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Anders Östman Atomens Öga AB
anders.oestman@bemermail.com

Vascular Therapy as a treatment for Peripheral Arterial Disease

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BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy is a scientifically proven procedure that uses stimulation signals to speed up the inadequate movement of the smallest vessels, the capillaries, which in turn improves the supply and disposal of tissue and organ cells. The use of BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy has achieved documented successes in both the prevention of peripheral arterial disease and the treatment of the disease in its early stages by improving microcirculation. For example, the clinical effectiveness of BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy as an effective complementary therapy option in peripheral arterial disease has been proven by way of a controlled study. This study demonstrated that patients with peripheral arterial disease were able to walk a much larger distance after BEMER therapy than patients who did not receive this therapy.

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About Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease – From Macrocirculation to Microcirculation

Macrocirculation encompasses the heart and the connected arteries. It is through these that the blood is pumped using the pressure generated in the heart, down to the smallest vessels, the capillaries. The capillaries and the sections just before and after them are in turn referred to as the microcirculation. It is also worth knowing that it is here that nutrients and oxygen are supplied and waste products are disposed off from the relevant tissue. This process is therefore responsible for supply and waste disposal (of by-products and toxins) from the cells. Constricted blood flow in turn means that optimum supply and disposal are no longer guaranteed, and disorders of the microcirculation (one of the causes of peripheral arterial disease) may arise. But how do these disorders develop? As the blood travels through the major vessels to the microcirculation, the pressure that the heart initially used to pump the blood forward continues to drop. As the blood is transported further, the pressure drops to such an extent that it no longer has any effect in the microcirculation. The layers of muscle surrounding all vessels – except the capillaries – now handle the transport. Whenever these muscles contract, they squeeze the vessels together, and the blood tries to take an alternate route. However, the blood cannot go back, because this route is blocked off by the pressure of the heart. As a result, the only way to move forwards is through the capillaries. The continuous rhythmic tensioning and relaxation of the muscles that surround the microcirculation vessels is referred to as vasomotion. To ensure that enough blood is always transported through the microcirculation in order to meet the needs of the cells at all times, these vasomotions must be repeated constantly. In a healthy person, there are between three and five vasomotions a minute, while it will be accordingly fewer in a sick person. With peripheral arterial disease, these vasomotions are so heavily restricted that the body's cells become "starved" and their function continues to deteriorate because they are inadequately supplied and waste products are inadequately disposed off. Action must therefore be taken to treat the dysfunctional microcirculation. BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy is a highly promising treatment in this regard.

What to do about Peripheral Arterial Disease?

As with many diseases, the saying "prevention is better than cure" also applies to peripheral arterial disease. Many of the above mentioned risk factors can often be eliminated by maintaining a healthy and sensible lifestyle. If a sufferer believes that they are experiencing the first signs of peripheral arterial disease, they should definitely seek medical advice so that their doctor can initiate any necessary treatment. If the peripheral arterial disease is still in its early stages, it is frequently enough to reduce the risk factors to prevent the progression of the disease. Special therapies can also support the blood flow in certain groups of muscles, and the doctor may prescribe medicines. In later stages of peripheral arterial disease, it is possible that, where other measures fail or cannot be used, amputation becomes necessary as a result of PAD that was not treated in time or can no longer be treated. This is why it is so important to prevent peripheral arterial disease ahead of time or use appropriate therapies to provide effective support where the disease is already diagnosed. The treatment of disorders of the "microcirculation" have proven to be effective and promising in this regard.

Causes of Peripheral Arterial Disease

There are various causes of peripheral arterial disease. The disease is often the result of arteriosclerosis. Diabetes mellitus can also be a cause, as can interior vascular wall damage, for example as a result of high blood pressure (arterial hypertension) and elevated blood fat levels. The cause may also lie in an improperly working metabolism in the cells, triggered by poor microcirculation in the affected tissue areas. Other risk factors include lack of exercise, gender (for example, men are more frequently affected by peripheral arterial disease than women), age (it is believed that around 20 percent of the older population suffer from peripheral arterial disease), and also obesity, poor diet, and smoking. It is also possible, albeit relatively rare, for genetic predisposition to be a cause. A startling fact – it is estimated that around half of patients die within ten years of being diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, and that alone in Germany, there are around 30,000 PAD-related amputations. Even more startling is that an estimated 75 percent of all sufferers of peripheral arterial disease later die of a heart attack or stroke.

How Dangerous Is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

The dangerous thing about peripheral arterial disease is that is remains innocuously free of symptoms for a long time, meaning that the first symptoms of the disease are often not taken seriously. Only when there is pain while walking or even while resting will a patient usually go to see their doctor. The progression of the pain can be broken down into four stages of peripheral arterial disease. A commonly used system is the Fontaine system, named after French physician René Fontaine: Stage I: There are as yet no symptoms, any pain is often seen as random. Stage IIa: It is still possible to walk more than 200 meters without pain. Stage IIb: It is not possible to walk more than 200 meters without pain. Stage III: Pain occurs even when resting and lying down. Stage IV: Massive tissue damage with ulcers and gangrene.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

A trip out shopping is certainly a welcome diversion for many people. Many an interesting shop window invites visitors to stay a while and come and see with its exhibits. But the exhibits are not always the reason for a passer-by stopping in front of a shop window. It is also possible that they are suffering from peripheral arterial disease, and it is for this reason that this disease is often referred to in Germany as the Schaufensterkrankheit – the window shopper's disease. The more precise medical term for this disease is "peripheral artery occlusive disease" or PAOD, but it's possible that there has never been a more appropriate layman's term than for peripheral arterial disease. Why? PAD is a disorder of the arterial blood flow in the extremities (mainly the legs), whereby deposits in the walls of the arteries are constricted. This impedes blood flow, although in the early stages of peripheral arterial disease, this often does not cause any symptoms while resting. If, however, the person engages in physical activity such as walking or running, the oxygen required by the musculature rises, and the inadequate blood flow causes the muscles to not receive enough oxygen. This in turn manifests itself in the form of intense pain in the legs, especially in the calves and thighs. This pain only recedes while resting, and as a result, sufferers of peripheral arterial disease often have to stop every few yards. As this is embarrassing for some sufferers, they attempt to make the frequent stops look like window shopping by constantly stopping in front of shops.