, cereals and legumes.
Also, atherosclerotic lesion of blood vessels leads to excessive drinking and smoking. One of the key factors is reduced physical activity, which leads to congestive and ischemic disorders in the arteries of the lower extremities, the formation of blood clots and thromboembolism. Congenital causes include genetic susceptibility to familial dyslipidemia, homocysteinemia, the presence of antibodies to cardiolipin and cardiomyocytes.
Symptoms of atherosclerosis depend on the severity of blood flow disorders, the degree of overlap of the vessel, the presence of complications. The first manifestations may be a sensation of cold extremities, chilliness, disturbance of pain and heat sensitivity, paresthesia. Further, violations of the trophism of the soft tissues of the skin - pale skin, hair loss, thickening or thinning of the nails, the formation of trophic ulcers and even gangrene of the legs.
General principles of physical education in atherosclerosis
Physical therapy and moderate physical activity is included in the complex of treatment and recovery in atherosclerosis of any localization, and exercises for atherosclerotic lesions of the lower extremities are particularly relevant.
The tasks of physical therapy in atherosclerosis of the extremities are to relieve muscle and vessel spasm, restore arterial patency, and improve collateral blood flow.
When choosing a type of physical activity, factors such as the age and sex of the patient, associated diseases, the course and localization of atherosclerosis, the presence of complications should be taken into account.
There are some general rules for doing the exercises:
- loads are performed with or without weighting, or with a minimum weight;
- physical activity should start with minimal loads - breathing exercises, walking, gymnastics;
- classes should be regular for maximum results.
- during exercise, you need to monitor the state of health, pulse indicators, if you have shortness of breath or significant tachycardia activity should be stopped;
- It is contraindicated to perform significant loads, especially on the muscles of the legs, and weight lifting;
- the pace of exercise is medium, the performance is smooth, without jerks.
It must be remembered that only a specialist doctor can give advice on choosing a type of physical therapy, given the history of the disease, the stage of development and the degree of obliteration of the vessels. Between the individual sets of exercises you need to relax for a few minutes, and you should not immediately perform heavy loads.
In the first or second stages of atherosclerosis, physical therapy, walking and running, performing separate complexes for different muscle groups, alternating special and restorative exercises can be used. It is recommended to first carry out exercises for warming up and stretching the muscles, then common for the whole body and breathing exercises. After that, you need to perform specific exercises for the affected limb - dynamic and static, on different muscle groups, with additional weighting. In the final part, breathing exercises and exercises to relax the muscles after exercise are performed.
For limbs affected by atherosclerotic process, gymnastic exercises with dynamic load and the use of additional weights are applied, with a change of position - lying, sitting, standing. Avoid long-term static exercises, large weights. These exercises should be alternated with breathing exercises, walking, use the frequent change of body position.
Walking and skiing, swimming in warm water are also useful.
Exercise therapy for atherosclerosis obliterans of the lower extremities
Exercise therapy is indicated for lower extremity atherosclerosis, endarteritis, thrombosis and vascular thrombophlebitis in the chronic phase.
Also exercise therapy is recommended in the recovery period, after reconstructive operations.
Contraindications to this type of treatment - an acute period of thrombosis and thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities, gangrene.
Approximate gymnastic complex for the treatment of atherosclerosis:
- Sitting on a chair, raise and lower hands first, then legs. Repeat up to 10 times.
- Putting the hands on the shoulders, make the rotation of the shoulders, first in one and then in the other direction. To make circular movements smoothly, without jerks. Repeat up to 10 - 15 times in each direction.
- Also, the hands and joints of the forearm are developed separately - squeeze hands into fists and carry out rotational movements, the approach is 10 to 15 times.
- In the supine position, bend and unbend the legs at the knee joints, first alternately, and then both legs together. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
- Standing on a solid surface, feet shoulder-width apart, perform alternately tilts to the side. Exercise should be done smoothly, without sudden movements. Repeat up to 10 times in each direction.
- In the standing position, transfer the body weight in order to the left and right leg, perform 10 times.
- Walking on the spot with high elevation of the legs - from 2 to 5 minutes, normal walking.
- You can swing legs with a support on a horizontal surface. Runs up to 15 times.
- Squatting with support is also useful - up to 10 times.
They also perform the exercises “bicycle” - from a supine position with legs bent at the hip and knee joints, it is necessary to imitate cycling, and the scissors exercise is the same position, legs slightly bent at the hip joints and straight into the knee. Swing your legs, perform up to 10 times with each foot.
Classes on simulators for atherosclerosis
Doctors recommend exercises on a stationary bike, in the absence of contraindications to such loads. The basic principles of such a training for vessels are the same as for all others - metered loads and regular training.
To use the exercise bike in the treatment of atherosclerosis, there are several special recommendations - correct adjustment of the saddle with the legs straightened at the lowest point, exercises should be started slowly, smoothly and gradually increasing the load, while training does not exceed 5 minutes. It is impossible to stop the movement abruptly at high speed, it is necessary to slow down slowly. An important rule is that exercise two hours after eating.
Replace metered walking and running is possible on a treadmill. It is an excellent workout for the muscles of the legs and back, it makes it possible to accurately calculate the individual pace and speed of training, to track body indicators, such as pulse and breathing.
For this type of training, there is also a set of rules guaranteeing the achievement of the maximum effect. The first rule is to keep your posture and do not slouch, the second is holding the handrails of the track if necessary, and the third is not to strain the muscles too much.
The average walking speed is 5 km per hour, while jogging is up to 10 km per hour.
Respiratory gymnastics for the treatment of atherosclerosis
Alternate physical exertion is necessary with respiratory gymnastics, which is also included in the complex of therapeutic measures for atherosclerosis.
It allows you to reduce the degree of ischemia of tissues and organs, increase blood flow to the brain and heart, reduce the severity of symptoms of atherosclerosis, reduce high blood pressure.
There are also contraindications for such breathing, such as hypertensive illness with a severe course, sciatica and osteochondrosis, diseases of the respiratory system (bronchial asthma and COPD).
Breathing exercises include such exercises:
- Starting position - standing, feet together. Performed by stretching hands up while raising the feet on the socks. When returning to the starting position, exhalation is made. At the highest point, breathing should be delayed by 1-2 seconds. This exercise can be done from 5 to 10 times.
- Inhalation is done through one nostril, for example, the left one, while the right one should be clamped with a finger. Breathe slow, deep. Air is held for a couple of seconds. Exhale through the right nostril, holding the left already. Repeat from 10 times.
- A very simple exercise is to take a deep breath through your nose, hold your breath, and a sharp, intermittent exhalation with your mouth.
Eastern practices are also used, namely yoga and various gymnastic complexes. Qigong gymnastics is very effective in atherosclerosis of the lower extremities, and it can be used both for treatment and for the prevention of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
During the execution of these complexes, the main effect on the muscles - stretching and toning, it is almost impossible to injure the leg or worsen the symptoms of atherosclerosis. The load when doing yoga or gymnastics qigong is insignificant, it is easily dosed, but all muscle groups work along with it. These exercises can be used independently or before and after the core muscles for warming up and training. Here are some easy asanas:
- Position - standing, legs together. While inhaling, one should stand on one's toes and stretch one's arms upward, at the exit - slowly descend. Such asana combines gymnastics and breathing practices.
- The position is the same, on the inhale slowly you need to lean forward and try to touch the floor with your hands, on the exhale - the body returns to its original position. In the future, when performing this asana, you need to try to touch the floor with your palms.
The greatest effect in the treatment of atherosclerosis can be achieved by combining the modification of lifestyle with medical treatment.
Changing the way of life consists in switching to a rational diet with the substitution of foods rich in cholesterol for vegetable and dairy, adherence to the drinking regime, the complete exclusion of semi-finished products, by-products, lard, fatty meat, chocolate, fast food, sweet carbonated water.
It is also necessary to completely give up bad habits - reduce alcohol consumption to 150 grams of red or white wine a day and completely stop smoking.
Drug treatment is used in the absence of the effect of lifestyle modification for 6 months.
Used these drugs - statins (atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin), antispasmodic (No-spa, papaverine, Drotaverinum), antiplatelet agents (aspirin, Magnikor, Thrombotic-Ass, Cardiomagnyl), anticoagulants (heparin, Enoksiparin), vasoactive drugs, vitamins, herbal medicine .
How to avoid complications of atherosclerosis is described in the video in this article.